Like many college football players in their final year of eligibility, Micah Hyde knows that his time at Iowa has become finite.
Thus, he has to appreciate the moments that may seem trivial or monumental — and will soon be fleeting.
Hyde, a 2009 Fostoria graduate and a cornerback for the Hawkeyes, will take a few extra moments to relish a team dinner or a quick walk-through before one of his last two regular-season games.
And he’ll most likely reflect on both the highs and the lows he has gone through in his final season with the Hawkeyes.
“This is my senior year,” Hyde said. “We had an honorary captain, Bruce Nelson [a former Iowa All-American], come in this season and he said to us, ‘When all is said and done, you’re going to miss the little things.’
“I’m trying to cherish those moments and be with my teammates.”
Hyde and the Hawkeyes face No. 23 Michigan (7-3, 5-1 Big Ten) at noon Saturday at Michigan Stadium. It will be the second time Hyde has played in Ann Arbor, and the Hawkeyes have defeated the Wolverines in each of the last three seasons. Last year, the Hawkeyes won 24-16.
“With it being my senior year and it being the last time I play here, it’s the closest I’ve played to my home this year,” Hyde said. “My best friend goes to Michigan, and he’s been trying to get tickets. My mom, aunt, and sisters are going.
“And people have been asking me to get tickets, but I don’t even know how many I’m going to be able to get.”
A quarterback and the 2008 Ohio Division IV Offensive Player of the Year at Fostoria, the coaching staff recruited Hyde to play at cornerback when he joined the Hawkeyes in the fall of 2009.
“You go from getting the ball on every play to trying to get the ball in your hands on defense,” Hyde said. “It was a little bit different, but it wasn’t that hard. It’s something that I’ve been doing my whole life.
“Like I said, going from high school and having the ball in your hands every single play to not having it, it might be frustrating.”
Hyde admits to one on-the-field frustration — he has yet to record an interception this season for the Hawkeyes (4-6, 2-4 Big Ten).
Still, he has 67 tackles (37 solo) in 10 games, and he is fifth in the Big Ten in passes defended with 12. Hyde has also recovered two fumbles, including a nine-yard return for a touchdown in last Saturday’s 27-24 loss to Purdue.
“He was not highly recruited, but the big thing is that he was a very good all-around athlete in high school,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “Not just a football player, but just a very, very gifted guy.
“We thought he could play cornerback for us, and he could probably play receiver. He has very good ball skills, and we got lucky.”
Still, Hyde’s senior season hasn’t gone without a setback.
Arrested Oct. 5 in Iowa City for public intoxication and interference for official acts — the Quad City (Iowa) Times reported that the police apprehended Hyde after a two-block chase away from an Iowa City microbrewery — Hyde pled guilty in October to the interference charge and not guilty to public intoxication.
Hyde then addressed the media after his arrest as part of a disciplinary measure.
“His record here has been sterling, conduct-wise,” Ferentz said. “I’m not minimizing what happened there, but that could have been any of my three sons. That could be a lot of college students in that situation.
“From all of the facts that I learned, this was really not a major thing, in my mind. He fully knew he was in the wrong, and he fully admitted it.”
As a result Hyde was stripped of his captaincy — a designation he earned back last weekend.
“I thank my coaches and teammates for believing in me,” Hyde said. “They know the type of person I am.
“It was a minor mistake and a glitch in the road. I apologized, and I did all of the things I had to do, and I’m still doing them. It’s a blessing, and a blessing in disguise.”
Contact Rachel Lenzi at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6510, or on Twitter @RLenziBlade.