Insight Bowl: Former QB McNutt caught on

2011-12-31T05:15:00Z 2011-12-31T05:40:21Z Insight Bowl: Former QB McNutt caught onBy STEVE BATTERSON, Courier Lee News Service Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier

TEMPE, Ariz. --- Marvin McNutt caught on.

The converted quarterback finished his run through the Iowa receiving record book on Friday night at the Insight Bowl, adding to an already impressive collection.

McNutt took the field against Oklahoma as the owner of Iowa's single-season and career records for receiving yardage and touchdown catches.

Against the Sooners, he chased school single-season and career records for catches. With four receptions for 46 yards, he tied one and finished just three catches shy of the other.

McNutt entered the game with 78 catches this season, four shy of matching the existing Iowa single-season record set by Kevin Kasper in 2000. He finished with 82.

He took the field with 166 catches in his career, seven below the standard set by Derrell Johnson-Koulianos from 2007-10 and finished with 170.

And no matter what happened against Oklahoma, McNutt takes pride in what has transpired after he was convinced midway through his redshirt freshman season in 2008 that a move to receiver would not only help the Hawkeyes, but also his own career.

"It wasn't something I embraced right away, it took some time," McNutt said. "Looking back, I'm grateful for the opportunity I was given. It gave me the chance to grow as a player. It kept me humble, kept me working."

With time, it also helped the 6-foot-4, 215-pound St. Louis native become an NFL prospect.

"I think about how far I've come and it's something that surprises me a bit, what I've been able to do, but it is the result of a lot good coaching and a lot of hard work," McNutt said.

It's also the byproduct of the decision McNutt made a year ago after contemplating an early exit for the NFL to return to Iowa for what proved to be a record-setting senior season.

"It can be very difficult for somebody who has had a good year the previous year to come back and want to work to improve and get better, but Marvin has done that," offensive coordinator Ken O'Keefe said.

"That's not easy. First, you become the main guy everybody is trying to shut down and second, a lot of times guys will take the foot off the accelerator. Marvin has found new ways to contribute and improve his game and he can be proud of that."

McNutt calls the decision to return for his senior year one of the best he has made in his life.

In addition to improving on the field, he has become the first member of his family to earn a collegiate degree.

It also allowed him to savor the past week and one final bowl experience before the sport becomes a business.

"There have been a lot of thoughts this week," McNutt said. "This is the last time I get to put on black and gold with these guys. They'll be my friends forever. From this point on, we probably won't get a chance to be together in this setting. I'll walk away proud of my part in the history and tradition at this school."

Copyright 2015 Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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