Former Nebraska Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year Adam Carriker spoke with Iowa Hawkeyes reporter Chad Leistikow, who writes for The Des Moines Register and USA Today Sports Network, about the advent of Iowa senior superstar point guard Caitlin Clark, who since the 2022-23 season has been the biggest name in college basketball.

Leistikow offered up an intriguing player comp for Clark’s success.

“Every single game, the amount of attention she gets is absurd. It certainly exceeds anything I’ve ever seen from an Iowa athlete,” Leistikow said.

Caitlin Clark with her hands on hips

“And I would say it’s pretty rare, I would guess, on the college level, maybe thinking back to like a Christian Laettner or somebody like that, we’re talking a huge name in the sport for a long period of time.”

“So it has been crazy to follow.

And I think she’s handled it. What’s amazing is she’s handled great off the court.

I mean, her ability to deal with everything is so impressive as a 22 year old.

And in addition, she brings it on the court every single night like she rarely, if ever, has an off night.

So I feel like that what she’s done in the last year, since the moment you talked about [when LSU’s Angel Reese did the ‘You can’t feel my face’ gesture in front of her during the NCAA championship game last season], has been pretty impressive.”

“I think that interaction, like you pointed out, has brought so many more eyeballs to the women’s basketball game,” Carriker responded. “And I think it’s been phenomenal for the women’s side of things.

fball primetime

And it’s interesting. Caitlin’s reaction to what Angel did actually… changed… my entire opinion of her because, like you said, she does argue with the refs, she does talk trash.”

Beyond being a good reference point in terms of sheer fame, Laettner, too, reveled in serving as a bit of a heel.