Clinton Solomon: Back in Black (and Gold)

Clinton Solomon knows what is at stake. He felt the pain of missing out on Iowa's 2003 season and Outback Bowl title. He was in Ft. Dodge playing for Iowa Central Community College. But he knew that he wanted to get back to Kinnick Stadium one day and once again don the black and gold that he wore as a freshman on Iowa's Big Ten championship team. Solomon talks about his second chance in this update from Media Day.

How was it spending the summer back with the Hawks?

It felt great. Coming back to Iowa was one of the things that I wanted to do after I didn't make grades after the 2002 season. And leaving Ft. Dodge and getting back here in June felt real good. I felt like a part of the family once again, and I am going to take advantage of the opportunity that Coach Ferentz gave me.

Did your teammates welcome you back with open arms?

Yes, my teammates always told me that they were ready for me to come back, and when I got here, it was like I was like a part of the family again. When I was at ICCC, I came up here to visit them. But it feels good to really be back.

We saw you in Iowa City on several occasions last year. Your former teammates knew you wanted to come back; did anyone ever speak with you during the year, making sure that you were taking care of the things you needed to?

Jovon, Jermell and Mo were all staying on me telling me to get my act together and get back here, because I missed out on a lot. They are the Outback champs, and I missed that. They stayed on me constantly, asking me how school was going…they wanted me to get back here and be a part of the Hawkeyes again.

How does that make you feel?

Real good, knowing that I had people that cared about me and wanted me back, it makes me feel more confident right now. It makes me want to work harder on the field and in the classroom. It's a great feeling to have friends like that who will stand by you when you let them down.

So do you feel that you have a lot of people to work hard for>

I worked hard for my mother, because she helped me a lot. I have been working for myself to prove something, and also for the coaches and fans.

Do you see an opportunity to get in there right away?

To get in right away, it's like this: I have to come out to camp, leave everything on the field and that is that. I don't control the depth chart; that is up to coach. If he feels that I can play right away, that is great. But I am just going to play football and see what falls into place.

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