Solomon Looks for More Consistency in 2005

Clinton Solomon had a mission this offseason, and that was to not rest on the success he enjoyed in 2004. He spent a lot of time in the weight room, as was on display with his newly constructed physique at media day. He also wants to be more consistent in 2005 and limit the dropped passes that plagued him in an otherwise brilliant campaign of one year ago...

Q: What do you need to do to become a better receiver this last year here?

Clinton Solomon: Work hard during this camp and work on every little weakness that I have, learn from the upperclassmen. I'm a senior but I've only been playing receiver for 3 years. I still learn from (Ed) Hinkel and (Matt) Melloy, I still watch the things they do and try and learn from them. Watching those guys, working on certain things, that's how I get better.

Q: Do you think this is the year, as good as it's been for the last 3, that this could be even be a better year for the Hawks?

Solomon: Yeah, we've got a lot to look forward to. Like I said, as long as we work hard in camp, take it one day at a time in camp and one practice at a time. September 3rd is coming up, Ball State, we take care of them, take care of business and just move on from there.

Q: What sort of things have you been doing over the summer to try and keep in shape, up your game a little bit? Earlier you talked about running routes.

Solomon: Running routes, getting stronger in the weight room, gaining weight, just staying in conditioning in this hot heat, that's about it. Just working with Coach Doyle over the summer time and working with Drew (Tate) during skills and drills and working with the other receivers. Like I said, watching Melloy and Hinkel run routes, trying to better myself with that. Just doing the little things.

Q: You guys been getting together of the summer, playing some catch?

Solomon: Yeah, we get together twice a week or whatever, working on routes with Drew and some one on ones with the DBs, seven on seven with the defense, it's a team effort.

Q: Compare and contrast how you are now compared to where you were last year at this time. Top returning receiver in the Big Ten, yards wise, I don't know if you're aware of that.

Solomon: Yeah, I noticed that, I've seen it but I try and stay focused and I give a lot of credit to Drew. A lot of plays that I made I couldn't have done it without the offensive line blocking for him and without him making the plays he made to get me or Hinkel the ball. I credit the offensive line a lot, and credit Drew Tate a lot. I can't compare last year to this year because I haven't done anything this year yet.

Q: Are you as hungry this year as you were last year?

Solomon: I'm always hungry. You've got to stay hungry. The hay is never in the barn, that's what we always say. It's never over.

Q: Just talk about how you and Ed compliment each other. You guys are different receivers in a way, but you seem to really fit together well.

Solomon: He was a great leader for me, he was a freshman when I was a freshman. We both played at the same time, and I learned a lot from Hinkel. He had one spring over me, and he taught me a lot as a receiver because this is really only my third year playing receiver, so I'm still learning the position here and there. Watching Hinkel and Melloy and learning things from our coaches, Hinkel's a great guy.

Q: Does he do all the little things right? It seems he runs great routes, did you learn that?

Solomon: If you watch Hinkel he runs perfect routes. Each receiver has their days or their times, but Hinkel he's consistent. You can watch Hinkel as a young person coming up, or as an older guy, you're still going to learn a lot from the kid because he works at it every day and brings something new to the table.

Q: With everything you did last year, do you still ever feel that you've been overshadowed? It seems like receiver is the 'glamour' position this year with Ted Ginn, what have you, or do you even worry about stuff like that?

Solomon: I don't look at it because it's people, just talk. I'm not taking away from the people that talk about it, but I stay focused on what I have to do, what the Iowa Hawkeyes have to do as a team. We just do it as a team. Whatever happens, happens.

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