One-on-one with Iowa safety Kaevon Merriweather

Daily Iowan Sports Editor Austin Hanson talked to Merriweather at an Iowa football media availability session on Oct. 26.


Jerod Ringwald

Iowa safety Kaevon Merriweather celebrates a safety during a football game between Iowa and Kent State at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021.

Austin Hanson, Sports Editor

The Daily Iowan: Everybody has a song they listen to that gets them hyped. This year, we’re making a playlist of songs that make players sad. So, what do you listen to when you’re sad?

Kaevon Merriweather: When I’m sad?

DI: Yeah, do you have a go-to song that you cry to in the shower?

Merriweather: I’ll probably throw on, like, some R&B music. Some old school R&B. That’s probably about it. That’s probably my sad go-to. There’s not really a specific song, but I’d definitely throw on some R&B music.

DI: Iowa’s had a lot of hard hitters over the years. Do you take pleasure in being the guy that makes fans wince when you hit somebody?

Merriweather: I do take pleasure in being that guy. But when you have somebody like [junior linebacker] Jack Campbell out there, who’s definitely head hunting every single play, it’s kinda hard to be that guy. I definitely try every play to get that, “Oooo” kind of hit outta somebody.

DI: We’ve been trying to figure this out all season. What’s the difference between Iowa corn and Nebraska corn?

Merriweather: See, I’m not from Iowa. So, I really don’t know. When I got here though, Iowa corn was definitely like some of the best corn I’ve ever had in my life. So, I don’t think Nebraska corn can touch it — not at all.

DI: If you had to pick one or the other, black or gold?

Merriweather: I’m more of a black guy. Yeah, I don’t think I can rock gold.

DI: Do you think Iowa should bring back the all-black uniforms with the gold numbers they wore a few years ago?

Merriweather: I really thought we were going to get an all-black alternate uniform this year. I don’t really know. Maybe? I was hoping so. But yeah, the all-black look is definitely a clean one for us.

DI: You haven’t played a night game all year. Is there any part of you that’s itching for that?

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Merriweather: Definitely. The atmosphere in Kinnick during the night games, just to see how hype our fans are, I think that’s something that I’m definitely itching for. I thought we were gonna get it against Penn State. I was hoping we were going to get it against Penn State. Hopefully they give us one down the road. I’m definitely hoping for it.

DI: Before I forget, do you have a favorite restaurant here in Iowa City?

Merriweather: Monica’s. I guess that’s not Iowa City. That’s Coralville. But Monica’s is definitely like my go-to restaurant.

DI: What’s your favorite thing on the menu there?

Merriweather: They have this black fettuccine lobster. It’s like this black fettuccine lobster alfredo. Oh my gosh, it’s so good. Like, if you haven’t had it, please go there.

DI: Do you have a favorite Iowa football memory?

Merriweather: My favorite memory at Iowa is my very first game here. I remember just getting on the bus from the hotel and seeing the police escort, and seeing us arriving at the stadium. I was shedding tears. I couldn’t believe it. I remember texting my mom and my high school coach like, “Man, I can’t believe this is real.” I can’t believe this is happening because I was a basketball player. So, I didn’t really envision playing Big Ten football. That entire day was surreal for me. I think I even got in the game that day. Even coming out of the tunnel I shed tears. Like, “Wow, this is a real experience right now.” I really appreciated where I was in that moment during that day.

I texted my mom. I was just like, “Thank you for everything you’ve ever done for me. I can’t believe I’m really here in this moment right now. I just want to thank you for all the sacrifices that you’ve made throughout my entire life.” I saw her during the Hawk Walk before the game. I gave her a big hug. She gave me a kiss. She said, “Keep doing your thing.”

Now, I’m here. I’m still here. It was just crazy. I’m still getting chills thinking about that day. It was definitely a surreal moment for me.

DI: Thanks, Kaevon.

Merriweather: Yeah, thank you.

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