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.

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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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