Greenway: `I owe everything to this program'

Oct. 2, 2010

Video interview with C. Greenway

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The timing of inviting Chad Greenway as honorary captain for the University of Iowa football team couldn’t have been better. Greenway, a Hawkeye alumnus and 2006 first-round NFL draft pick by the Minnesota Vikings, was the guest of honor at Friday’s walk-through as Iowa prepares to meet Penn State tonight in Kinnick Stadium.

Greenway was a member of two Big Ten champion Hawkeye teams (2002 and 2004) and he referred often to his junior season when Iowa finished 10-2 overall, 7-1 in the league. On Sept. 18, 2004, the Hawkeyes played a road game in the state of Arizona and lost to Arizona State, 44-7. The following week — in the Big Ten opener — Iowa fell at No. 18 Michigan, 30-17. The team closed with eight consecutive wins, including a 30-25 victory over LSU in the Capital One Bowl.

Like Greenway and the ’04 Hawkeyes, the current Iowa team (3-1) stumbled at Arizona (34-27 on Sept. 18). Greenway wants the 2010 group to become conference champions, but he doesn’t want them to get off to a 0-1 start like his teammates did seven seasons ago.

“These guys know the cloth that they’re built from and where they came from and where the coaches have been,” Greenway said. “But I think it’s important for a guy like me, who has only been out of here four or five years to come back and tell them truly what it means to be able to watch them play.”

Greenway said it’s important in the game of football to go out, impose your will and “take it from” the opponent.

“I think that’s something they’re going to try to do (against Penn State),” Greenway said.

Greenway came to Iowa as a quarterback and safety and left as a linebacker who was drafted in the first round (17th overall) in 2006. The native of Mount Vernon, S.D., played nine-man football in high school.

“When you come here, you have to have an open mind; you can’t be stuck on one position,” Greenway said. “These (coaches) have made a living and won Big Ten titles by switching players around — Dallas Clark to myself. It’s important to have an open mind when they come here. You may be a phenom as a high school quarterback, but you may be a better Big Ten linebacker or a Big Ten safety, so keep an open mind and when you move to that position, go with reckless abandon and let it rip.”

The 27-year old Greenway is in his fifth NFL season. At 6-foot-2, 242 pounds, he leads the Vikings in tackles with 29 through three games. Greenway has overcome two ACL repairs — the second injury occurred during his first preseason game in 2006 against Oakland on a kickoff. He came back better than ever and during his first official game in 2007, recorded 10 tackles against Atlanta.

What advice does he have for Iowa running back Jewel Hampton and linebacker Bruce Davis, who suffered knee injuries earlier in the season?

“You have to keep battling. It’s not easy, but it’s a day-to-day process,” Greenway said. “If you can get a little better each day, eventually those blocks will stick together and you can put them together to climb the mountain. It’s important to keep a positive outlook and know that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.”

Greenway was an Iowa co-captain and a Hawkeye MVP following the 2005 season. He is a four-time letterwinner (2002-05).

Greenway was a two-time first-team all-Big Ten honoree. His 416 career tackles rank fifth on the all-time Iowa tackle chart. His 156 tackles during the 2005 season is the third-most by a Hawkeye in a season.

Greenway will accompany the Iowa captains to the center of the field for the pregame coin-flip. He will also be with the Hawkeyes in the locker room before and after the game and on the sidelines during the contest.

“It’s truly an honor to know how I came here and the way these guys built me into the player that I am today,” Greenway said. “I owe everything to them and this program and this school. I’m humbled and honored.”