Oct. 29, 2010
- Iowa Football Game Day Central
- Cast Your O’Brien Quarterback Award
- Vote for R. Stanzi as a Premier Player
- 24 Hawkeyes to Watch
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Cliff King wants the University of Iowa football team to seize the day; more specifically, Saturday, Oct. 30.
King, a Hawkeye letterwinner from 1991-93, is Iowa’s honorary captain for the crucial contest against No. 5 Michigan State beginning at 2:36 p.m. The former walk-on offensive back told current student-athletes they are in the midst of some of the best days of their lives.
“When I was playing we used to get too caught up into what life would be in the next chapters of our lives,” King said. “What’s it going to be like if I’m playing in the NFL, what’s it going to be like when I’m married with children or working in a corporate environment instead of relishing the moment and living in the moment.”
King and his family reside in Beaverton, Ore. He is regional field manager for Nike football sports marketing for the west coast, managing 10 universities and five NFL teams for Nike from a football perspective.
“When you get away from this you realize how good those college days of playing Division I football for a great institution like Iowa are,” King said. “I wanted to emphasize to the guys to immerse themselves in these times because you’ll look back on them and say those were some of the greatest years of my life.”
Calling himself a running back trapped in a fullback’s body, King said he enjoyed carrying the football, but he also liked blocking for teammates Sedrick Shaw and Ryan Terry and exceling on special teams.
“Special teams was a big part of my career, so going down and making big hits or making big blocks were also highlights of my career,” he said.
King added that the mentality of being a walk-on paid off for him in the long run.
“You have a chip on your shoulder,” King said. “You always have to prove yourself day-in and day-out. That carries over in life. The guy that’s in front of you is already on scholarship so you have to not only do what he’s able to do, you have to do over and above what he’s able to do just to catch the eyes of the coaching staff in order for them to give you an opportunity. The work ethic it forces you to bring to the table in order to get recognized carries over in the professional world.”
King rushed 56 times for 247 yards and four touchdowns and caught 12 passes for 109 yards during his 38-game Hawkeye career. He will accompany the Iowa captains to the center of the field for the pregame coin-flip and be with the team in the locker room before and after the game and on the sidelines during the contest.