IOWA CITY — You can only work out so much. You can only run 7-on-7s for so long. You can only sit in front of a video monitor so long during the summer.
Money is good, and no, despite the current quake in the college football world, players don’t get paid.
So, you get a job.
Senior linebacker Tyler Nielsen is working at “a local furniture and interior design store.”
“It’s just part-time,” Nielsen said. “I work a few hours there, get paid a few bucks and buy some food.”
Quarterback James Vandenberg is an intern at the UI Foundation. He heard the news that Wisconsin picked up transfer QB Russell Wilson earlier this week.
“I do whatever Matt Henderson [executive director of development] tells me to,” Vandenberg said. “I write thank you’s, call people, do work with him, grab coffee.”
Vandenberg hasn’t made any fundraising calls. He’s been to a few of I-Club events.
“I met a million people there and that was cool,” Vandenberg said. “It’s been a good experience so far.”
Maybe the most fitting and memorable summer job held by an Iowa football player was Dallas Clark’s three-year run with UI grounds. The all-American tight end and Indianapolis Colts Pro Bowler tended lawns around Iowa’s athletics facilities. Of course, that included Kinnick Stadium, back in the days when the turf was the real stuff.
“It’s good work,” Clark said. “I don’t mind it at all. If you have to work somewhere on campus, I can’t think of a better place, especially for a football player.
“It just gets you pumped up. You think about football when you’re over there. You can’t help it.”
Along those lines, offensive lineman Riley Reiff has a job working with in the weightroom at Iowa City Regina.
“The kids are great there,” Reiff said. “They’ve got quite the thing going over there at Regina [the Regals won the 2010 Class 2A state title with a 14-0 record]. It’s been a great summer, it beats working construction.”
It certainly beats a job that Reiff, a junior, had in his earlier years at Iowa.
“They hook you up with the university – and I had this job, too – they put you in this factory and you count T-shirts all day,” Reiff said. “You can about imagine.”
Sophomore linebacker James Morris also avoided counting T-shirts this summer.
“I am a counselor for a summer camp that’s called Youth Leadership Program,” Morris said. “It’s based out of this program called Children of Promise. It’s for at-risk and single-parent kids.”
The job was coordinated out of the UI football office. Every year, Iowa football has a few counselors with this program.
“It’s all right,” Morris said with a laugh. “It’s work, more than I thought it would be.”
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