Hawkeye football team takes a break to meet with Camp Courageous campers

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IOWA CITY - Matthew Schramm has a lot of Hawkeye gear but deciding what to wear on Saturday wasn’t hard.

Three weeks ago, Schramm’s mom said, he laid out his white Hawkeye football jersey in preparation for Saturday — white would be the best to get autographs from University of Iowa football players.

Schramm and about 100 other participants met the Iowa football squad in Iowa City on Saturday. As part of Camp Courageous’s 6th annual Hawkeye Day, campers toured Kinnick Stadium, got signatures from players, and tossed around balls on the turf.

Schramm, 25, of Muscatine, has been a life-long Hawkeye football fan.

“When there’s a game on, he makes the whole family watch it,” his mom, Cindi Naber, said. “He drags all of his jerseys out and everyone has to wear one.”

Players said the experience was just as valuable for them.

“It’s spirit-lifting to be able to put a smile on someone’s face,” said Marvin McNutt, a senior wide receiver.

Defensive lineman Mike Daniels said he rarely smiles in front of crowds but he couldn’t help but smile on Saturday.

“One of the moms told me to put my game face on for a picture and I said I didn’t want to explode the camera,” Daniels said.

“Growing up where I did, I just wish somebody had done this for me and my peer group. Any chance we can give back here, we do.”

McNutt and Daniels both have had considerable presence on the field and in the media, but the Camp Courageous participants also paid plenty of attention to the lower-profile players on the Iowa squad.

“It’s good not only for our image but it’s good for us too,” tight end Brad Herman said, “because it humbles us and brings us back down to earth.”

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