Iowa’s Belton finally gets a shot to play in Camping World Stadium

Published: Dec. 31, 2021 at 9:38 PM CST
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ORLANDO, Florida (KCRG) - It’s been 8 years in the making, but Tampa, Florida native and Iowa junior Dane Belton will get to start the new year playing in his home state.

“It’s definitely a great opportunity to be anywhere close to home. To have a lot of family come to the games, especially being so far away from home at Iowa. Just being close and being able to play close is great,” Belton explained.

Camping World Stadium, where the Citrus Bowl will be played, also hosted the Florida State High School Championship game when Belton attended Jesuit High School. During his tenure, the Tigers never made the trip, but they came close.

“We went to the semifinals three times out of my four years there, but we didn’t quite get that far,” said Belton.

This will mark a first for Belton who’s been stellar with the Hawks. This season he’s recorded 43 tackles and helped the Iowa secondary break a school record tallying 24 interceptions. Five of those were Belton’s which ranks first among the Big Ten. With stats like that, Belton hasn’t decided if he’ll return to the Hawks or explore the NFL.

“To be honest, I haven’t really given it much thought. I was just focused on the season. If I have the opportunity to see the evaluation, I might explore that. It can’t hurt, but at the end of the day, my focus is on this last game that we have together as a team,” said Belton.

Being back in the Sunshine State has been a family affair for Belton. They’ve already swung by practice this week and he said he got about 25 tickets for Saturday’s game. If it is his final game with Iowa, he’s happy to have the opportunity to play close to home.

“Anytime I can get back to Florida, anywhere close to home, it’s a great feeling. To be able to play in front of some family is what you live for,” he added.

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