Lott IMPACT Trophy | Honoring College Football's Defensive Best

“IF YOU CAN BELIEVE IT, THE MIND CAN ACHIEVE IT.”

-RONNIE LOTT

Get To Know The Finalist: Josey Jewell

 

Parker, a 2-year-old boy from Muscatine, Iowa, smiled while he was in the grasp of Josey Jewell, one of the most physical and feared linebackers in the country.

It was that sort of a Tuesday afternoon on the second and third floors of the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital.

While Parker’s family inquired about Jewell’s University of Iowa football teammate, Drake Kulick who is also from Muscatine, the youngster was nestled comfortably pressed against the 235-pound Jewell.

Parker was one of several patients who welcomed Hawkeye football players during an annual tradition that isn’t likely to end as long as Kirk Ferentz is head coach.

“It’s important to our program,” said Broderick Binns, director of football player development. “Coach Ferentz and his wife, Mary, have donated to the new (University of Iowa Stead Family) Children’s Hospital. This started way before I was a player or before I took over this job; it is something near and dear to coach Ferentz — he wants us to keep this tradition going.”

So, on a day of a single-digit temperature in the heart of finals week, Jewell, a junior, was joined by senior punter Ron Coluzzi, junior wide receiver Matt VandeBerg, freshman kicker Keith Duncan, and freshman tight end Nate Wieting for more than an hour of meeting patients ages 2 to 18, and offering a gift that was purchased by Hawkeye freshmen and sophomore football players.

“These people are going through tough times and you want to give back to something and see a smile,” said Jewell, a second-team All-Big Ten linebacker and two-time team most valuable player. “It’s an amazing feeling when you see a person going through a tough time have a smile on their face.”

For the most part, the visiting student-athletes were nameless to the patients. It didn’t matter that the patients have no idea they were visited by Duncan, the hero of Iowa’s 14-13 victory over No. 2 Michigan. Or by Coluzzi, who joined Jewell as one of five team captains. Or VandeBerg, whose 19 receptions were tops on the team through four games before he was injured. Or Wieting, a 6-foot-4 tight end who towered above everyone in the room. On this occasion, the Hawkeye Big Men on Campus were simply welcoming, smiling, compassionate friends to children looking for a pick-me-up.

via hawkeyesports.com

To read more, click here: Keeping With Tradition

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