NFL Famous athletes from Iowa

A close up of a man in a baseball uniform holding a basketball

It is a long tradition of Hawkeyes producing players who make it big in the NFL. The University of Iowa has given America some of the greatest defensive players to date and you can find many of them inducted into the pro football hall of fame. Many players from Iowa have made it to All-American, Pro hall of fame and all-decade teams, some of those athletes are   

Bob sanders

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Demon Bob Sanders was born on 24 February 1981 in Pennsylvania. Sanders started playing as a backup in 2004 and soon he was nicknamed ‘the eraser’ by his coach for his ability to correct his teammates’ mistakes. Also in school, he was called ‘ Hitman’ because of his aggressive style of play which he continued in his professional career. Bob Sanders’s career was tragically affected by his injuries and played only 39% of possible matches in his career. He was named AP defensive player of the year in the 2007 season.

Andre Tippett

A man wearing a football uniform

He was born on 27 December 1959 in Alabama. He led the Hawkeyes to their first winning season and was recognized as an All-American in 1981. Tippett’s professional career started when he was picked by New England Patriots and played his entire career for them only and he was also part of the all-decade team of the 1980s, he won several awards in his career including defensive player of the year in 1985. Andre Tippett also got a place in the pro football hall of fame in the year 2008.

Alex Karras

Alex was a professional football player as well as a wrestler born in Indiana on 15 July 1935 Before beginning his career as a professional NFL player he was a wrestler and later he was picked by the Detroit Lions and played 12 seasons for them including 4-time pro bowls. His career was controversial as he was suspended in 1963 for his gambling problem but except that season he made excellent defences all his career and later he also built a career as an actor and sportscaster

Emlen Tunnell

Emlen Lewis Tunnell was born on 29 March 1929 in Pennsylvania. His professional career began when he became the first African American player to be signed by the New York Giants and was later inducted into the pro football hall of fame. He played 8 pro bowls in his career and was part of the 1956 and 1961 championship teams. After retiring, he became a special assistant coach for the New York Giants. He is also in Radnor school hall of fame 


There is no doubt Iowa has given excellent players to NFL teams and Seeing the current trend it will continue to produce good football players in the future too. Stay tuned to know more about famous athletes from Iowa.

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