You're going to be seeing some Iowa homage Monday night when the Indianapolis Colts take on the New York Jets.
Former Iowa Hawkeye and Williamsburg native Austin Blythe, a center with the Colts, will honor the Ed Thomas Family Foundation with a unique design on his cleats, part of the NFL's “My Cause, My Cleats" campaign. The campaign was created so players across the NFL can reflect their commitment to charitable causes with custom cleats during Week 13 matchups.
Blythe tweeted a photo of his cleats last Friday, saying: "Very proud and excited to be able to represent an incredible person and his legacy this week!"
Blythe was a finalist in 2010 for the first Ed Thomas Mr. Football Award after his senior season at Williamsburg, the Cedar Rapids Gazette reported. He was named second-team all-Big Ten twice during his career with the Hawkeyes, and was named a finalist for the Rimington Trophy — for the nation's best center — during his senior season. He was also named a third-team All-American by The Associated Press that same year.
He was drafted in the seventh round by Indianapolis during the 2016 NFL Draft. So far this season, Blythe has played in seven games, starting just one.
As a coach, Thomas led the Aplington-Parkersburg to Iowa high school state championships in 1993 and 2001. He also collected 19 trips to the state playoffs. In 2008, when a tornado tore through Parkersburg, he helped lead the rebuilding. In 2009, Thomas was shot and killed by a former player who was suffering from mental illness.
Other notable Iowa NFLers have joined in on the cause, like David Johnson (Arizona Cardinals; Northern Iowa, Clinton), Chad Greenway (Minnesota Vikings; Iowa), Adam Gettis (New York Giants; Iowa) and Kelechi Osemele (Oakland Raiders; Iowa State).