Getting to know Hawkeye legend Matt Kroul

ANF & the NFL recently got the chance to catch up with former All-Big Ten defensive lineman Matt Kroul. Kroul was a stalwart for the Hawks while he played at Iowa from 2005-2008, as he started 50 consecutive games for Kirk Ferentz. Kroul’s success led him to the NFL, where he spent a few years with the New York Jets; listen to our two-part interview with the Mount Vernon native below.

Kroul is back in the Iowa area now, residing in Solon and running his family farm near Mount Vernon. Thanks for taking the time to chat with us Matt, it was great getting to know you!

 

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Catching up with the speedster, Damond Powell

ANF and the NFL recently got the chance to catch up with one of the fastest guys to ever put on the black and gold, Damond Powell.

The speedy wideout had a brief stint with the Arizona Cardinals in 2015 before an off the field injury took him out of football for some time. He is looking to return to football this winter however, as he recently signed a contract with the Cedar Rapids Titans of the Indoor Football League. Interestingly enough, former Iowa and NFL receiver Marvin McNutt is the new coach for the CR Titans, which has Powell very excited about his opportunity to play ball again.

Listen to our two part interview with Powell below, and keep an eye out for him and the CR Titans in 2017.

Iowa quarterbacks and their lackluster NFL careers (pt. 3)

It’s the day before Thanksgiving and all we can thank about here at ANF and the NFL is Hawkeye football… Throwback Hawkeye football in particular, which brings us back to the topic of Iowa quarterbacks and their not-so-hot NFL careers.

It appears to be a theme for ex-Iowa quarterbacks, no matter how outstanding their collegiate careers were. Call it the Kurse of Kirk Ferentz. But one QB in particular was destined for greatness at the highest level; he could do it all: run, throw it far, throw it accurate, make good decisions… This guy’s name was Brad Banks, another Heisman Trophy runner-up who took Iowa to a defamed BCS Orange Bowl game back in the 2002-03 season, where the Hawks sadly got dismantled by the guy who beat Banks for the Heisman. Ironically enough, Banks’ NFL career didn’t work out, but the former USC Trojan who won the Heisman that year, Carson Palmer, is still taking snaps on Sunday’s.

Banks went undrafted in the 2003 NFL Draft, whereas Palmer went first overall. Banks would later sign to the Washington Redskins, but was released not long after signing. Banks never even threw a pass in the NFL — making his NFL career the utmost of lackluster. He eventually made his way to the Canadian Football League (CFL), where Iowa quarterbacks have actually been known to prosper from time to time. Banks spent five years in the CFL before he returned to the gridiron in Iowa, where he played in the Arena Football League for the Iowa Barnstormers. To this day, Banks still holds the Barnstormers record for touchdowns in a game, meanwhile the fans of the team hold the record for most f-bombs chanted during a game.

While Banks’ professional career didn’t pan out quite how he wanted, he did come and speak at ANF & the NFL’s founder’s high school, senior year homecoming football game, which according to Mr. Luse was “pretty damn sweet”.

Be sure to look for part 4 of this Iowa QB series in the coming weeks as ANF and the NFL will be going over the fiery Texan Drew Tate and the All-American man Ricky “Mox” Stanzi. Happy Thanksgiving to all, On Iowa.