On Black Friday last year, Drake Kulick and his Iowa Hawkeye teammates took the field in their signature swarm. Unknowingly, the Hawkeye fullback would depart the field on the back of a John Deere Gator after suffering a broken leg.

Kulick became a fan favorite as he shouted words of encouragement to his teammates and whipped the crowd into a frenzy while being carted off the field. The injury put the game into perspective. “It’s given me a much better outlook on camp. For the last four years, I’ve dreaded it. The injury has given me a brighter outlook on the process,” Kulick explains. “I know I have to not just get back to where I was, but to be better. I have a lot more fun with the work, knowing it can be taken away from you so quickly.”

New Iowa Offensive Coordinator Brian Ferentz is pleased to have the veteran leadership in Kulick on the field. “Drake Kulick is out there last year with a broken leg and ten minutes later he’s on the bench on crutches in a boot, in pain, staying engaged in the game. Guys want to play with guys like that.”

Ferentz feels the team responds to leaders who have put he work in. “It’s one thing to be a really good player; it’s another thing to be a really good leader. The best leaders are the guys who make the guys around them play better, and that is what we feel we have in Drake.”