It is affectionately known in Iowa as the Hawkeye real-life version of “Blind Side.” The personal story of how Iowa football player Derrell Johnson-Koulianos overcame adversity growing up in the Youngstown, Ohio projects only to become Iowa’s all-time leading receiver and one of the team’s most popular players ever.
Well to-do white parents, Tony and Lauren Koulianos, adopt a black star football player from the “tough” neighborhood after their son befriends the player who is neglected by his biological family- a script right out of Hollywood.
This feel-good story fell apart and took a tragic turn on Tuesday as Derrell Johnson-Koulianos was blindsided himself by a police raid and arrested on a bevy of drug charges including running a drug house.
Koulianos became Iowa’s all-time receiver in yardage and receptions this year and was looking forward to a trip to the Insight Bowl and a future in the NFL. That has come to a screaching halt after his arrest as Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz has suspended the star receiver.
Reports out of Iowa say that Johnson-Koulianos admitted to police that he had used the drugs found in his apartment and had also failed a drug test. Marijuana, cocaine, a digital scale, $3,000 in cash and a number of prescription pills were allegedly found in the apartment. Reports say Koulianos also told police he knew drugs were being sold out of the apartment. He has been charged with six counts relating to drugs and posted an $8,000 bail.
Koulianos had a superb senior season and was named a first-team all Big Ten receiver last week.