Trio of NFL Hawkeyes earn Ed Block Courage Award

By mitchsmith

Former Hawkeyes Aaron Kampman, Robert Gallery, and Bradley Fletcher have all been named 2010 Ed Block Courage Award recipients.

The award — named after the former Athletic Trainer for the Baltimore Colts — is given annually to one player from each of the 32 NFL teams who exemplifies courage, sportsmanship, and dedication on the field as well as within the community.

All three former Hawkeyes bounced back from serious injuries in 2009 to make a tremendous impact with their respective teams in 2010.

Kampman bounced back after suffering a torn ACL in 2009 and quickly became was the leader of the Jacksonville Jaguars defense. The former Hawkeye and two-time Pro Bowler recorded 25 tackles and four sacks through the first eight games in 2010. Unfortunately, Kampman suffered another torn ACL — this time to his other knee — during practice and missed the rest of the 2010 campaign. He’s rehabbing and expects to be back with the Jags in 2011.

Fletcher, a defensive back for the Hawkeyes from 2004-08, also bounced back from a knee injury. The St. Louis Ram cornerback torn a pair of ligaments in his right knee just seven games into his rookie season in 2009. After two surgeries and offseason rehab, Fletcher started all 15 games in 2010 and led the Rams with four interceptions.

Gallery had an injury plagued 2009 season with the Oakland Raiders. The former Outland Trophy winner at Iowa missed part of training camp because of an appendectomy, then suffered a broken fibula in Week 2, then had offseason back surgery to fuse some of his vertebrae. The offensive lineman returned to the Raiders this season, starting 12 games.

Kampman, Gallery, and Fletcher aren’t the the first former Hawkeyes to receive the prestigious honor. Iowa defensive end Jared DeVries also earned the award with the Detroit Lions in 2004.

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