Players to Keep: Bradley Fletcher

This is a story about perseverence. A tale of improvement and resilience.

Bradley Fletcher has seen some adversity of late. He now has two torn ACL's to complement his resume. While some see this as a negative, Bradley will make it a positive. The reason to keep him after the jump.

In 2004 Fletcher had a decision to make. Football, or basketball. As a high school senior, he was an all state basketball player in Ohio. He had many offers to play basketball at big conference schools. Football, only mid major schools. His passion was football.. He didn't have many offers to play football., even though he had 74 tackles and several sacks his senior year. Iowa offered. He went.

He arrived at the University of Iowa determined to make his mark as a football player, and his senior season of high school was his resume. Like many freshman, he ran into guys that were every bit as good as he. Better, in fact. This is the usual progression, and nothing to be ashamed of. He redshirted.

He barely saw the field as a redshirt freshman. One wonders if his thoughts didn't turn back to basketball at that point. It's easy to imagine him saying, "what the hell am I doing". He kept working. He was a model citizen,. Fletcher never was a concern for the staff. All he wanted to do was play football. It was taking longer than he wanted, but he kept at it.

He improved, got a little bigger, every year, and eventually worked his way into the starting lineup. It took time, it took hard work. He was always willing to do the extra filmwork, always willing to host recruits, always improving his viability as an NFL player. His senior year, he was second team all big ten. He was a lockdown corner. Bigger and stronger than ever, he was rarely challenged. He sealed two games with interceptions. He was where he hoped to be, where the staff expected him to be, and all the sudden on the NFL radar.

Then the Rams came calling. He did well his rookie season, but more importantly he has continued his willingness to work hard and keep learning. Iowa fans say that he is the most improved player between his penultimate and last year that they've ever seen. He is driven, he is resolute in his desire to be a great football player.

Bradley Fletcher is a player worth keeping. Much as fans don't worry about SJAX giving his all, it would seem Fletcher is the same kind of player. His knee may not hold up, but it will not be for lack of trying. Many believe that he knows how to rehab his knee, and will come back smarter and more efficient.

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