I used to love all the stories I read about how close of a friendship Chad Greenway and Abdul Hodge developed during their playing careers. Two guys from two completely different walks of life. Both tough. Both linebackers. Both Hawkeyes. Greenway from a vast farm in South Dakota, Hodge from the inner dwellings of Fort Lauderdale. But the friendship they developed along the way was extremely close, built on nothing less than ultimate respect for one another.
After reading a few stories this week, it sounds as though Christian Kirksey and James Morris are on a similar path. That is great to hear. When you think of the recent high achieving Hawkeye teams in this decade it started with that classic “team first” mentality. That only happens when you can bridge the gaps between personalities, thrive on the respect for your teammates, and work hard towards the common goal of winning a championship. Christian and James are also from different environments. One from big St. Louis, one from tiny but mighty Solon. Both linebackers. Both tough. Both friends. Let’s hope that gel that bonds teammates is plentiful and multiplies its forces this season.
Against Michigan in 2011, Christian Kirksey intercepts a Denard Robinson pass in the end zone and prepares to gain some positive yardage.
After the interception, Kirksey (20) runs back up field with thumbs-up approval from teammate James Morris (far right). Click the photo for a bigger view.