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Big 12’s Greatest NFL Players: Iowa State


Blair (#59) was a towering figure in the NFL for 12 seasons.

As we continue our tour through the Big 12 Conference pointing out the greatest NFL players from each school we now come across the Iowa State Cyclones. Finding a great NFL player from ISU is like trying to find a Texas Longhorns fan who believes that the Big 12 tiebreakers are fair and just. There are some out there but they are few and far between.


Iowa State currently has twelve players in the National Football League scattered among twelve different teams. Possibly the most notable is cornerback Ellis Hobbs who currently holds the NFL record for the longest kickoff return. As a member of the New England Patriots, Hobbs returned a kick 108 yards against the New York Jets in 2007. However, he may best be remembered for getting beat by Plaxico Burris for the game winning touchdown in Super Bowl XLII. So, is Hobbs the greatest NFL player from Iowa State? Not even close! That distinguished honor goes to linebacker Matt Blair.


Blair was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the 2nd round (51st overall pick) of the 1974 NFL draft. During his eleven seasons with the Vikings he was selected for the Pro Bowl six consecutive seasons (1977-`82). He also appeared in Super Bowl IX and XI for the Vikings. Unfortunately for Blair both of those Super Bowls were losses but in Super Bowl IX Blair blocked a punt that set up the Vikings only score of the game.


So what do you think? Is Blair the greatest Cyclone to play in the NFL? Agree? Disagree? Indifferent? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.