Williamsburg native Austin Blythe to honor Ed Thomas for NFL's "My Cause, My Cleats"

Austin Blythe, a native of Williamsburg and a former Iowa football player, will wear these custom cleats honoring former Aplington-Parkersburg coach Ed Thomas during his game with the NFL's Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. (Photo courtesy of Austin Blythe)

From his days as a star football player and wrestler at Williamsburg High School to his time as an All-American offensive lineman for the Iowa Hawkeyes, Austin Blythe has been in the spotlight.

Now in his second season in the National Football League, the Los Angeles Rams center is shining a light on his home state - and a coach whose philosophies have helped shape him.

During this week's "My Cause, My Cleats" initiative in the NFL, players can wear customized cleats that promote a charity or cause of their choice. Blythe will be wearing cleats in support of the Ed Thomas Family Foundation - just as he did last year with the Indianapolis Colts.

"'Faith, Family, Football' is really important to me," Blythe told CBS 2/FOX 28 on Friday. "I actually wrote that on my tape throughout college - and it's kinda just stuck with me since I heard it from Coach Thomas."

Blythe says he attended camps organized by Thomas during his youth - and considers representing the coach, the foundation, and Iowa communities "a blessing."

"I'll never forget where I come from. Williamsburg will always be home. Just to be able to represent small-town Iowa and to represent Coach Thomas and what he stood for is very important to me - and it's something I'll continue to do as long as I get the opportunity."

Fellow former Hawkeyes Desmond King (Autism Awareness), Christian Kirksey (American Cancer Society, National Stroke Association), and George Kittle (USO) will also sport custom cleats for their respective NFL teams this weekend.

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