Cedar Rapids native Landen Akers goes from grayshirt at Iowa State to NFL player

Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 12:13 AM CDT
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AMES, Iowa (KCRG) - It seemed like it was yesterday when Landen Akers was leading Cedar Rapids Washington to the Class 4A state championship game in 2014. Then last season, he helped lead Iowa State to its best season in program history. Now, he’s hoping to earn an NFL roster spot after signing as an undrafted free agent with the Los Angeles Rams.

“I’m still a little shocked,” Akers said.

You could say that Akers has certainly paid his dues. He spent six seasons at Iowa State starting off as a grayshirt when he first arrived, meaning there wasn’t a scholarship available for him at the time and he couldn’t practice or workout with the team. The following year, he redshirted. At that time, he admits that he had some thoughts of either transferring or quitting.

“My redshirt year, it’s a tough time for everybody with hard workouts and hard practices, dealing with school and all of that,” Akers said. “I thought, maybe I should just do school and quit football, but I was like, no I have to stick to this.”

And because he stuck it out at Iowa State, it’s given him the opportunity to compete for a roster spot with the Rams. Mini camps started for most NFL teams earlier this week.

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