Marshal Yanda has lived a life that is often turned into a movie. A small-town Iowa farm boy turned future NFL Hall of Famer. Those stories don't happen very often around these parts. Plus, he is from the same small town I grew up in. Our family farms only sit around 3 miles away from each other in Jones County. He has represented Eastern Iowa well during his time at Iowa and in the NFL with the Baltimore Ravens. Now, he is slowly settling into retirement.

Marshal was kind enough to spend some time with us Thursday morning. The first thing you'll notice is that he isn't quite the same size as he was during his playing days. You've likely heard the story by now, that a Peleton bike, the pandemic, and a diet of mainly tuna help the former 300 plus pound offensive lineman shed over 60 pounds. Now don't get me wrong, Yanda is still an imposing figure at 6 feet four inches. It seems like former NFL players, especially lineman, go one of two directions after retirement. I'm happy to see Marshal go the healthy route.

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We chatted about his playing days, his favorite teammate, and whether he'd like to coach someday. But overall I got the impression of someone who was grateful. Marshal is thankful for everything the game of football afforded him. And he is grateful to walk away from the game he loves healthy. He gets to stay home and be a dad and husband and not have to wonder when the next injury is going to hit. He gets to settle into a 'normal' life.

In five years, Marshal Yanda will no doubt be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Not bad for a farm boy from Anamosa. Thank you, Marshal.