With the tragic drowning of Hiawatha Rutland, each rushing leader for the Iowa State Cyclones in the 2000 to 2006 time period is deceased.
Sadly, there has been an eerie string of sudden deaths among members of the Iowa State football family over the past years.
Ennis Haywood was the leading rusher for the Cyclones in 2000 and 2001; Rutland earned the honor in 2002 in his junior year. Stevie Hicks was the team’s rushing leader from 2003 through 2006. All three of these former college stars are now deceased.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, the team has also encountered its share of tragedies in 2014. In January, former Iowa State defensive end Jason Berryman was found dead at age 28 in his Texas home from multiple gunshot wounds. In the same month, Cyclones defensive line coach Curtis Bray, 43, collapsed and died from a pulmonary embolism.
Hiawatha Rutland, 33, passed way last Sunday evening while swimming in Lake Erie in the Cleveland area. Originally from Florida, the Bradenton Herald described Rutland as a Renaissance man:
“He climbed to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in April 2013, taught children in Nicaragua, volunteered to feed the poor in New York City kitchens,counseled people in a homeless shelter for the chronically ill and learned and spoke several languages in hopes of moving to Africa to teach there… Rutland spent the past four years teaching at Lower Manhattan Arts Academy in New York City. He started off in special education, but showed such flexibility that he wound up teaching several subjects.”
About Rutland, Cyclones head coach Paul Rhoads said, “Great Cyclone. Great human being with a monster size heart.”
Rutland’s potential NFL career was derailed by a peroneal nerve injury.
[image credit: SD Dirk]