This article was originally from Next Impulse Sports.
Offensive linemen, the “smartest” guys on the field, seldom get accolades. However, Next Impulse Sports and Athletes LTD understand that Big Guys Need Love Too. We love giving the big men some love especially when they’re supporting good causes, like Carolina Panther, Brian Folkerts.
Folkerts took a less traveled route to the NFL and played for the Washburn University Ichabods (Division 2) from 2008-2011. After starting his first two years he earned All-Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) honors, but it wasn’t until his junior year that he garnered a first team selection. It was during that year when his coaches first told him that he had a real shot at playing in the NFL. That year he thought seriously about his NFL future and that’s when he decided to make a promise to himself, one that takes commitment and serious dedication.
But the feeling of accomplishment didn’t come easy for Folkerts. He could have cut his hair two years later after signing with the New Orleans Saints in 2012 but – because he got cut during training camp – he didn’t. He moved on to the San Jose SaberCats of the Arena Football League, but he wasn’t completely satisfied playing for the 3x-Arena Bowl Champions, so the lovely locks needed to stay. Even when he signed with the Carolina Panthers on May 16 that same year, he still didn’t cut his hair.
Many football players have goals throughout their careers and each person has a different sense of what it means to “play in the NFL.” There are players who are drafted, play the whole preseason, and get cut right before the 53-man rosters are set who say that they’ve never played in the NFL. This is similar to the mindset that Folkerts has. His goal is not merely to sign with a team, but to make a team and spend a season on it. Folkerts has been in the NFL for two years and just now he finally feels like he made it. “So, to hold true to the contract that I made with myself, I decided to cut my hair,” he said.
Craig Domann, Folkerts’ NFL Agent, is really proud of the volunteerism shown by his client and said, “not every caveman has the heart for kids that Folkerts has and is willing to cut their hair for such a great cause. What a privilege for him to have a positive impact on a young person’s life at a time they are facing this adversity.”
Folkerts is a funny, community-oriented person so when he made the decision to cut his hair he wanted to help people. “I’ve always thought that if you have an opportunity to do good, you should,” said Folkerts. This mindset has undoubtedly followed him from a youth-athlete, continued through his time as an Ichabod, and stuck with him during his time as a professional football player. He and his teammate, Brenton Berson (a Panthers wide receiver with Fabio-esque hair), put their heads together and decided to trim their locks together for a good cause. Today, Folkert and Bersin are pairing up to donate more than 24 inches of hair for Wigs For Kids, a nonprofit that has been serving children suffering from hair loss since 1981. Folkert is no stranger to helping the youth and said, “given that I love kids and helping kids, I thought I should donate my hair so that a kid who is going through chemotherapy or radiation therapy – a kid who needs a wig could use my hair.”