Tony Yelk on being back and Blankenship

For Tony Yelk Saturday's win over Illinois State was a nice way to start his final go-round as a Cyclone. The Wisconsin native is entering his sixth and final season at Iowa State and discusses what it was like to be back on the field again after a nagging hip flexor injury and the competition with punter Troy Blankenship.

What kind of guy is Troy Blankenship?


Yelk: He's a great guy, we're good friends. We hang out.



What was the competition like?


Yelk: It was different, it never gets nasty on a personal basis but obviously when you're out there I want to be the guy and he wants to be the guy. I think it's healthy. I think it makes everyone better.


I thought we really did both have good camps. He had a great game. I guess I always said whoever the best guy is who can help the team on gameday put him out there, whether it's me or him. He had a great game on Saturday; I really think helped change field position a lot.



You've been kicking in practice but that first kick-off what did it feel like?


Yelk: It felt like three years since I've hit one. The opening kickoffs I love when coach likes to differ and put our kickoff unit on the field first. That opening kickoff is the first play of the game, the first team to take the field. The crowd is amped, the keys are rattling. Just that extra adrenaline always seems to help. So it was fun and obviously I hit it pretty well. Hopefully it was a good way to start the season.



Did you look into the stands to find your mom or anything?


Yelk: No, I was just enjoying the movement, being back out there. There was point last year I didn't know if I'd be back out there at Jack Trice playing it was good, it was fun.

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