Accomplished Athlete Overcomes Adversity


Photo by: Mike Elkin

Colin McClowry, Students of Journalism

It happens on a Wednesday in September 2016. Eighth-grade football player Luke Elkin suffers his fourth concussion. While making a tackle, a loud CRACK echoes through the stadium, and Luke blacks out. Before being taken home, he’s brought to his locker to gather his belongings. He can’t remember his combination. 

With nothing but time to ponder his future, Luke can’t help but doubt his future in the sport he loves. For Luke, watching his friends play football without him only motivates him to pursue his dream further. Watching college football from home, Luke envisions himself playing for one of those same teams he sees on the screen.

Four years later, Luke Elkin commits to play football for the University of Iowa. 

As a freshman, Luke takes up long snapping and instantly finds success. He starts every game on varsity, and before he knows it he’s attending camps and receiving D1 interest.

 “My junior year, I went to the University of Iowa to do a special teams camp, and I impressed the coaches there. As I kept talking with them next thing I know I’m making my decision to become a Hawkeye.”

With no major injuries since his concussion in eighth grade, Luke feels better than ever. 

“At first it was super scary since obviously, concussions aren’t a great thing for later in life. But I took my injuries seriously and took plenty of time off, and now as a senior in high school, I still can do everything I want to do and maintain good grades.” 

COVID-19 presents a new roadblock, as Luke is unable to meet his future teammates or attend any games. If there’s one thing you should know about Luke Elkin, however, he’s not going to allow anything to get in the way of his dream.