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Iowa State football player, Tyler Perkins, kicking the ball
March 25, 2024

Iowa State Football Player Is A Lunch Hero

When Iowa State’s Tyler Perkins, with a school record average of 43.4 yards per punt, isn’t booming punts into the opposite corner of the football field, he often finds himself in the corner of children in the Ames Community School District, too. Purchases of RAYGUN’s “I cheer for the punter” shirts with “Perkins 80” on the back utilize Tyler Perkins’s Name, Image, and Likeness, and some money from that shirt goes to the Ames CSD’s Lunch Hero program, which goes to add money to students’ lunch accounts that might be below zero dollars.

“I thought about how kids pay for their school lunches,” Perkins said. “Kids should not have to go to school worrying about if they are going to be able to eat lunch or not. This could even lead to bullying or kids getting picked on if they do not have lunch. So, I figured I could use my NIL representation to help pay for kids’ school lunches in Ames. I have always been active in my community back home in Norwalk, Ohio.”

Tyler’s father, Pete, corroborates his engagement in the community of Ames. 

“We feel it is important to let people know that not all NIL money will go directly into the athletes pocket. What is done behind the scenes is not always known to fans. Tyler took his holiday to work at the area food bank and made a few trips to the grocery store to stuff the ‘blessing box’. It is a food pantry box outside of the local church where food is kept and people in need can help themselves to food discreetly, and without shame. I know he also “adopted” children off the wish tree (Christmas Tree) this past Christmas in Ames. He said every time he walked by the tree there were more wish cards from children and the gift box was empty. So he wanted to make a difference. Just a few of the little things behind the scenes.”

Tyler, who embarks on his third season with the Cyclones this autumn, is a star on the field and in the classroom. As an accounting major at the Ivy College of Business at Iowa State, he has consistently excelled, earning a place on the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll for the fall 2022, spring 2023, and fall 2023 semesters, maintaining a minimum of a 3.0 GPA. 

He was named the Ray Guy National Punter of the Week following the Ohio game for his five punts, four of which were inside the Bobcats’ 20. Two punts were at least 50 yards, and he averaged 43.8 yards per attempt.

Perkins, an honorable mention on the all-Big 12 coaches’ team in 2023, enjoys Ames’s sense of community.

“When I moved out to Iowa, the Ames community was so welcoming and friendly,” he shares. “It feels great to give back to the community. I have been blessed with so much by so many different people.”

Those who want to be a lunch hero like Tyler can learn more about the program on our website. View the Tyler Perkins t-shirt available for purchase on RAYGUN’s website.