The Iowa Hawkeyes are built on tough, physical football. That starts on the offensive and defensive lines. The Iowa coaching staff puts a premium on finding players with not just the physical tools, but the mental makeup to succeed in the trenches and give the Hawkeyes that Iowa edge.
Perhaps no prospect in the class of 2022 embodies that the way Gowrie native Aaron Graves does. The first commit in Iowa’s class of 2022 made things official on Wednesday as he signed his national letter of intent to play for the Hawkeyes.
DE 6’5”, 270 lbs
Gowrie, IA (Southeast Valley HS)
Rivals 4 stars, 247 4 stars
In putting together this piece on Iowa commit Aaron Graves I read that he plays both basketball and wrestles. I thought, “That’s impressive. He must have played basketball as a junior and wrestles as a senior.” Nope. He plays both winter sports. Graves has scored over 1000 points in basketball. That in itself is a huge accomplishment. As a junior Graves went out for wrestling and finished fourth in the state. Iowa football values multi-sport athletes, especially those who also wrestle. Here is a clip that shows some of his versatility.
As a football player Graves is extremely accomplished. He won the Iowa Gatorade Player of the Year award and helped his team, Southeast Valley, win the class 2A state title. Graves had 63 tackles, 14 TFL’s, and 7.5 sacks. He has been chosen to participate in the All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas in January.
On the field Graves is a very physical, aggressive player who can move. He excelled on both the offensive and defensive lines. He also handled the kicking duties for his team. Probably what most impresses me is his ability to move. His team utilized this ability as he was pulling on many runs. That’s a big fella that gets a head of steam; I feel sorry for the defenders who get knocked into next week. The video is worth watching, unless you are a family member of one of the recipients.