Welcome to the official countdown to kickoff! Each day through September 4th we’re highlighting a member of the Iowa football team whose number corresponds with the number of days remaining until football returns to Kinnick Stadium. You can find each of the previous players highlighted in the Countdown to Kickoff stream here. You can also find the full Iowa roster here.
Up next is #83, kicker Alec Kritta!
Alec Kritta – RS Sophomore
St. Charles, IL (St. Charles North)
5’11”, 190 lbs
2021 Projection: Reserve Wide Receiver
The Iowa Hawkeyes have a long and growing tradition of bringing in high caliber walk-ons who ultimately earn playing time and scholarships. A number of those walk-ons have gone on to make a living playing professional football.
However, a good chunk of those have come on the defensive side under the tutelage of Phil Parker. Walk-on redshirt sophomore Alec Kritta is hoping he can take that tradition and apply it to the offensive side of the ball and Brian Ferentz.
Kritta is a 5’11” receiver originally from St. Charles, Illinois to committed to Iowa in the class of 2019. He chose to walk on at Iowa over offers from Dayton, Valparaiso, and Morehead State, notably because as HawkeyeReport reported at the time, he grew up a Hawkeye fan.
“Ever since I started playing high school football, I’ve wanted to play for the Hawkeyes. Once I got the opportunity, there was no way I was passing it up... After visiting the school, it instantly felt like home and I knew that this is the place I want to It’s such a special place that I knew I wanted to be a part of.”
As a senior at St. Charles North, Kritta amassed 900 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns on 47 receptions for an average of 19.1 yards per catch. Perhaps most impressive is he did most of his work out of the slot.
Despite spending a lot of time inside the formation and off the ball, Kritta shows a pretty full route tree in his senior highlights tapes. He has solid speed for a slot receiver and shows a nose for the ball by finding and adjusting to it even on some less than perfect passes.
Those traits and everyone’s favorite punch line, blocking, are what could help the Illinois native eventually find his way onto the field for the Hawkeyes.
In his first year on campus, Kritta took a redshirt season. That’s pretty typical for walk-ons. In 2020, as a redshirt freshman, he appeared in Iowa’s 49-7 blowout over the Michigan State Spartans. Not only did he make an appearance, he recorded his first collegiate reception - a 12-yard catch.
Entering the 2021 season, Kritta is not listed on the spring depth chart. That’s before the Hawkeyes potentially add class of ‘21 WR commit Brody Brecht to the mix. It’s worth noting that Brecht may never suit up for the Hawkeyes given his earning potential should he opt to head to MLB.
Given the talent in front of him, Kritta is likely destined for another season on the scout team. That doesn’t mean he won’t see some time in a handful of games. Look for him to continue providing depth and potentially be a feel good story in his RS junior or senior season.