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87 Days Until Hawkeye Football: Andrew Kraus

Will Iowa have another walk-on turned playmaker in the coming years?

Syndication: HawkCentral
Can Andrew Kraus develop into a role player for the Hawkeyes?
Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK

Welcome back to our countdown of the Iowa Hawkeyes football season. You’ve got bonus coverage today with not one, but TWO Hawkeyes donning #87 in 2023.

Andrew Kraus, RS Freshman
6’4”, 227 lbs.
Barrington, IL (Barrington)
2023 projection: Reserve defensive lineman

Over the years, the Iowa Hawkeyes have made a habit of mining for diamonds in the rough. Often times, that has meant searching for players with few or now power five scholarship offers and either setting themselves apart as the lone offer or pointing to their history of utilizing walk-ons to persuade a player to join the Hawkeyes without a scholarship.

That was the case with Barrington, Illinois native Andrew Kraus. A commit in the class of 2022, Kraus opted to walk on for Iowa over preferred walk-on opportunities at both his home state school Illinois and Minnesota.

The 6’4” and 227 pound edge rusher exited the prep ranks at Barrington undersized for the position, but looking to develop into a potential contributor at the Big Ten level. Iowa was able to point to that pipeline of walk-ons, particularly on defense, who have turned into playmakers through strength training and years of grinding on the practice field.

That’s where Kraus finds himself entering 2023. After a redshirt year in 2022 where he added seven pounds of bulk to his frame, Kraus has more wood to chop in the weight room to build up the physique required to contribute on a regular basis in the Big Ten up front.

But hard work isn’t likely to stand in the way for Kraus, who ultimately chose the Hawkeyes due to his family ties. The son of former Hawkeye baseball player Matt Kraus, Andrew said he always wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and knew Iowa was the place for him.

“I was raised a Hawkeye fan and they have an amazing coaching staff and program,” Krause told HawkeyeReport.

While not expected to contribute for Iowa in the next year or two, at 6’4”, Kraus certainly has the frame to bulk up to the 250 range, which would put him on par with current edge specialist and former walk-on Joe Evans. That seems good target for a player who finished his senior year of high school with 45 tackles, 6 TFL and 5 sacks. Kraus was also a decorated lacrosse player, so his agility and quickness should be an asset on the football field at some point during his Iowa career.

When exactly that may be remains to be seen. Until then, Kraus will continue to put in the work and wait for his opportunity.