Iowa's Brody Brecht leaving football behind to focus on baseball
Brody Brecht’s two-sport plan at the University of Iowa has been trimmed to a one-sport mission: He’s sticking with baseball.
Brecht on Friday announced via social media that he is leaving the Iowa football program, putting what seems to be a high-ceiling baseball career on the front burner.
The 20-year-old right-handed pitcher from Ankeny can top 100 mph on the radar gun and racks up huge strikeout numbers, traits that have big-league scouts salivating.
Brecht is projected as the No. 18 overall pick in the 2024 MLB Draft by Prospects Live. This season for Rick Heller’s baseball team, he is 2-1 with a 2.20 ERA in six starts. He has 46 strikeouts and has yielded 14 hits and 21 walks in 28⅔ innings pitched. Brecht made the announcement after being the winning pitcher Friday night against Western Michigan at Duane Banks Field.
Brecht was a top-four, rotational wide receiver for the Hawkeyes football team last season. The 6-foot-4, 217-pound sophomore finishes his college football career with nine catches for 87 yards and no touchdowns. He said in a fall interview that he viewed football as his favorite sport. But ultimately, baseball is going to get his full-time athletic attention going forward.
What does Brody Brecht's decision mean for Iowa football?
Brecht's departure from the football program adds another layer to the attrition at the receiver position this spring.
Iowa entered this spring with five scholarship receivers (including Brecht), and now only two are available: senior Nico Ragaini and junior Diante Vines. On Wednesday, coach Kirk Ferentz revealed that redshirt freshman Jacob Bostick is out for spring practice with a foot injury and sophomore transfer Seth Anderson is likely out for spring practice with a soft tissue injury.
Iowa has eight walk-on receivers, including sophomore Alec Wick, who received playing time early last season. As far as incoming freshmen, the Hawkeyes have a trio of three-star recruits arriving in June: Jarrett Buie, Dayton Howard and Alex Mota.
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Personnel wise, Brecht fit the mold of Iowa's "X" or big, outside receiver. The Hawkeyes don't have another receiver fitting that description on campus right now, but Buie (6-3, 182) and Howard (6-5, 195) are likely candidates, as is Bostick (6-2, 171) when he returns.
Friday night's news likely reinforces that Iowa will seek out more depth at the position when the NCAA transfer portal spring window opens in May. A large part of the offensive struggles in 2022 was attributed to a lack of available receivers because of injuries. Now the team is down a receiver who was projected to be a heavy rotational piece in 2023.
The Register's Kennington Smith contributed to this report.