Iowa, Iowa State and Kansas State are among just a few of the schools looking at Ankeny Centennial offensive lineman Brady Petersen. Matthew Bain, firstname.lastname@example.org
NORTH LIBERTY, Ia. — The spring and summer after a prospect's junior season is prime time for recruiting and earning offers. And in Iowa, no 2020 player has seen his stock surge more than Ankeny Centennial offensive lineman Brady Petersen.
A 6-foot-5, 275-pound lineman who can dunk in basketball, Petersen has hauled in 12 offers since January — from seven FBS programs and five FCS programs.
After entering the winter unranked, 247Sports now pegs him as a three-star recruit and the class' No. 995 overall prospect. He'll also see a considerable jump in the Register's next 2020 in-state rankings, which slotted him at No. 15 in the first edition.
Petersen's recruitment likely isn't done blossoming, either.
Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas State, Nebraska and Virginia Tech are among the Power 5 programs monitoring him. He is set to camp at Nebraska this Friday, at Iowa State on Saturday and at Iowa on Sunday.
"It has definitely been a whirlwind. It’s been a lot of driving," laughed Brady's dad, Bret Petersen, who fondly recalls the 14-hour drive to Virginia Tech. "But that’s all right — it’s been fun. I think it’s a good experience for him.
"He’s in a position where a lot of kids don’t get that opportunity, and you want to be able to take advantage of those opportunities when you get them and take it all in."
While he doesn't yet hold a Power 5 offer, Brady Petersen said coaches haven't shied away from discussing potential offers down the road.
The message from schools such as Iowa and Iowa State? Show us your pass protection skills, come and compete in front of us at our camp and let's take it from there.
See, Ankeny Centennial uses a very run-heavy offense. It attempted just 80 passes last season. Consequently, while Petersen's film has plenty of run-blocking reps, it lacks examples of pass protection. And if a Power 5 program is going to offer an offensive lineman, it needs to know he'll protect the quarterback.
"They love his footwork," Bret Petersen said. "He’s got the size. Most of them have said that they want to see him work."
So, in between averaging 4.5 points and 2.3 rebounds for Centennial's basketball team this winter, Petersen has focused on honing his pass-protection skills. He does a lot of that with eastern Iowa strength coach JC Moreau at The Strength U in North Liberty, where many of Iowa's top linemen meet for one-on-one workouts on select Sundays.
This past Sunday, Petersen had some great battles against Kuemper Catholic defensive end Blaise Gunnerson, a big-time 2020 target for both Iowa State and Iowa.
"Brady, he’s a stud, dude," Gunnerson said after the workout. "I was really impressed with his horizontal step. He got me a couple times good on that one."
Petersen said Iowa, Iowa State and Kansas State have made strong impressions. Cyclones offensive line coach Jeff Myers and player personnel director Derek Hoodjer are Petersen's main contacts in Ames. With the Hawkeyes, it's offensive line coach Tim Polsasek and new assistant defensive line coach Jay Niemann.
With much of his recruitment potentially still ahead of him, Petersen is in no rush.
"If I get these offers, I think once I feel at home at this place, I’ll probably go from there," he said. "I’m not going to set a certain date or whatever, but once I feel that that’s where I belong, I’ll go from there."
Petersen has an opportunity to make a strong impression at his camps this weekend at Nebraska, Iowa State and Iowa. It's common for kids to receive offers at these camps.
"I think so," Petersen said when asked if he's raised his recruiting stock, "but I don’t worry about it too much. I just kind of worry about what I need to do to get better. I’m not a big rankings dude. I don't really care about if I’m a three-star or a two-star. I’m just going to go play and go from there."
Matthew Bain covers recruiting, Iowa/Iowa State athletics and Drake basketball for the Des Moines Register and USA TODAY Network. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.