Ankeny junior receiver Brody Brecht discusses his recruitment. He holds offers from Iowa and Iowa State.
Matthew Bain, firstname.lastname@example.org
ANKENY, Ia. — Rick Nelson leans against the fence around Ankeny’s football stadium as sunlight pokes through morning clouds. He watches the last few players from his team amble off the field after practice.
He then brings up Allen Lazard.
“That guy was something else,” said Nelson, who was still Northern Iowa’s offensive line coach when Lazard lit up the CIML at Urbandale.
Nelson discussed the former Iowa State star receiver because he’s reminded of one of his current players …
Rising junior Brody Brecht.
“A big kid that runs and has real good control of his body,” Nelson said.
Checking in at 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds, Brecht is a three-star prospect and 247Sports’ No. 375 junior in the country. He gained attention last season when he caught 30 passes for 513 yards and six touchdowns. Iowa and Iowa State have offered, and Northwestern and Wisconsin are in contact, too.
High-end receivers are rare in Iowa, which is most known as a linemen factory.
But they do emerge every now and then.
In 2012, it was Dowling Catholic’s Amara Darboh. In 2014, it was Lazard. In 2017, Iowa City West’s Oliver Martin exploded. And in 2019, Bettendorf’s Darien Porter and Cedar Falls’ Logan Wolf both became Power Five talents.
Now, entering his junior season, Brecht looks like this state’s next receiver to watch.
“Brody’s getting faster, he’s getting stronger,” Nelson said. “So, I think by the time he’s a senior, he’s going to be a man. He’s not going to be a young guy going in as a (college) freshman. He’ll be a man when he’s 18. He may well weigh 210, 220 pounds.”
As a receiver, Brecht is aware of Iowa and Iowa State’s reputations — that, recently, the Cyclones have a strong track record with big receivers, and that Iowa is working to become more productive at the position.
Brecht watched Hakeem Butler and Lazard as Cyclones, and he said Iowa State coaches tell him he fits the same mold. He loves the offense Matt Campbell runs.
“They use their receivers a lot,” Brecht said, “so that’s a big part of it right there.”
He’s also quick to point out that, although Iowa hasn’t used receivers as much recently, the Hawkeyes have a top-of-the-line strength program and can “develop anybody.”
Brecht followed Martin’s career at West, and he said he’ll watch how Iowa uses its current group of receivers.
“Definitely — I want to see what Martin does, and Ihmir Smith-Marsette and Brandon Smith. I’ll be looking,” Brecht said. “I definitely want to see what happens with them.”
There’s also an interesting wrinkle in Brecht’s recruitment: He’s a baseball star, too.
This summer with the Hawks, Brecht hit .371 with three home runs, 30 RBIs, 15 stolen bases and just three errors in 39 games. He also pitched in 11 games, going 6-3 with a 2.46 ERA and .182 opponent batting average. He tossed a no-hitter against Des Moines Roosevelt to send Ankeny to the state tournament.
Iowa has also offered Brecht in baseball.
Brecht has discussed playing both sports with Kirk Ferentz, and he said Ferentz would let him do so if he kept his grades up. Brecht said Ferentz was also open to him following in Josey Jewell’s footsteps — playing his senior season of baseball and missing freshman summer workouts in Iowa City.
“I’m going to play out the season and see what happens from there. I still don’t know if I want to play baseball. We’ll find out,” Brecht said. “It’s hard. I’d like to play both, but I’ve got to keep my grades up and see what happens.”
In terms of recruiting visits, Brecht doesn’t have any dates locked in, but he wants to visit Iowa, Iowa State and Wisconsin. The Badgers invited him for their Sept. 21 game against Michigan. Brecht also performed well when Ankeny played at a 7-on-7 camp at Nebraska this summer.
“He just lit it up (at the camp). He was heads and tails above kids. It was fun to watch,” Nelson said. “Whether he’ll do both (football and baseball)? I don’t know. He’s just a neat kid. Whoever gets him, whatever he does, he’ll do really well.”
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_.
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Source: Des Moines Register