All-American Iowa Football Commit is a Young Man of Many Talents
Aaron Graves committed to play for the Iowa Hawkeye football program before he had played two seasons at the high school level, committing at the beginning of his sophomore year of high school. He's the earliest commitment the Hawkeyes have ever received.
Once he received his offer in June of 2019, Graves immediately committed. He committed so early in fact, that neither 247Sports nor Rivals have a single other Division I footbal program listed as having interest or offering him a scholarship. That's quite a shock considering the Southeast Valley High School product is a four-star recruit and stands at 6'5, 275 pounds.
With his frame, skills, and athleticism, programs all over the country would have chased after a commitment, but the Dayton, Iowa native only wanted to play for the Hawkeyes. He said this to HawkCentral.com a few years ago:
I never thought it would happen this early, but it’s just awesome now that it’s actually happened. It’s like, I could be the next A.J. Epenesa or some other good Hawkeye football player. It’s just really exciting.
I can’t wait. It’s just a feeling I’ve been waiting for for a long time. ... But when I do it, it’ll just be surreal.
Over the following three years, Graves went on to earn a plethora of accolades in a variety of sports. In football, he was an Adidas All-America, Elite All-State team, and Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior. He placed fourth in the Iowa High School State wrestling tournament at the heavyweight level, finishing with a 28-3 record. It was only the second year he'd ever wrestled. The night of his first-round state-tournament pin on Friday, Graves scored a game-high 33 points in a season-ending 56-51 2A district semifinal loss to Roland-Story.
The kid has always played at a high level in whatever he's done, and that bodes well for the Hawkeyes.
This is what Allen Trieu of 247Sports says of Graves:
(Graves) is an interesting prospect because he can play offensive and defensive lines at an equally high level. ... (He) plays with (an) outstanding motor and play-speed on both sides of the ball. ... The way he plays makes him a likely college standout and potential Sunday guy.
Though Graves is a versatile athlete and can play anywhere on the field (or court, or wrestling mat), he's listed as a defensive line recruit on Iowa's athletics website.