Keppy Takes Official

Mitch Keppy was Iowa's first verbal commitment in the 2012 recruiting class. The Hawkeye legacy took his official visit to Iowa City this weekend. Find out how it went and what the latest is on the offensive lineman.

Mitch Keppy says he can look at a football game and tell which guys wrestle. The Class of 2012 Iowa verbal commit believes those people play the game differently than do others.

"I think wrestlers are way more aggressive than other players," the 6-foot-5, 285-pound offensive lineman said.

Keppy finished as the Illinois State runner-up on the mat the last two seasons.

"This year I'm going for the gold," he said.

Iowa has done well recruiting football players who also wrestle. Matt Roth, Colin Cole and Riley Reiff enjoyed success on the mat before starring as Hawkeyes.

"Obviously Iowa likes wrestlers," Keppy said. "They got Austin Blythe last year. He's a three-time state champ.

"Wrestling definitely helps football a lot. It's not only that it helps with footwork, it helps you to be aggressive. I'm a big competitor. I hate to lose."

Keppy officially visited Iowa during the weekend. Tommy Gaul, a redshirt freshman from Dowling Catholic, played host to the Port Byron, IL native. It was the fourth Hawkeye game attended by Keppy this season.

"It was a lot of fun," he said. "I learned a lot more about the academic part through the tour and met with the advisor. I learned about what's going to happen next summer when I move down there."

Keppy, whose father, Myron, played at Iowa in the '80s still has relatives in the state. His grandfather makes the trip from Durant to see the Hawkeye home games.

Keppy is looking at majoring in a field involving sports business. An advisor at Iowa told him on Sunday that he might like recreational sports management.

"I'd like to be a sales rep for a company or do something related to managing sports," he said. "I want to stay in sports."

Current Hawkeyes provided Keppy with an opportunity to see college life.

"I got to hang out in the dorms to see that side of it," he said.

Sunday, Keppy looked on as Iowa broke down game film from the loss to Michigan State a day earlier. The Hawkeye coaches told him not to get too far ahead of himself, though.

"They stressed for me to enjoy the rest of my senior year and finish strong," Keppy said. "They told me not to move ahead to college already. I can worry about that when I get there.

"I talked to Coach (Chris) Doyle about what I've been doing in the past and what we'll do when I move in. He talked about how they break you down and build you back up."

The Iowa staff isn't sure where on the offensive line Keppy will end up.

"That's something to still be determined," he said. "I played tackle my first three years of high school and then this year I played guard. It's wherever they need me. I can play both."

Scout.com rates Keppy as a three-star recruit on its five-star scale. The service ranks the Riverdale Senior High product as the No. 97 tackle nationally in his class.

"We went 6-3 in the regular season," Keppy said of his senior year. "We lost our first-round playoff game against Morrison. They should be able to win it this year. They're in the semifinals now.

"Now, wrestling has started up. I'm ready to go."


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