KANSAS CITY, Mo. - As Austin Blythe sets sail on his quest to defend his state wrestling title this winter, football remains in his thoughts. Although his college decision might be down the road a bit, he's studying the possibilities.
"I think I'm starting to figure out what I'm looking for in a college," the Williamsburg, Iowa Lineman said. "I'm going to keep thinking about it and then talk with my parents. I think we'll start to get much closer in the spring."
The 6-foot-3, 280-pound prep junior enters the wrestling season ranked as the 15th best heavyweight in the country by WIN Magazine. He already holds football scholarship offers from Iowa, Iowa State and Stanford.
Blythe has unofficially visited Iowa and Notre Dame. The Irish have not offered a scholarship.
"I'm a lean to Iowa," Blythe said. "The coaches have just been great to me. There's no pressure. They're just trying to get to know me as a person and letting me get to know them. It's a program with incredible consistency."
The Iowa Newspaper Association tabbed Blythe as a first-team, Class 3A all-state performer on the offensive line this fall. He also was the first heavyweight in Iowa history to reach the finals as a freshman before winning the title last winter.
Blythe plans on majoring in engineering in college. It's a big reason that Iowa, Iowa State and Stanford are in the picture for his athletic services.
"I feel pretty fortunate that all three of the schools that have offered have excellent engineering programs," Blythe said.
Blythe said he could make a decision this spring or early summer if he feels like there's nothing else to see.
"If not, I'll start taking official visits next fall," he said. "I'm just going to wait and see how it goes."
Blythe said the Iowa program being close to home won't factor much into his decision. He just wants to find the right place to spend his college years.
The Hawkeyes view Blythe as an offensive line prospect, although he plays on both sides of the ball for Williamsburg.
"I really haven't gotten a straight answer on that, but I think that's because they're not as worried about that right now," Blythe said. "Like I said before, we're working on building a relationship and getting to know each other right now."