Brody Brecht, a dual-sportsman from Iowa, is retiring from football to focus on baseball, he announced Friday. Here’s what you need to know:
- Brecht, a sophomore, started five games at wide receiver for the Iowa football team last season, catching nine receptions for 87 yards.
- Last month he made his debut in the baseball season; Breceht has hit 36 batters in 23 innings spread across five starts this season and has a 2.20 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP.
- As a freshman, Brecht posted a 3.18 ERA in 17 appearances (one start).
- Brecht is a potential first-round pick in the 2024 MLB draft.
What you say
“Football is my first love. But in recent years, baseball has become my true passion. With that in mind, I have decided to retire from football and focus fully on my college baseball career,” Brecht said in a statement on social media. “I want to be great at baseball and hope to play in Major League Baseball in the future. I believe that the best way for me to achieve this goal is to focus fully on baseball.”
Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz said the team wished Brecht “the very best as he focuses solely on his baseball career.” Ferentz added: “He is a talented and dedicated athlete and we appreciate his contributions as a member of the football team.”
Brecht went to the 2021 MLB draft without a high school diploma. He told the Des Moines Register at the time that he had increased the underwriting price he should have gotten to forego college and that “some teams have resigned.”
Brecht was an Iowa Gatorade Player of the Year, going 10-0 as a senior with a .57 ERA with 126 strikeouts.
the athlete‘s instant analysis:
What could Brecht’s baseball future look like?
A likely top-10 pick in the 2024 draft, Brecht almost went for the MLB draft during his senior season in high school before deciding to play both sports in Iowa.
“I had a fixed price, and if they beat him, I’d like to go,” Brecht said last year. “And if not, I’m happy to come[to Iowa]. And they didn’t hit it.”
This year, Brecht is 2-1 with a 2.74 ERA. He has hit 36 batters, run 17 and allowed a .167 batting average. On his debut, Brecht met 15 batters, knocked out 10 and didn’t allow a base runner. On Friday night, Brecht knocked out 10 batters, walked four and allowed just one batter. His fastball has surpassed 102 mph, but his control needs work.
Participation in spring football and summer conditioning would limit Brecht’s focus on the mound for the Hawkeyes and keep him from playing in a top league with wooden bats in June.
Iowa Baseball is 17-3, its best start since 1939, beating then-#1-ranked LSU 12-4 on Feb. 25. — wickerman
What does this mean for football in Iowa?
The Hawkeyes face another difficult situation at wide receiver. Brecht started as a redshirt freshman in five games last year and caught nine passes for 87 yards. This spring, the Hawkeyes only have two healthy fellows competing in practice. Last year, Brecht attended spring football practice and drills, but was limited in team activities while playing baseball.
Iowa also suffered a final blow to its vaunted 2021 recruiting trio of Brecht, Keagan Johnson and Arland Bruce IV. Johnson moved to Kansas state, while Bruce IV chose Oklahoma state. — wickerman
(Photo: Jeffrey Becker / USA Today)