Summer 2024

Brody Brecht gives glory to God as he stars for Iowa baseball & football teams

Brody Brecht is putting off the decision as long as he can. He knows he will eventually have to choose between baseball and football.

For now, though, the freshman plans to continue playing both sports for the University of Iowa.

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Brecht left Ankeny High School — located just north of Des Moines, Iowa — as the all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards and touchdown receptions. He was even better on the mound for Ankeny’s baseball team, going 10-0 with a 0.57 ERA as a senior.

Had an MLB team met the price tag Brecht set and taken him in the 2021 draft, he would be a professional baseball player right now instead of a Hawkeye. No one did, so the No. 77 overall MLB prospect followed through on his commitment to Iowa. And his baseball stock is rising as he keeps hitting 100 mph on the radar gun, an impressive feat for any pitcher at any level.

“I love both sports,” Brecht told The Athletic in February. “I’ve played in both my whole life and God has blessed me with the ability to play both at a big-time level. So, all glory to Him. I just don’t want to pick between the two; I wanted to try to play both of them [at Iowa]. So far, it’s been busy, but I think I’ll be able to handle it and, hopefully, perform well in both.”

Already behind the other freshman receivers because he played a final high school baseball season rather than attend summer workouts, Brecht dislocated his right thumb during training camp. The injury led to him redshirting and becoming a member of the scout team when he returned to practice.

“I was pretty bummed out, especially because it put me behind even more,” he told The Athletic. “Obviously, I’m trying to prove myself. So, it was tough, but I got through it.”

Brecht finally got to take the field as a Hawkeye when baseball season rolled around. His debut was a four-inning outing against Ball State in which he did not allow a hit and struck out seven of the 15 batters he faced. He is currently sporting a 2.14 ERA in 21 innings of work and has not given up an earned run in his last eight appearances.

Once the baseball season is over, Brecht intends to play for a Prospect League team while participating in football workouts as he begins to switch his focus back to the gridiron. Playing both sports requires the cooperation of both coaching staffs for him to be able to perform despite always being behind his teammates.

“God has blessed me with the ability to, you know, play both at the Big Ten level,” Brecht recently told the Daily Iowan. “So, it was really cool to have the opportunity. [The football and baseball coaches] both communicated well, and I’m glad that they’ve been able to work well together to make this work.”

Along with his athletic feats, Brecht also shares about his faith on social media. His Twitter account is filled with retweets of prayers from Pastor Westley West, the Bible verse Philippians 4:13 is included in his Instagram bio, and he attends Fellowship of Christian Athletes huddles.

For all of the physical talent Brecht possesses, Hawkeyes baseball coach Rick Heller believes it is the way Brecht carries himself that allows him to play two different sports at such a high level.

“He’s extremely athletic. He’s extremely talented,” Heller told The Athletic. “He has stuff that not many people on the planet have. But he’s also humble, and he has the intangibles. He’s a really intense competitor. He’s very confident, and he’s a team guy. So, you throw those intangibles with his talent, I mean, the sky’s the limit.”

Brecht and the Hawkeyes — who are 26-15 on the year and sitting in fourth place in the Big Ten standings — host a three-game series with Purdue starting Friday at 5:05 p.m. ET.

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