Nov. 12, 2015
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By DARREN MILLER
IOWA CITY, Iowa — When the University of Iowa football program recruited Brady Reiff from Parkston, South Dakota, it knew it was getting an athletic, tough, and competitive student-athlete.
Why were the Hawkeyes so certain of Reiff’s credentials? They had experience with another Reiff from Parkston — Brady’s brother, Riley — who lettered at the UI from 2009-11, was named All-America, and was a first-round selection by Detroit in the 2012 NFL Draft.
There are many similarities between Brady and Riley, but at least two differences. At 6-foot-6, 320 pounds, Riley is bigger (Brady is listed at 6-3, 225). The Reiffs also play different positions: Brady is a defensive end, Riley is offensive tackle.
“I don’t compare us too much,” said Brady, who earned first-team all-state football honors as a junior and senior.
Like many of the Hawkeyes, Reiff excelled in multiple sports at Parkston. Aside from football, he played baseball, ran track, and was a two-time state wrestling champion.
“It was great to wrestle, it teaches you to be tough,” Reiff said. “It helped me get ready for football at the college level.”
Reiff’s first exposure to UI football was a visit to Iowa City to watch his brother play his first home game on Sept. 5, 2009. The result was a 17-16 Hawkeye victory over Northern Iowa that included back-to-back blocked field goals by Iowa’s Broderick Binns and Jeremiha Hunter.
“Last week was the first week he was allowed to go out and have contact. He is back up on his feet and starting to move forward. He has good growth potential and we are eager to get some of the rust removed. We are excited he is starting to move forward.”
UI football coach
The positive experiences Riley had at the UI (three bowl appearances in three seasons) factored into Brady’s decision to sign here. But for the most part, big brother stayed out of Brady’s final decision.
“It had a little bit of an impact on me. Obviously he came here, so I knew about Iowa,” Brady said. “(Riley) told me to go where I wanted and I liked Iowa.”
And Iowa liked Reiff.
“Brady had a tremendous high school career as a tight end and defensive player and we were thrilled to have him join the team,” UI head coach Kirk Ferentz said.
“Last week was the first week he was allowed to go out and have contact,” Ferentz said. “He is back up on his feet and starting to move forward. He has good growth potential and we are eager to get some of the rust removed. We are excited he is starting to move forward.”
Reiff enrolled early in college to refine fundamentals and get a jump on learning coordinator Phil Parker‘s defense. He also wanted to get his body ready for the UI strength and conditioning program.
“It helped,” Reiff said.
No. 5 Iowa (9-0 overall, 5-0 Big Ten Conference) hosts Minnesota (4-5, 1-4) on Saturday with a 7:12 p.m. (CT) kickoff inside Kinnick Stadium. A win by the Hawkeyes would bring the coveted traveling trophy Floyd of Rosedale back to Iowa City, as well as setting a school record for 10 consecutive victories to begin a season.