Iowa two-sport athlete Brody Brecht chooses to pursue baseball full-time

The 6-foot-4 sophomore is a pitcher for the Hawkeye baseball team and has been a wideout on the Iowa football team for the past two seasons.

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Matt Sindt

Iowa right-hander Brody Brecht throws the ball during a baseball game between Iowa and West Michigan at Duane Banks Field on Friday, March 24, 2023 in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes defeated the Broncos 9-3.

Brody Brecht has made his choice.

The second athlete will start his first two years in Iowa on Friday evening — a flame-throwing pitcher for the Hawkeye baseball team and a wide receiver on the football team — announced via Twitter that he would be retiring from football and focusing solely on baseball.

“I want to say thank you,” he wrote, “thank you to the amazing Hawkeye fans for your unwavering support. Thank you to the Hawkeye football program coaches and staff for giving me the chance to fulfill my childhood dream as a part of this incredible program. Thank you to my soccer teammates for a lifetime of great memories. I thank my friends and family for their unwavering support and love. I thank God for the blessings of my life and for the clarity in making the decision I have made.

“Football is my first love. But in recent years, baseball has become my true passion. With this in mind, I have decided to retire from football and focus fully on my college baseball career. I want to be great at baseball and hope to play Major League Baseball in the future. I believe that the best way for me to achieve this goal is to focus fully on baseball.”

After high school, Brecht was ranked by Hawkeye Athletics as a potential No. 77 pick for the 2021 MLB draft.

After his freshman season at the Diamond in Iowa City, Brecht earned freshman All-American status and Big Ten All Freshman team honors. Brecht completed 16 of his 17 appearances from the bullpen a year ago and compiled a 3.18 ERA. As a freshman year, he recorded 44 strikeouts in 22 2/3 innings and gave up an earned run over his last 10 relief appearances.

In Iowa’s first 20 baseball games that season, Brecht has started all six games in which he appeared. The lanky right-hander, who regularly tops 100 mph on the radar gun, has a 2-1 record and a 2.20 ERA over 28 2/3 innings in 2023. Brecht eliminated 46 batters and made 21 walks.

On the gridiron, Brecht struggled with injuries throughout his collegiate career. He wore the redshirt last fall and staggered nine receptions for 87 yards in 11 games this year.

“We wish Brody the very best as he focuses solely on his baseball career,” said Kirk Ferentz, head coach of Iowa football, in a press release. “He is a talented and dedicated athlete and we appreciate his contributions as a member of the football team.”

Brecht’s next pitching start will likely come on March 31 against Maryland in Iowa’s Big Ten opener at Duane Banks Field.

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