Coaching Breakdown: Brody Brecht

Adam Hensley

With Iowa’s high school football season just weeks away, all eyes are on Ankeny wide receiver Brody Brecht.

Brecht, who committed to Iowa on May 1, stands as one of the top prospects in the state, according to SI All-American.

Last season as a junior, Brecht tallied 35 receptions for 796 yards and seven touchdowns  all team-high marks.

“Brody’s awful good,” Ankeny head coach Rick Nelson said.

Brecht’s speed and size is a rare combination

SI All-American lists Brecht at 6-4, 205 pounds, and he’s known for his speed.

Brecht’s vertical routes stand out on his Hudl tape, as his frame and long strides give him a boost against defensive backs.

Earlier this offseason, Ankeny assistant coach Brady Walz clocked Brecht’s speed at 23.78 miles per hour.

Brecht tweeted a video in April where he ran a 4.45 second 40-yard dash.

Has Nelson ever seen anyone that tall with Brecht’s speed?

“Not too much in high school,” he said. “In college, there are kids like that. We’re just fortunate to have him at our place.”

“He’s got great awareness”

There’s plenty to like about Brecht’s game, but one thing Nelson pointed to was his awareness on the field.

“He’s got great awareness of where the ball is and how to move his body,” he said.

Brecht’s big frame makes it easy for quarterbacks to loft passes his way, but it’s his progress in recognizing coverages and understanding the game that stands out to Nelson.

“We’ll have to move him around because teams will double cover him,” he said. “He’s good about it. He has a feel for it.”

Ankeny's Brody Brecht is ranked as one of the top players in the state, according to SI All-American. (Lee Navin/Des Moines Register-Imagn Content Service)

Brecht’s multi-sport ability an added bonus

In addition to football, Brecht is also an Iowa baseball commit, and for good reason.

This summer with Ankeny baseball, Brecht boasted a 2.45 ERA finished with a 3-0 record on the mound. He struck out 69 batters in his 34.1 innings.

“Someone had the gun on him against Pleasant Valley (in the state tournament),” Nelson said. “He was throwing 98 miles an hour the first inning and 96 the seventh inning. To me, that’s unheard of for a high school kid.”

Offensively, Brecht hit .333 on the year, notching 29 hits, three home runs, and stole six bases, all while being one of Ankeny’s most reliable outfielders.

“If he decided he was going to go do some sport he’s never done, it wouldn’t take him too long to be good at it,” Nelson said.

Ankeny leans on Brecht as one of its leaders

Statistically, Brecht is a leader on the Ankeny football team.

But off the field, Nelson and his staff appointed him and some of his senior teammates as leaders as well.

“We’ve talked to him  ‘Hey, kids look up to you, so take charge and talk to kids,’” he said.

Nelson said the team created various small groups consisting of six or seven kids, and different athletes on the team would be the group leaders.

One of those was Brecht. He, along with his fellow leadership teammates, were in charge of helping others navigate high school, whether that’s in the classroom, the weight room, or on the football field.

“When all this COVID stuff was going on, we leaned on those kids,” Nelson said. “They kind of helped us keep things moving along.”

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