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Hello, my name is . . . Mitch Keppy
Pretty great article on Mitch Keppy and Reid Sealby going at it in wrestling. (Here's the link in the Q-C Online.)
Sealby fought off Keppy for the second time this season -- Keppy's only losses -- with a 6-3 victory. Both advanced to the Illinois Class 1A state tournament this week. As sectional combatants, they ended up on opposite sides of the bracket.
They could meet again.
"I can't guarantee it, but I'm going to go 110 percent to get that match," Keppy said. "I don't want to be cocky about it. I just can't wait to go into next week. I'm going to prepare myself mentally and physically."
Keppy (6-5, 290) is a legacy Hawkeye. His father, Myron, was an Iowa D-lineman in 1986-87. Myron Keppy believes his son will play on the inside of the OL for the Hawkeyes.
“I think wrestling will help him on the inside,” said Myron Keppy, who serves as Riverdale's head wrestling coach and is an assistant with the football team. “He can play tackle, he played tackle all through high school. He played guard as a freshman on the varsity, but moved out to tackle his sophomore and junior year.”
Keppy was the first commitment for the 2012 class. The Keppys did the camp visit thing last summer, also visiting Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Northern Illinois.
“He's had exposure to some of the bigger schools, I think that's why some of them are interested,” Myron said. “As far as offers out there, we talked to a few who said if he were playing at a bigger school, he'd have a half dozen to a dozen offers on the table. We weren't worried about him getting one, it was more of a matter of when he would get one and who it was from.”
From ESPN.com: Displays a solid motor, but you like to see him play a little more consistently with the dial cranked all the way up to ten as he can seem at times to get the job done, but do just enough. As a pass blocker he can set quickly and will get hands on. He works to kick back and stay square, but needs to work to play with more bend and work on his punch. Keppy shows some flashes, but you can't help but feel at times that he can get more out of his abilities and be more dominant. A player who we feel needs development time and needs to keep working to squeeze the most from his tools.
What Iowa coaches said
Head coach Kirk Ferentz: It just kind of worked out that way. Myron was here back, gosh, in the mid '80s, I guess it would have been, and came from Durant, hometown of [former Iowa OL] Jon Roehlk. Had a nice career here. We got on Mitch a little bit. Picked him up on the radar screen from the wrestling, first and foremost. I think we were one of his first offers last spring. He came out to spring ball one day with his dad, and just really impressed us. Obviously, his tape impressed us. So we're really thrilled about him.
Recruiting coordinator Eric Johnson: We'll figure out where he goes when he gets here [asked if he'd play outside or inside]. Good wrestler again. Very good wrestler. Guy we've had in camp and felt very comfortable with. He was the first or one of the first guys on board in this class. You always like that guy.
What I think
Guard or center. You know that Ferentz loves wrestlers, especially on the interior of the OL. Mark Sindlinger, a former Iowa center and heavyweight wrestler, is one of the players Ferentz references the most going back to his days as Iowa's O-line coach.
He comes with a great attitude, too. I can't find the link anymore, but after the first time Keppy lost to Sealby, Keppy told the Iowa coaches to take a look at Sealby, who ended up signing with the Hawkeyes after a quick courtship.
Keppy could've sulked, could've kept his head down, but, no, Sealby caught his eye and put a bug in the Iowa coaching staff's collective ear. That, friends, is an intangible you want.
Here's an interview by former Iowa OL and Philadelphia Eagle Julian Vandervelde with Keppy for WQAD out of the Quad Cities.