There's a pretty good possibility that Reid Sealby's foot-in-the-door with Iowa football was wrestling.
The 6-4, 250-pounder from Byron (Ill.) High School beat fellow future Hawkeye Mitch Keppy on the mat. Keppy alerted Iowa coaches to take a look at Sealby.
Sealby and family visited the Air Force Academy on the last weekend of recruiting. It looked good for Air Force. Then Tuesday night, Iowa called. After maybe eight hours to think about it, Sealby signed with the Hawkeyes.
Iowa called for the first time in late January, around the 21st. It was “out of nowhere," according to Randy Sealby, Reid's dad. Iowa's offer came the night before signing day.
Former Hawkeye safety and current Arizona Cardinal Sean Considine also is a Byron High School product. Sealby never had a chance to visit, but the family knows Considine and that was enough.
“Sean Considine is from here and is a friend of ours,” Randy Sealby said. “In fact, he’s building a house just a couple of miles from where we live. We knew that he really enjoyed his time there, so we kind of talked about it as a family and decided it’s a lot closer to home and obviously a real quality program, so we went with Iowa.”
Sealby played on the offensive and defensive lines and was the long snapper for Byron. Iowa is looking at him as an O-lineman.
If wrestling helped get Iowa's attention, so be it.
Sealby topped Pittsfield's Coltyn Pease, 5-1 in overtime, to win the Class 1A heavyweight title last weekend in Champaign. Sealby finished 43-1 this season. His lone loss was to Tinley Park Andrew's Cory Chojnowski, a Class 3A school. Sealby finished fourth at 215 pounds at last year's state tournament.
Sealby scored a takedown and two near-fall points with approximately 12 seconds left in the overtime period against Pease.
There aren't any.
So, here's a snippet from the Rockford Register Star's story from signing day (quite a haul for college football recruits in that area this year):
If Sealby had gone to Air Force, he would have also tried out for the wrestling team. At Iowa, it will be football and football only, but it was still an easy decision for Sealby, who was fourth in the state at 215 pounds as a junior.
“It definitely caught me off guard,” Sealby said of the Iowa offer. “I always knew I wanted to play sports in college, but I never thought it would be at this level. It was a shock, but I’m going to take it. Opportunities like this only come once in a while. It was definitely something I couldn’t pass up.”
Much of Byron had been an Iowa football town ever since Sean Considine, the star of Byron’s 1999 state champs, became an Academic All-American at Iowa and went on to play safety in the NFL. But not Sealby.
“I don’t watch too much college football, but Iowa is my favorite team now,” Sealby said, sparking laughs from the big crowd gathered to watch his signing in the Byron library.
What Iowa coaches said
Recruiting coordinator Eric Johnson: He's going to be an offensive lineman. We recruited him as an offensive lineman. He's an excellent wrestler, good athlete. A guy we always monitored. He's from Sean Considine's high school. We don't have a ton of depth on the offensive line from a numbers standpoint, so . . . His intangibles from the wrestling to character all of that, we felt too good about to pass up.
What I think
You have to love the fact that, if Iowa hadn't called, Sealby likely would be wrestling for Air Force. That tells you everything you need to know about character, academics and drive.
Can he be an FBS lineman? The raw material is there, at 6-4, 250. He has Marshal Yanda size, so you can't rule out tackle, but I think Sealby has the makings of a guard/center. He might be a project along the lines of Adam Gettis, who built his body from 240-ish into an NFL hopeful.