GUARD AUSTIN BLYTHE
Arrival: The 6-3, 275-pounder had only six offers coming out of Williamsburg High School. All six offers were BCS schools, including Iowa, Wisconsin and Stanford, but still, just six? Remember, wrestling was a very real possibility. He finished 187-11 with three state titles as an Iowa prep. He also holds the state record with 143 pins.
Credit Iowa assistant Reese Morgan with seeing football player and going with the offer to Blythe in 2009, when he was a fairly well-decorate football player and a stellar wrestler as a sophomore. This planted the idea that there would be a market for Blythe’s football services. Blythe got the offer in ’09, verbally committed in May ’10 and signed in February ’11.
“”I might be able to be good or decent in both,” he said, “but I don’t think I could be great in one if I did both.
“I chose football because I love everything that goes along with football. I love the preparation and everyone working toward a common goal. I’m not saying they don’t do that in wrestling, but just working within the team, I love that part about football. I love everything else that comes along with football.”
2012 Takeoff: Blythe went from redshirt to the depth chart, being penciled in at right guard this spring. In the spring scrimmage, Blythe rotated in and out with the No. 1s, trading spots with junior Conor Boffeli. Does he have a starting spot? That will clear up in camp, but he’s go at least a 33 percent chance.
Blythe looked as though he belonged as a starter. Didn’t leave anything glaring on the field. Also, he seemed to work well in tandem with center James Ferentz. Assignments can shift in a zone blocking scheme, and Blythe didn’t seem to be out of place.
The one interesting part of Blythe’s spring scrimmage was the fact that he also rotated in at center with the second team. Boffeli has been and likely still is the No. 2 for 2012, but is center Blythe’s long-term destination? Might be a great fit, especially with his wrestling skills. (Blythe pancaked several D-linemen in his age group during the second-team session.)
That might be the plan for 2013 and beyond, but right now Blythe looks as though he’ll be the starting right guard or sharing the position with Boffeli. However it works, expect Blythe to be somewhere in the middle of Iowa’s O-line for awhile.
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