Graves gets a taste of college football

—Submitted photo Southeast Valley sophomore-to-be Aaron Graves (88) stands in the locker room at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City during a Hawkeye Tailgater for football prospects and family. Pictured left to right are, Nathan Graves, Mark Graves, head coach Kirk Ferentz, Graves, Amber Graves and Kolson Kruse.

IOWA CITY — Aaron Graves has about three years before he can officially wear an Iowa Hawkeye jersey and after his weekend trip to Iowa City, he can’t wait to wear the Black and Gold.

Graves, who will begin his sophomore season at Southeast Valley this August, verbally committed to Iowa in late June. On Sunday Graves got a taste of college football at the Hawkeye Tailgater for football prospects and their families in Iowa City.

The lineman was joined by by his parents Mark and Amber Graves, along with his brother Nathan Graves, along with teammate and friend Kolson Kruse.

“It’s a pretty good feeling (knowing he’ll be a Hawkeye),” Graves said. “It’s my dream school and I’ve always known I’ve wanted to be a Hawkeye.

“The worst part about it is, I have to wait three years before I can step on to campus. When I stepped on campus (this weekend), it definitely reminded me why I chose Iowa and I can’t wait to step onto campus.”

Graves will have to wait three more seasons, as he” try to build on his outstanding freshman campaign where he earned Class 2A third team All-State honors for Southeast Valley.

He played both ways for the Jaguars on the offensive and defensive line. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound lineman had an eye catching rookie season with 67 tackles, 15 TFL and 11 sacks.

With the high school season just around the corner, Graves saw the ins and outs of the college facilities in Iowa City and is becoming more and more excited about the future.

“The most rewarding part of the trip was getting to know the defensive line coaches,” Graves said.

Graves, who is known for his work in the weight room at Southeast Valley, saw first hand what a top notch Division I program is like.

The sophomore-to-be also got to hear a speech from strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle and also sat in on a players meeting, learning the expectations of the Hawkeyes.

“It was awesome,” Graves said. “It’s insane (weight training facility) and out of everything — that’s what I was most excited about. We listened to some speeches from him (Doyle), telling the recruits about being held to high expectations.”