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Game Time

—Submitted photo Iowa true freshman Aaron Graves (No. 68) shown here, stands in the Iowa locker room before his sophomore season with his dad Mark Graves, brother Nathan, head coach Kirk Ferentz, mother Amber Graves and Kolson Kruse. On Saturday coach Ferentz said Graves’ red shirt will likely be pulled.

IOWA CITY — It won’t be long before true freshman Aaron Graves suits up on Saturday’s.

After the weekend’s festivities of media day and Kids Day at Kinnick Stadium, Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz praised the Southeast Valley graduate’s work.

On media day Ferentz talked about how impressive Graves was and one day later talked about him taking the field.

“I think so, based on (Saturday),” Ferentz said when asked about pulling his red-shirt. “It would be crazy to say we are going to redshirt him. It would be stupid on our part right now.

“At some point we may say it, but right now — he needs to be on the field.”

Graves, who committed to Iowa as a freshman in high school, is a 6-foot-4, 271-pound, pound four star recruit on the defensive line for the Hawkeyes.

The 2021 Gatorade Player of the Year and Adidas All-American is a quick study and has fit in well since his time started in July at Iowa City.

“We have a little more depth in that group (defensive line), so we will have that discussion at the end of the week or next weekend, but we like the way he’s practicing,” Ferentz said. “He has a lot to learn, but his tempo shows he belongs on the field with the older guys.

“He goes hard and makes them work, which makes us have better practices.”

Graves was a four-year letterwinner for Southeast Valley, helping lead the Jaguars to the Class 2A state championship, the first in school history. The Jaguars went 22-2 during his final two seasons, as he became the school’s career leader in tackles and sacks.

Graves was a four-time All-Stater, three on the first team.

Iowa’s defensive line features returning starters Logan Lee, Noah Shannon and John Waggoner, along with returning letterwinners Yahya Black, Deontae Craig, Logan Lee, Louie Stec, Lukas Van Ness and Joe Evans.

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