Iowa two-sport athlete Brody Brecht chooses to pursue baseball full-time

The 6-foot-4 sophomore is a pitcher for the Hawkeye baseball team and was a wideout for the last two seasons on Iowa’s football team.


Matt Sindt

Iowa right-handed pitcher Brody Brecht throws the ball during a baseball game between Iowa and West Michigan at Duane Banks Field in Iowa City on Friday, March 24, 2023. The Hawkeyes defeated the Broncos, 9-3.

Chris Werner, Assistant Sports Editor

Brody Brecht has made his choice.

On Friday evening, the two-sport athlete for his first two years at Iowa — a flame-throwing pitcher for the Hawkeye baseball team and a wide receiver on the football squad — announced via Twitter that he is going to step away from football and focus solely on baseball. 

“I want to say thank you,” He wrote,  “Thank you to the great Hawkeye fans for your unwavering support. Thank you to the coaches and staff of the Hawkeye football program for giving me a chance to fulfill my childhood dream as part of this incredible program. Thank you to my football teammates for a lifetime’s worth of great memories. Thank you to my friends and my family for their unwavering support and love. Thank you to God for the blessings of my life, and for the clarity to make the choice I’ve made.

“Football is my first love. But in the past few years, baseball has become my true passion. With that said, I have decided to step away from football to focus full-time on my college baseball career. I want to be great at baseball and hope to play Major League Baseball in the future. I believe putting my focus fully on baseball is the best way for me to achieve that goal.”

Out of high school, Brecht was tabbed as the No. 77 prospect available for the 2021 MLB Draft per Hawkeye Athletics.

After his freshman season on the diamond in Iowa City, Brecht earned freshman All-American status and Big Ten all-freshman team honors. Brecht made 16 of his 17 appearances a year ago out of the bullpen and compiled a 3.18 ERA. As a first-year, he recorded 44 strikeouts in 22 2/3 innings and gave up one earned run over his final 10 relief appearances.

This season, through Iowa’s first 20 baseball games, Brecht has started all six games he has appeared in. The lanky righty, who regularly tops 100 mph on the radar gun, has a 2-1 record in 2023 and a 2.20 ERA over  28 2/3 innings. Brecht has struck out 46 batters and walked 21.

On the gridiron, Brecht battled injuries during his entire collegiate career. He redshirted last fall and reeled in nine receptions for 87 yards in 11 games this year.

“We wish Brody the very best as he focuses solely on his baseball career,” Iowa football head coach Kirk Ferentz said in a release. “He is a talented and dedicated athlete and we are appreciative of his contributions while a member of the football team.”

Brecht’s next pitching start will likely come on March 31 against Maryland in Iowa’s Big Ten opener at Duane Banks Field.