football Edit

Aaron Graves is the real deal

Aaron Graves finished his sophomore season with 69 tackles, 12 TFL, and 10 sacks.
Aaron Graves finished his sophomore season with 69 tackles, 12 TFL, and 10 sacks.

An early commitment to the University of Iowa has allowed Southeast Valley defensive lineman Aaron Graves to continue to develop as a football player. We caught up with his head coach, Mike Swieter, and talked to him about this future Hawkeye.

Q: How would you describe him overall as a football player?

SWIETER: Tremendous. He just brings a high energy every single play. He never ever takes a play off.

Q: How unique is it for a high school athlete to not take plays off?

SWIETER: It is very unique. From day one, all of your kids are trying to get a little break. We are stuck with so many going both ways. For him, you don’t need to take him out. He does get tired, but he still brings it every single play. Even if you watch all state players, they take play off. This kid doesn’t. There is no break.

Q: What do you feel are his main strengths at this point?

SWIETER: He is just very physical and wants to dominate you. He wants to knock you down.

Q: What areas is he going to continue working on as he prepares for the rest of this season and beyond?

SWIETER: Getting bigger and stronger, even though he already is. He still wants to put weight on to set himself up for Iowa and the future.

Q: What separates him from his peers to get the type of attention and honors that he has received?

SWIETER: Just bringing that energy to the next level. He has a God given gift and he is using it. He separates himself because he is big, strong, physical, quick, and his knowledge of the game is good. His dad is a coach. He has good hips and good feet. Any Division I player is a little bit of a freak anyways. They are something special and so is he. People ask me if he is the real deal, and he is. He is one of them.

Q: What type of season did he have overall?

SWIETER: He had a very good season and finished with ten sacks. We weren’t as good as the year before, but teams had to prepare for him no matter where he was at. If I faced him, I would run away from him. I’d be smart about it.

Q: How would you describe him as a leader?

SWIETER: He has been a tremendous leader in the weight room. He is working with a lot of younger kids to develop them and make our program better.

Q: Where does he project out at the college level position wise?

SWIETER: I believe it is just d-line with Iowa. I don’t think there is any different talk than that. He could become an offensive lineman, but it just depends on how big he gets.

Q: Have any other colleges still tried recruiting him?

SWIETER: I think since the moment he committed, I don’t think anyone else has. No one has told me if there was any. Iowa State did immediately. I never heard back from them so they must have heard.

Q: How is he as a basketball player?

SWIETER: Very good. He is a very good basketball player.

As a sophomore, Graves finished the season with 69 tackles, 12 TFL, and 10 sacks.

See highlights from Graves' sophomore year at Southeast Valley in the video below.