football Edit

Brecht and Bruce teaming up for senior year

Iowa commits Arland Bruce and Brody Brecht are teaming up for their senior year.
Iowa commits Arland Bruce and Brody Brecht are teaming up for their senior year.

Before they can become Hawkeyes, Iowa football wide receiver commits Brody Brecht and Arland Bruce IV are focused on one final season as Hawks.

Bruce recently transferred to Ankeny High from Olathe North in Olathe, Kansas, just outside of Kansas City.

Now, thanks to one simple text message, Ankeny could find itself with one of the best offenses in recent memory Iowa high school football.

“In our Iowa commits chat, us Iowa guys said, ‘If you guys aren’t having a season or whatever, Iowa’s playing, so we can figure something out,’” Brecht said. “Arland and Kansas didn’t have their season, so I was like, ‘You can come up here. We can get you here.’”

Bruce’s arrival means opposing defenses have one more key piece to focus on.

Last season, Bruce showed off his versatility but proved to be most dangerous on the ground, running for 2,351 yards and 40 touchdowns, according to 810Varsity. He also threw for 404 yards, five touchdowns, and two interceptions while playing under center. At receiver, Bruce hauled in five passes for 34 yards.

Brecht finished third in Class 4A with 796 receiving yards on 35 receptions with seven scores.

Throw in quarterback Jase Bauer, who holds offers from Northern Iowa, Eastern Illinois, and Southern Illinois after leading the state in passing yards last season, and it becomes clear the Hawks’ offense will be looking to light up the scoreboard.

“I think it can be one of the better offenses in state history,” Brecht said. “But we can’t do too much. We just got to do our job. We definitely have some weapons across the board.”

Bruce has only officially been on the roster for a week after his transfer was approved Aug. 21, but he already knows what his new squad can do on the field.

“We have a really stacked team; we have so many weapons,” Bruce said. “Jase can move in the pocket. He’s got a strong arm. Brody can go up and get it. We have so many weapons that we just make each other get open. Usually, Brody gets double-teamed, so each one of us can get him open. If I’m getting double-teamed, I can get him open. We complement each other.”

Bruce said he moved to Iowa for a number of reasons ahead of his final high school season, but there will be things he misses from the Kansas City area.

Most of his family and friends still live there, and he said Olathe North team would have gone to state with a stacked team this season. His former teammate, wide receiver Dale Stout, recently transferred to Waukee, which Ankeny will see in Week 2.

But ultimately, Bruce wanted to play his final high school season. Moving to Iowa allows him to do just that.

He said he has some family friends in the area, which helped make the decision easier. He also travels to Iowa City quite a bit and wanted to be closer to his future home.

And he liked having the chance to team up with Brecht before they arrive at the Iowa football facility.

“It’s been awesome because we’re going to be teammates for the next five or six years maybe,” Bruce said. “To get a head start before Iowa, we’re going to be in the same receivers’ room, the same class, obviously. It’s just nice to get a head start on this honestly.”

Before that, though, there’s a season to be played. Ankeny kicks off its season against cross-city rival Ankeny Centennial on Friday at 7 p.m.

While it could be a preview of what’s to come in future Hawkeye offenses, it will also serve as Bruce’s introduction to the Ankeny-Ankeny Centennial rivalry.

“He knows it’s a pretty big game,” Brecht said. “We were at Jase’s house one day, and we were watching the game there. There’s packed stands, so he knows it’s a big game.”