football Edit

Hawkeyes getting a good one in Aaron Graves

Class of 2022 in-state defensive lineman Aaron Graves committed to the Hawkeyes today.
Class of 2022 in-state defensive lineman Aaron Graves committed to the Hawkeyes today.

An offer from Iowa over the weekend led to Southeast Valley defensive end Aaron Graves becoming the first commitment in the Class of 2022. We caught up with his head coach, Mike Swieter, and talked to him about what the Hawkeyes are getting with this impressive sophomore.

Q: What type of player has he been for you?

SWIETER: He just has a motor that is revved up all the time. He brings it every single play and has from day one as a freshman. He doesn’t take plays off and is just always right back out there. He loves contact and lifting weights. It is crazy. From day one, our goal was to try and get him a Division I Iowa Hawkeyes offer. That was the only place he wanted to play. From day one, there was no hesitation from him being a two-way starter. He had a camp there this weekend and his dad called and boom there we go. He is a freak of nature with what he can do at his age. There is a lot of room for growth as well.

Q: What can he continue to work on as a player?

SWIETER: Speed, flexibility, and strength. He can always get bigger and faster. He is 235 pounds, 6-4, 6-5 with not an ounce of fat on him. He is just a big boy.

Q: What was his role for you as a freshman?

SWIETER: He was my pulling guard and a defensive end.

Q: Is his role changing this season?

SWIETER: He is going to play offensively at guard and tackle. Defensively, he is going to play d-line and d-end. He is our horse. We are going to move him where we need him and also make it so teams can’t avoid him.

Q: Do you know how his camp went this weekend at Iowa?

SWIETER: I really haven’t talked to him, but I talked to his dad and he said he had a really good camp. My son will be a senior and showed me videos of him dominating at the camp. I asked his dad if he dominated at the camp and that is why he got (the offer). He said he got it because they already knew about him and wanted to see him in-person. This was the final straw.

Q: Once the offer came, was it a quick decision to pick Iowa?

SWIETER: He had zero interest in playing for another other schools. His #1 goal was to play for Iowa. I know that if Iowa State had offered today, he would not have accepted it. That is who he wanted to play and that is his dream. Nothing will change that. He wants to play for Iowa. That is who he loves.

Q: How has he been as a leader for you?

SWIETER: He is pretty quiet as a leader. He had two brothers on the team, so it is hard as a freshman. His leadership is by work ethic, and not vocal yet. From one day, the kids accepted him, and they knew. He took it upon himself to take on a role that the average freshman couldn’t handle. He was one of our best.

Q: Were you surprised by the season he had?

SWIETER: I would say it was better than I expected. I knew he had potential, but I didn’t think he would dominate as much as he did being second in 2A sacks as a freshman.

Q: When did you see him as being a potential Division I recruit?

SWIETER: In junior high, we would hear about how much he dominated. When he was a little bit younger, he had a lot of baby far and he didn’t look like the kid I have now. He matured and all of a sudden became a man in junior high.

Q: When did Iowa start taking interest in him?

SWIETER: It was when they were here for (Iowa walk-on) Kyler Fisher. I showed them who he was and went over his accomplishments. I think from day one, they knew they needed to be looking at this kid. I had Reese Morgan and LeVar (Woods) both interested quickly.

Q: Where does he project out position wise?

SWIETER: All his dad told me is that it was somewhere on the defensive line. I expect they’ll see where he is at with his size.

Q: What helped him be so successful early at the high school level?

SWIETER: I think God gave him a big frame and body. I really do. God gave him a very athletic, big, solid body and that is what he is working with. This isn’t a 180-pound kid that is strong. He is a big kid. There are some offensive linemen who are just big kids. He already has a man’s body.

Last season, as a freshman, Graves racked up 67 tackles, 15 TFL, and 11 sacks.

See highlights from his freshman year at Southeast Valley in the video below.