football Edit

Hawkeyes getting a good one in Griffin Liddle

Class of 2021 defensive tackle Griffin Liddle committed to the Iowa Hawkeyes on Sunday.
Class of 2021 defensive tackle Griffin Liddle committed to the Iowa Hawkeyes on Sunday.

Bettendorf defensive tackle Griffin Liddle ended the recruiting process with a commitment to the University of Iowa on Sunday. Afterwards, we caught up with his head football coach, Aaron Wiley, to learn more about this future Hawkeye.

Q: Why did he pick Iowa?

WILEY: I kind of thought when this was all said and done, that is where he would be at. He didn’t commit right away when they first offered, but I really thought this would eventually be where he landed. He fits into their culture. He’ll be a great fit at that place. I kind of honestly stay out of it and not influence the kid. That is not my role. This does not surprise me a bit. It is really good for him to get this out of the way and get that stress out of the way. He can relax and get ready for wrestling and his senior year of football.

Q: How does the Iowa culture fit him as an athlete?

WILEY: I know Iowa really prides itself on their Strength and Conditioning. Coach Doyle does a great job in the weight room. With the way Griffin trains, he is the right fit with their mindset. In my 20 plus years, I don’t know if I’ve ever had a kid who works like he does. It is what separates him. It shows in his approach and that is what Iowa is all about with their Strength and Conditioning. How they both approach things is a great fit.

Q: How different is his work ethic that you mentioned?

WILEY: He is just a perfectionist in how he does things. He has to be the first guy in the room and the last out. He is the first one on the field and the last one off. He can’t stand losing in anything. He hates it if he isn’t the strongest guy. He is very competitive and really wants to be the best at what he does. He just refuses to get out worked. I have never met anyone who goes about his business like he does. I think that is probably what separates him from a lot of other guys.

Q: How rare is that maturity at such a young age?

WILEY: We never played a freshman, let alone one at that position. He wasn’t just a big body; he mentally didn’t back down from older kids. By the end of freshman year, he was starting to be better than most of them. His sophomore year, he was all state. This year, he played both ways and had a great year. He just has a mindset that he wants to be the best and he works really hard at it.

Q: Did his dad being an Iowa alum play a role on that decision at all?

WILEY: I don’t want to speak for him, but I know his dad being a former Iowa guy probably played some role. I don’t know how much and again I don’t want to speak for them. I tell these kids that if they want advice, I am glad to help. The only thing I want for them is that they make sure they like the place, not just that it looks good. With some of the Iowa coaches and Griffin, it is a good fit. When Iowa offered, it wouldn’t have surprised me if he had committed then.

Q: How does wrestling help him as a football player?

WILEY: I think it is great. The two go hand in hand. When he had a national tournament this summer and got second, I think that helped his confidence level overall. Some of the best football players we have had were also wrestlers. It takes a great deal of toughness, leverage, balance, and hand fighting. The two are pretty compatible sports.

Q: Have the Iowa coaches said anything about where he projects out position wise?

WILEY: I don’t know. That is what everyone is asking. It is really up to the Iowa staff. As an offensive guard, he got better and better and better this year. He really improved there as the year went on, but that will be for someone else to decide. I’m just glad I got him for one more year.

Q: What areas of his game will he be working on this off-season?

WILEY: I think he wants to get bigger, stronger, and quicker. We talk to him a lot about improving his explosiveness and little technique things. I think that all will come. He does the work he does and will put the time in to get better. I am happy for him. He made his decision and he can relax a little bit with the rest of high school.

Q: Did you expect the timing with this commitment?

WILEY: It surprised me to be honest. We didn’t have a conversation. This was his deal.

Q: What type of player is Iowa getting with him?

WILEY: I think they are getting a tough, hard-nosed kid who will be relentless in how hard works and plays.

Q: How is he as a leader?

WILEY: He is great. He is not a rah-rah guy. He is more of a quiet leader who leads by example. People watch him and see all the accolades and success he has had. It is not a secret how he does it; he works hard and is a classic example of a guy to watch. We tell the other guys to try and keep up with him. He was a captain as a junior, but he is not the loud yeller and screamer. He is more of a lead by example guy.