IOWA CITY — Working on the scout team last fall, Mitch Keppy got a full taste of college football.
The Iowa lineman from Riverdale wants more.
“Going up against the ones and twos every day, you’re being tested. I took it as a challenge,’’ Keppy said. “It was a great experience for me coming in, seeing what this level was all about. It’s a big adjustment from high school.’’
Keppy made the most of those snaps.
The 6-foot-5, 295-pound redshirt freshman worked his way onto the Iowa two-deep roster during spring practices and continues to hold down the No. 2 spot at right guard behind sophomore Jordan Walsh as fall camp progresses.
“I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress since I got here,’’ Keppy said. “The offseason went great as a team. I got in the weight room. Worked hard. Coach (Chris) Doyle and his staff are amazing and they help get us all ready to go. We’re all hungry and have been working our butts off to have a more successful season. That’s pushing me to get better every day.’’
Iowa offensive line coach Brian Ferentz sees growth.
“He’s like a lot of our young linemen,’’ Ferentz said. “He’s focused, he’s energetic and doing the work it takes to get better.’’
Ferentz believes spring practices provided Keppy with a chance to develop.
“All of our young guys go through this, but when you’re working with the scout team it is a different type of experience than what it is when you are competing with the ones and twos on a daily basis,’’ Ferentz said. “Mitch got a taste of that last spring and we’re trying to bring him along quickly. I like the way he’s responded to that.’’
As Keppy catches up from an experience standpoint to other linemen on the depth chart, he realizes the work continues.
His expectations heading into the fall are to continue to improve and to do what he can to push the more seasoned players ahead of him among Iowa’s offensive linemen.
“There are 17, 18 of us all competing for the same thing. The coaches are going to play the top five guys and the idea for me is to keep climbing, keep working to get better and move up in their eyes,’’ Keppy said.
Keppy believes the offensive line can develop into a strength of the Hawkeyes' football team, and his hope is to earn a role in that mix.
Keppy believes the progress he has made since arriving at Iowa 15 months ago has prepared him to do that.
“The last year or so has been full of new things and learning for me and it has prepared me well for the future,’’ Keppy said. “I don’t get too far ahead of myself. I keep working and knowing that if I continue to work hard and get better that good things will happen.’’