A lot of college football coaches talk about the advantages of playing multiple sports at the youth and high school levels. Developing skills and talents in several areas can be beneficial for young student-athletes looking to pursue an opportunity to play at the next level.
That mindset really helped former Iowa offensive lineman Tristan Wirfs, according to Hawkeyes strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle.
Wirfs has been considered a first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft since the start of the college football season, but some mock drafts have been projected as a top 10 selection following his performance at the scouting combine last week. The ex-Hawkeye showed off incredible athleticism and speed for someone at his position.
In a podcast interview with 247Sports’ College Football Daily Podcast, Doyle says that Wirfs’ development dates back to his competitiveness at a young age. Playing a variety of youth and high school sports aided him as he pursued a successful college career and NFL future.
“Tristan grew up in Mount Vernon, Iowa, right so that’s 30 minutes up the road,” Doyle said. “He’s 20, 21 years old and I have three sons that are similar age. I’ve seen Tristan since he was young, I’d seen him in youth sports. Here’s a multiple-sport athlete; you mentioned track and field, you mentioned wrestling. Also this kid was a baseball player, he was a swimmer. Like he did it all.
“He had a very special home life … he was afforded the opportunities to compete and those things. And now you take a guy that’s had multiple-sport exposure and then you bring him into this position where now he has the opportunity to specialize and just train for football. His progress, he took off. He had a broad spectrum of athletic exposures and once he decided to go in on football he had a very accelerated and amplified progression.”
Wirfs spent three seasons at Iowa, but decided to pass on the opportunity to return to college for his final season to pursue a career in the NFL. And with his draft stock as high as it is, that was really the smartest move.
There’s still over a month until the NFL Draft, so Wirfs’ status could change during that time, but right now, the former Hawkeye seems to have a pretty good shot to be a top 10 pick.