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Perry football becoming pipeline to Iowa State

Quarterback Brock Purdy, left, helped guide Perry High School to the 6A state title game along with coach Preston Jones. (Photo courtesy Preston Jones)

GILBERT, Ariz. — Often when high school stars go to college, they don’t know anyone. They travel miles to attend a school that will give them a scholarship. They have to build new relationships with players already on the team and the coaches that recruited them to go there in the first place.

That might not be the case with Brock Purdy, D’shayne James and Brayden Rohme.

All three have received scholarships to play football at Iowa State University. Purdy is already enrolled, James is verbally committed and Rohme has yet to make a decision on where he will play after high school.

James, a graduate in the class of 2019, was the first player to commit to Iowa State in December 2017, before 2018 graduate Purdy. Purdy committed in early February after a late recruitment push by several schools, including Alabama and Texas A&M.

“D’shayne said some cool things when I was offered, before I committed,” Purdy said. “Things about the coaching staff, the college town and everything. Once I stepped on campus at Iowa State I felt at home. When I went home and I talked about the other colleges, I knew that it obviously had the advantage over all the other ones.”

“I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but home, and I feel they were invested in me, so now it’s my job to produce,” James said in an azcentral article published in December.

Purdy recently won azcentral’s Football Athlete of the Year and Gatorade’s Arizona High School Football Player of the Year awards with an impressive stat line of 4,405 yards through the air and 57 touchdowns in his senior season. Purdy also ran for 1,017 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Purdy imagines himself redshirting his freshman season according to the Des Moines Register. In front of him at quarterback is sixth-year senior starter Kyle Kempt and backup redshirt freshman Zeb Noland.

“I’m just trying to take in as much experience that I can and be ready to play at any moment,” Purdy said. “I’m just excited to play in the Big 12 with a bunch of great athletes, great team, great coaching staff. I’m excited to take it all in.”

At Perry, James is battling Purdy’s brother, Chubba, for the starting quarterback position. James, however, knows he is playing wide receiver at Iowa State next season.

“They see me as a power wide receiver and I definitely feel comfortable with them in a way that it makes me feel home,” James said in the same azcentral article.

Last season, when Purdy was James’ quarterback, James caught 45 passes for 1086 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns.

“That would be awesome,” Purdy said when asked what it would be like to play with James again at the college level. “Hopefully we can get Brayden Rohme, too. That’d be pretty sweet to have those kids that I played with for a couple years on the varsity level.

“I can’t wait to see what Brayden does for his decision.”

Rohme has 18 offers from multiple Pac-12 schools and even one Ivy League school. Rohme’s official visit to Iowa State was June 14-17.

“I got to like the coaches,” Rohme said on what he’s looking for when choosing which college to go to in the future. “Good academics, just the place feels like home and it’s a good culture there.”

Purdy has also been in Rohme’s ear, making sure he knows that Iowa State has all the things he is looking for.

“The coaching staff is awesome,” Purdy said. “They’re new and they’re on the rise with everything and I like how they run stuff. I always talk nice things to (Rohme) and basically just tell him the truth about the place. If he decides to come that’s awesome. If not, that’s fine. Everyone has their own decisions.”

“(Purdy and James) aren’t really forcing me, but they said how much they love the place because it feels like home,” Rohme said.

Of all three, Rohme has had the highest interest from colleges and it has not made his decision process any easier.

“It’s definitely a blessing but at the same time it’s super hard to choose,” Rohme said. “Every school you go to you’re like, ‘Ahh, I love this place’, and then the next school you go to you’re like, ‘Ahh, I love this place too”, it’s definitely super hard to choose from. They all have great people there and awesome coaches. It’s definitely going to be a hard decision for me down the road.”

No matter where Rohme ends up going, Purdy is supportive towards his decision and is excited for the future of Arizonans at Iowa State.

As well as Purdy, two other 2018 graduates from Arizona committed to Iowa State to play football in the fall.

“Just to see as much Arizona kids go up to Iowa State, if possible, is just awesome to hear and imagine,” Purdy said.


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