Prairie City-Monroe senior Seth Greiner started his football journey as a 165-pound running back who gained 61 yards on seven carries as a third-string backup.
When he graduates in May, Greiner will leave the school as a 255-pound two-time first team all-state defensive lineman.
His transition from running back to lineman has allowed him to turn a childhood dream into reality as he plans to play football at Iowa State University this fall.
“I grew up attending Iowa State football games with my mom and siblings and have been on campus many times,” Greiner said. “It was the closest feeling to home I found in a college. The school also has my major, which is important.”
Greiner will join the Cyclones as a preferred walk-on. He also had a preferred walk-on opportunity at Iowa and a full-ride scholarship offer from Grand View University.
Northern Iowa was interested, but it did not have Greiner’s major.
The Mustang senior also said he had interest and scholarship offers from small NCAA Division I and Division II schools that were out of state as well as a couple of junior colleges, including Iowa Western Community College.
“Iowa State’s coaching staff showed a considerable amount of interest in me, and I clicked with the coaches and my recruiter,” Greiner said. “Coach (Matt) Campbell and the rest of the staff have built a strong program and I am looking forward to being a part of that.
“The atmosphere at Jack Trice is like nothing else I experienced during the recruiting process. The university is building an athletic complex that will be amazing and top notch, too.”
PCM head football coach Greg Bonnett knows Iowa State is getting a good one.
“I think any program is lucky to get Seth and Iowa State is no exception,” Bonnett said.
“I think he will train hard and fight to compete once he understands the speed of that level. I am really looking forward to seeing Seth transform when they start training him and feeding him at the Division I football level.”
When Greiner started high school football at PCM, starting tailback Wes Cummings was a grade older and just getting started on his record-setting career.
That’s when Greiner realized he needed to make a position change to find a way to get on the field.
The transition from running back to lineman started after he went from 5-foot-10, 165 pounds as a freshman to 6-2, 210 as a sophomore.
“Seth just kept getting bigger and stronger as he aged,” Bonnett said. “When the pieces of the puzzle started falling in place, it made sense to move him to the line of scrimmage.”
Greiner had 16 tackles and one sack as a minimal contributor as a sophomore.
He stayed 6-2 as a junior but added 35 pounds to his frame and was a key part of both lines in PCM’s 13-0 perfect season.
After collecting 43.5 tackles, seven tackles for loss, one sack and three fumble recoveries, Greiner earned first team all-state recognition from the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association.
The numbers got even better as a senior, including his weight, which moved to 255 pounds.
PCM went 8-3 and Greiner had 63 tackles, 17 tackles for loss and six sacks. He started most games on the offensive line, too, but also gained 82 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries as a running back.
In Greiner’s two seasons as a starter, PCM went 21-3. He earned 2A first-team all-state on the defensive line both seasons.
“Seth is an impact player with great physical attributes and that’s why he’s being allowed to play Division I football,” Bonnett said. “There are many great high school football players that make plays consistently, but when you get one with his size and speed it adds a level of intimidation for opposing teams. I guarantee you that nobody slept easy when they knew Seth Greiner was coming after them on Friday Night.”
Greiner said Iowa State’s coaches plan to use him somewhere on the defensive line.
“We’ve only spoken about me playing on the defensive line, but I will play wherever they need me to play,” Greiner said.
Greiner plans to major in kinesiology. He hopes to earn a doctor of physical therapy or chiropractic degree after that.