Freshman running back Brandon Domeyer has played in all of Wartburg’s first three games this year, contributing to his team’s early success.
Domeyer has 48 yards rushing, 61 yards receiving and one touchdown in three games.
However, at this time last year, Domeyer was unsure whether he would ever play another down of football again.
As a four-sport athlete from West Delaware High School in Manchester, Iowa, Domeyer had many offers to play college football.
“Most of the Division III schools talked to me,” Domeyer said. A few bigger schools like Northern Iowa and Iowa State also expressed interest in the talented running back.
As a senior, Domeyer broke several school records including most career touchdowns (41), and most career rushing yards (2,977) before losing in the Class 3A state semifinals to Bishop Heelan Catholic of Sioux City.
Wartburg head football coach Rick Willis saw Domeyer’s potential and was eager to make him a Knight.
“We had identified Brandon as one of the top backs, for sure in northeast Iowa, if not the entire state,” Willis said. “We knew he was an outstanding player so we recruited him really hard after his senior year and developed a good relationship with him through that process.”
Ultimately, Domeyer turned down the chance to play football at Wartburg and enrolled at The University of Northern Iowa.
“Throughout high school, I was a four-sport athlete and I just kind of got burnt out,” Domeyer said. “I was ready to just start school. That’s why I chose UNI.”
Domeyer said he quickly realized that he belonged on the gridiron and transferred from UNI.
“For a few weeks, I was ready to just get back from class and sit in my room,” said Domeyer. “After a while, I really started to miss it and I knew that I still had a shot to come back.”
A major selling point for Domeyer’s decision to transfer to Wartburg was the coaching staff and how they treated him during the recruiting process.
“I really liked them and I really trusted them,” Domeyer said. “(Wartburg) is a really successful program. This is where I wanted to be.”
Willis was thrilled when he heard of Domeyer’s decision.
“I think he remembered that he had visited and liked Wartburg, and realized how much he missed football and being part of a team,” Willis said. “He let us know that, and things kind of fell into place from there.”
Offensive coordinator Matt Wheeler was also excited to hear about the decision.
“We thought a lot of him out of high school,” Wheeler said. “We had to wait a year, but we got him anyway.”
Although Domeyer is listed as a freshman, he comes into this year with a lot more experience than most.
“Even though he missed his first opportunity during the fall, he came here in January and got a feel for everything,” Willis said. “When he came back this fall, he really wasn’t your typical first year. He was more mature, more used to college.”
This year, the coaching staff plans on utilizing Domeyer in multiple ways, both in the backfield and on special teams.
“He’s versatile, and that’s one thing about him that I like. He can catch the ball out of the backfield. He runs with good pad level and is tough to tackle,” Wheeler said.
As for Domeyer’s future, the coaching staff is excited to see what kind of player he can become.
“His potential in our program is unlimited,” Willis said. “He should, with continued growth, development, and experience, continue to get better and better. He has the chance to be a very special player.”