As a Recruit
Xavier Nwankpa credits his mother for helping him develop an ultra-competitive spirit that has driven him to be one of the best high school football players in the country. Whether it was a game of "HORSE" on their driveway or a one-on-one hockey match, Nwankpa’s mother, Amy Kelce, didn’t let her son win. Nwankpa said he had to earn it. "He would come back with a vengeance on mom," Kelce told the Des Moines Register. "Even before he could walk, he was trying to run. He is a perfectionist." Growing up, Nwankpa was a standout in Southeast Polk youth baseball, basketball, football and track programs. Southeast Polk football coach Brad Zelenovich said he was so aware of Nwankpa’s talent that he made him manager of the football team in seventh grade, so he’d be used to the program. Kelce played college softball at William Penn. Frank Nwankpa, Xavier’s father, still holds seven track and field records at Iowa State. Nwankpa plans on majoring in kinesiology in college.