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Who are Xavier Nwankpa's parents Amy and Frank after five-star safety commits to Iowa?

Joshua Rogers December 9, 2021
Who are Xavier Nwankpa's parents Amy and Frank after five-star safety commits to Iowa?

We take a look at Xavier Nwankpa’s parents, Amy Kelce Erickson and Frank Nwankpa, after the five-star safety announced he would play college football for the Hawkeyes in his home state of Iowa.

Altoona (Iowa) Southeast Polk safety Xavier Nwankpa announced Wednesday night he will be pledging to the University of Iowa to play college football.

Nwankpa is the No. 34 prospect in the 2022 class and also ranks as the nation’s No. 2 safety and No. 1 prospect in Iowa. He is reportedly the highest-ranked prospect from the state of Iowa in 247Sports History.

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Five-star safety commits to play at University of Iowa

The 6ft 2in, 190lb safety announced his decision to play for the Hawkeyes during a live broadcast on CBS Sports HQ.

He had offers from Notre Dame and Ohio State, and Nwankpa admitted it was a tough decision. He said: “The relationships with coaches and the players. Stability on the staff, the defensive backs’ development, and lastly the environment. It was very tough. I had my top three all lead at one point, and I almost committed to each at a point this year.”

Xavier admitted he went back and forth over the decision but in the end he and his parents felt Iowa was the right choice. He added: “It was really just a gut feeling since all three places are great. My parents also felt like it was a great fit for me.”

Who are Xavier Nwankpa’s parents

Given they played such an important role in his decision-making process, people want to know more about Xavier Nwankpa’s parents.

Xavier Nwankpa’s parents are Amy Kelce Erickson and Frank Nwankpa, and he informed them at the weekend he was going to be a Hawkeye.

“My mom was super excited about it, 90 minutes away, friends and families can watch me play too,” Xavier said.

Xavier comes from an athletic background as his mother, Amy, played softball, basketball and volleyball at Des Moines North and collegiate softball at William Penn. Xavier’s father, Frank, owns seven track and field records at Iowa State, including 100m dash and 4×100m relay, plus indoor records in the 60m and 200m dashes. 

According to The Athletic, Xavier’s last name is Nigerian, which comes from his father’s side. Nwankpa’s surname means ‘important’ or, like his father says, “an important child”.

Xavier’s parents are separated and Amy is now married to a man named Chad. Both, along with Nwankpa’s father, were part of his decision-making process.

Xavier’s close relationship with his mom

Xavier has a close relationship with his mom, Amy Erickson. Initially, she had high praise for Notre Dame after they visited the college, but in the end Iowa won out.

“He said he could totally see himself being there,” Erickson said about Xavier’s decision to play for the Hawkeyes. “But at that time, I thought he was still maybe trying to get out of state. But it wasn’t until probably a couple of weeks after that I really got to feel that maybe Iowa was going to be his push.

“I didn’t care where he went, I was going to support him no matter what. I just maybe hinted it would be a lot easier for me to drive an hour and a half than nine or six hours.”

The mother and son are evidently very close. Even when Xavier was little they would have ultra-competitive games on their driveway or a one-on-one hockey match in their living room.

Amy recently shared a post to her Twitter account wishing her son a happy 18th birthday. She wished him a wonderful day and uploaded a picture of the day he was born along with a more recent photo of the two together.

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Joshua is a senior sports writer with over four years' experience in online writing. He graduated with a BA in Ancient History from The University of Manchester before receiving an MA in Sports Journalism from The University of Central Lancashire. He became a trending writer for a leading social publisher and later spent time covering the 2018 World Cup for The Mirror Online. He then moved to a social marketing agency where he acted as website editor. His specialties on The Focus include F1, tennis, NBA, NFL and combat sports.