Iowa leads the universe in wrestling fans and Google Images
Entering the 2014-2015 season, the Iowa Hawkeyes have one thing on their mind....the National Championship. Minnesota is the consensus #1, Ohio State is surrounded by hype, Penn State is the 4-time defending champs, and Cornell is loaded. Is it possible we are over looking Iowa? I mean....it's Iowa. 15k per home dual, Dan Gable, Brands brothers, same singlet, legendary frickin' Iowa.
More than just the mystique around the most famous wrestling program, they have 9 guys ranked and the lowest ranking (using Flo) of those guys is 8th. That's just top to bottom talent that should have Iowa right in the team race through Saturday night in St Louis. It'll be a fun year for the Hawkeyes as this team will be able to compete in a dual with anybody and score a lot of tournament points as well.
125- #5 Thomas Gilman
- As a redshirt freshman, Gilman burst on the scene last year as the 125 "backup" to Corey Clark and then he won the Midlands. Clark eventually got the nod for the postseason ending Gilman's record at 16-3. He went on to win bronze this summer at Junior World's. He was a 4-time Nebraska state champ, and looks like he will battle the top guys all year to not only compete to be an all-american, but also for a national championship.
133- #5 Cory Clark
- Clark split time with Gilman for an impressive all-american freshman season. He took 4th at the Big Tens, and finished 5th at NCAA's with a record of 22-4 on the season. He was a 4-time NCAA Champion and looks to take out everyone at a wide open 133 lb weight class. Expect him to be right there with little adjustment to the weight change.
141- #8 Josh Dziewa
- Dziewa is a 5th year senior who ended up 2 wins shy of all-american status after finishing 5th at the Big Tens. Last year was his first year as a starter for the former Pennsylvania state champ. 141 is a tough weight, but many expect Dziewa to end up on the podium this year.
149- #8 Brody Grothus
- Grothus enters as a 4th year junior after an up and down season. He entered the Big Ten tourny as a 4 seed, but was beat out needing a wild card for NCAA's. He was the 13 seed and went just 1-2. Grothus had an up & down year highlighted by wins over Kindig & Grajales. Another year as the starter could be a big year for him, but I think 8 is too high of a ranking right now.
157- Brandon Sorenson
- This is the only weight (using Flo) that Iowa is not ranked. Sorenson seems to be the front runner, but Iowa (because they are Iowa) has plenty of candidates for the spot. Sorenson is a redshirt freshman who wrestled some at 157 and then the 2nd half of last year at 149 impressively placing 3rd at the Midlands. He was a 4-time Iowa state champion. It'll be interesting to see who wins this spot though as the roster looks like there will be plenty of guys battling for it.
165- #6 Nick Moore
- Moore looked like the 3rd best 165 last year all season. He entered the post-season with just 2 losses. One was to David Taylor while the other was to Monk (the 2 best wrestlers at 165....sorry Caldwell but that's what I believe). Moore went 2-2 at the NCAA's and is still looking for his first AA going in to his senior season. Tommy picked him as his pick to win the NCAA title, and if that comes true it could be the x factor that puts Iowa in front in the team race.
174- #4 Mike Evans
- Part of the huge Big Ten 4 at this weight, Mike Evans is a 2-time all-american finishing 6th last year. Expect him to be in the top fray again this year which could result with him on top of the podium in March.
184- #7 Sammy Brooks
- Brooks was a redshirt freshman last year finishing 18-7 backing up Lofthouse. He had big wins over Abounader (Michigan) and Dudley (Nebraska), and he placed 6th at the Midlands. He was a 2-time Illinois state champ who looks to enjoy a lot of success in his first chance to be a full time starter. 184 is wide open in the Big Ten, and Brooks is definitely a contender to win it.
197- #6 Nathan Burak
- Finished 8th at NCAA's for his first AA honor as a sophomore. He finished with a 19-8 record with an up & down season. The former state champ from Colorado looks to build on this success in his Junior year to end up on the podium again. However, 197 isn't going to be any easier in the Big Ten.
285- #3 Bobby Telford
- Telford took 4th at the NCAA's last year to garner his second AA honors. He is a 2-time state champ from Delaware heading in to his 5th year senior season looking for the NCAA title. 285 really isn't any easier this year with almost all the guys returning, but expect Telford to be right there as a legitimate national championship contender.