Tom Brands adds another new commit to the Iowa wrestling program.
Phillip Laux took the scenic route to decide that he wanted to wrestle for the Iowa Hawkeyes. A member of the 2012 recruiting class, last fall Laux initially chose to attend Wisconsin and wrestle for Barry Davis' Badgers. He even signed a national letter of intent to attend Wisconsin.
After receiving a full scholarship release from Wisconsin (Bo Ryan thinks that's just crazytalk, Barry), Laux announced his decision to attend Iowa... next year. Why Iowa? Aside from the local ties, his lead recruiter at Wisconsin was Ryan Morningstar... who left Wisconsin to join the Iowa coaching staff a few months ago. Laux plans to "grayshirt" this year, attend classes at Kirkwood Community College, and train on his own with his former Iowa City West coaches and some "special friends" (like ex-Iowa wrestler Dan Dennis). He'll enroll in Iowa in the fall of 2013 and be immediately eligible to compete for Iowa.
Laux went 153-12 in high school and picked up two state titles (at 103 and 113 lbs.) while at Iowa City West. He's now at 130 lbs., but he projects at 125 lbs. in college. Laux was ranked the 146th best recruit in the class of 2012by d1collegewrestling.
Laux will join a crowded Iowa wrestling room next season. Iowa signed several wrestlers that project at the lower weights in the class of 2012, most notably Thomas Gilman and Cory Clark, both of whom were ranked in the top 25 by d1collegewrestling. (Iowa also added Topher Carton, who was not ranked in d1collegewrestling's Top 200.) If Laux proves to be better than Gilman and Clark, he'll be a tremendous addition to the Iowa lineup. But even if he doesn't unseat either Gilman or Clark, Laux will still be a valuable addition to the Iowa team. More quality depth is never, ever a bad thing -- it makes for stronger training sessions and provides more good options for the lineup if things go awry. On the other hand... it sure would be nice if Laux was about 60-70 lbs. heavier and could provide a boost to Iowa's upper weights. That's the area of the lineup where Iowa could really use some added depth.
Still, let's not be greedy -- Laux figures to be a very solid addition to the Iowa team. Welcome aboard, Mr. Laux. Congratulations on seeing the light and getting out of Madtown.