Earlier today, running back James Butler transferred to the Hawkeye football team from Nevada. A couple hours later, Edinboro middleweight Patricio Lugo joins the Iowa wrestling team.
Talk about some fireworks on the Fourth of July.
As FloWrestling points out, it was a pretty open secret Lugo was considering a move from Edinboro. This is a good get for Iowa and his credentials? Well they check out.
He was a two-time high school state champion in Florida during his junior and senior years. He qualified for the NCAA tournament — though has yet to make All-American status — with an impressive 63-18 career record. He was just a win away from getting there his freshman season, though bowed out after two-straight losses as the No. 8 seed this year.
There’s more. He’s a two-time Fargo finalist and fell to Ryan Deakin in the finals of the junior world trials. This is a good add not only for the Iowa wrestling team, but the Hawkeye Wrestling Club as well. Lugo obviously has some freestyle talent and what better place to hone that than in the Dan Gable Wrestling Complex?
"I am more than excited to work with the Brands Bros. & rest of the staff. can't wait to get the train rolling." - @MasterP_145 on transfer— K.J. Pilcher (@kjpilcher) July 4, 2017
Lugo has spent the last two years at 149 and it would seem like that would be his natural weight. Since he still has a redshirt available, it would stand to reason he’ll use that during the upcoming season and then have two seasons as the Hawkeye starter.
There’s certainly some other talented middleweights in the room that will give him a test, but it’s pretty easy to see the path for him to the starting spot. Another benefit? This gives senior 149-pounder Brandon Sorensen an excellent training partner in the room. Tom Brands and the rest of the coaching staff are fond of the phrase “iron sharpening iron” and this will absolutely be that. Two All-American — and in Sorensen’s case, national champion level— athletes squaring off every single day? That’s exciting for the Hawkeyes.
This has been a good summer for Iowa. Adding Lugo and former Illinois commit Justin Mejia is huge. Mark Perry is back in the room as the Hawkeye Wrestling Club head coach. We should get to see Alex Marinelli and Kaleb Young on the mat next season. Sam Stoll will hopefully be back and healthy.
Yes, the Hawkeyes lost a lot from last season’s team, but the future? Things are looking brighter and brighter by the moment in Iowa City.