Iowa Wrestling made a huge splash yesterday with the news that Patricio Lugo would be transferring from Edinboro to Iowa City, but that was only the beginning. Late last night, it was announced that a top heavyweight recruit in the Class of 2018 would be flipping his commitment from Northwestern to Iowa, as reported by IAwrestle.com.
Anthony Cassioppi is ranked the #28 wrestler in the Class of 2018 and #5 heavyweight in the class, per Flowrestling. As a junior at Hononegah High School, he was a 3A state champion in Illinois, going 48-0 on the year. He has had success at the national level as well - he recently won the junior Pan Am titles in both styles and went undefeated in both styles at junior duals.
About his visit to Iowa City, Cassioppi had this to say to Flowrestling:
They have a great room of guys, when I walk into their wrestling room there's just a different atmosphere, you can almost feel champions being forged.
Currently, Iowa has just two heavyweights on their roster - Sam Stoll, who is recovering from an ACL tear he suffered in January, and a newcomer in Aaron Costello, who was ranked 79th in the Class of 2017 by Flowrestling. The addition of Cassioppi would be huge for the program, as it’d provide some depth at the highest weight. If Stoll is able to return to form after a tough injury, Cassioppi could redshirt his freshman year and Iowa would be able to use all four years of his eligibility as the starting heavyweight.
Cassioppi becomes the second wrestler to commit to Iowa’s Class of 2018, following in the footsteps of Nelson Brands, the son of Terry. Hopefully this is just a sign of things to come.
Also, a fun little thing that IAwrestle shared: Cassioppi and Costello met in the finals of the USA Wrestling Folkstyle nationals just a few months ago, and Cassioppi won by fall.