As I noted last week, Iowa's 2014 wrestling class has been slow to accumulate commitments -- but it seems to be picking up steam now. A week after landing a top Minnesota lightweight wrestler in Seth Gross, Iowa landed a commitment from a top Minnesota upper weight wrestler in heavyweight prospect Sam Stoll.
It's been a long recruiting process but I know I made the right decision. I will be attending the University of Iowa next year. #GOHAWKS!— sam stoll (@stollsam) October 14, 2013
Stoll was one of the highest-ranked recruits left uncommitted in the 2014 class. InterMat ranked him the 11th best prospect overall in the '14 class, while d1collegewrestling had him as the 16th best prospect in the class. Flowerestling rated him the third best heavyweight prospect in the country. He's the highest-rated member of Iowa's 2014 class so far.
Stoll is coming off a 49-0 season and Minnesota state championship at Kasson-Mantorville high school; he finished second and third at the state tournament as a freshman and a sophomore. He also has some strong freestyle experience. Per Intermat:
He was a FILA Junior world team member in Greco-Roman at 120 kilos this past summer, and is a two-time All-American in Junior Greco-Roman, finishing third and second the last two years at 285 pounds.
As flo notes, he also has a pair of Fargo titles on his resume and won the U.S. Junior World Team Trials (in Greco) last spring. He's a very good prospect and an excellent addition to this recruiting class.
His eligibility should sync up nicely with current Iowa heavyweight Bobby Telford, too. Telford is a redshirt junior this year and will be a redshirt senior when Stoll is a true freshman in 2014-15. Stoll should have an opportunity to compete for the starting job at 285 in 2015-16, after Telford has graduated. Of course, there's also the matter of the heavyweight prospect that Iowa added in its 2013 class, Aaron Bradley. As I mentioned in my post about Bradley's commitment last spring, he's a devout Mormon and is expected to go on a two-year Mormon mission now. He projects to enroll at Iowa for the 2015-16 season.
Stoll's presence will complicate things -- with a year in the Iowa wrestling room (and a year of college weight-training) under his belt, he'll likely have a leg up in the quest to replace Telford. Still, this is undeniably a good problem to have; competition for a starting spot is healthy (and gives guys a strong motivation to improve and perform well) and having options is never a bad thing. There's certainly the possibility that Iowa won't be able keep both guys -- unlike other weights, there's virtually no ability for a heavyweight to wrestle at another weight (especially since Stoll and Bradley look like "natural" heavyweights -- i.e., they're already pretty big guys), so the guy that doesn't win the starting job may decide to seek his fortunes elsewhere. But that's also putting the cart pretty far ahead of the horse -- this issue isn't likely to arise for a few years. We'll deal with that problem -- if it does indeed become a problem -- then. In the meantime, welcome aboard, Mr. Stoll.
BONUS! Here's a nice article about Stoll (PDF).