The Iowa wrestling team has had a slow go of things on the recruiting trail this year, so far landing only 165/174 lb. prospect Burke Paddock earlier this summer. Well, it looks like things might be picking up now, as last night they added another recruit:
After a roller coaster of a recruiting process, I have decided wrestle at the University of Iowa next fall! Thanks to everyone involved in— Seth Gross (@SeT_132) October 9, 2013
So who is Seth Gross?
Three-time Fargo champ Seth Gross committed to Iowa. He also considered Minnesota, Oklahoma State and North Carolina. Projects at 133/141.— Andy Hamilton (@Andy_Hamilton) October 9, 2013
Gross is the #1 wrestler in the nation at 132 lbs., per flowrestling's rankings. He's also the #33 overall wrestler in the Class of 2014, per InterMat, and #28 overall in d1collegewrestling's 2014 rankings.. To date, Gross, a senior at Apple Valley, a wrestling powerhouse in Minnesota, has racked up a 104-14 record in high school, with two state titles (at 120 as a sophomore and at 132 as a junior last year). As InterMat notes, though, it's in off-season freestyle competition where Gross has truly shined:
He is a two-time Cadet National freestyle champion, winning titles at 113 pounds in 2011 and 126 in 2012; and was a Junior National freestyle champion this past summer at 132 pounds. In addition, he was a FILA Cadet freestyle champion at 127.75 pounds in the spring of 2012; and he also placed sixth at the 2012 Super 32 Challenge in the 126 pound weight class.
Obviously, freestyle success isn't a perfect predictor of folkstyle success at the NCAA level... but it sure doesn't hurt.
Gross projects to either 133 or 141. The popular belief has been that Cory Clark would eventually replace Tony Ramos at 133, so that may be an impediment to Gross filling that spot in the Iowa roster. However, the future is decidedly less clear at 141, where likely starter Josh Dziewa is a junior this year, meaning that he'd be a senior during Gross' likely redshirt year in 2014-15. Iowa did add Jake Marlin last year, another possibility at 141 for Iowa, but Gross figures to have an excellent opportunity to crack the line-up in a few years. Welcome aboard, Mr. Gross. It's always nice when a Minnesotan spurns the Gophers for Iowa.
Here's some footage of Gross taking first place at Junior Nationals last summer: