Today we are taking a look at the true freshman for the Iowa Hawkeyes, because it’s good to look and see what’s in store for the future. This Freshman class almost feels more important when you consider that not only is Iowa graduating a #1 ranked recruiting class, but these seniors make up 50% of the Iowa lineup. At 285 Sam Stoll is the only Iowa wrestler on the roster that we can truly deem as “next man in” for Bobby Telford since he is the only other heavyweight listed on the roster. Similarly Logan Ryan and Seth Gross are expected to battle with Topher Carton to replace Josh Dziewa’s starting spot at 141.
Iowa is currently the #1 ranked team now by InterMat (both dual and tourney), Flo, and the coaches rankings, which makes this group of freshmen’s progress at least intriguing. While it’s not guarenteed that these freshmen will be making their impacts next season as starters, there is a good chance that a couple of these wrestlers will begin their varsity careers as starters in the Iowa Hawkeye lineup.
Seth Gross – 141
Gross probably had one of the best seasons among his fellow 2014 recruiting classmates. Despite a limited body of work (12-4) record there were still some impressive showings from the Minnesota native. The main story line would be that he split with Logan Ryan, who we will talk about more next. Ryan is expected to battle with Gross for next year’s starting lineup spot at 141, and he won the first meeting 2-1 TB. Gross came back and won the second meeting 7-2.
The other notable win that Gross recorded this season was a 6-2 win over Illinois freshman Brock Ervin. Gross recorded nine bonus wins, so it’s also good to see him putting points on the board. Brands opted to bring Gross to the Midlands, which is one of the top honors the coach rewards his true freshmen with.
Logan Ryan – 141
As mentioned Ryan will be one of the chief contenders in the 141 battle next season, along with Gross and Topher Carton. Ryan put together a 21-6 season, with one of his biggest claim to fame being a 3rd place finish at the Harold Nichols Open. Aside from Gross, Ryan’s biggest win could probably be argued to be his 6-1 win over Missouri backup Le’Roy Barnes.
Ryan also picked up a 3rd place finish at the Grand View Open with his only loss coming to John Meeks of Iowa State in the semifinals.
Tagen Lambotte – 149
Lambotte saw fairly limited action this year, only competing in the Luther Open and Harold Nichols Open. Lambotte picked up his only DI win at the Harold Nichols Open where he defeated Missouri’s Blake Pepper 15-4. Lambotte is 7-4 on the year.
Going forward it looks like Iowa has really found something in Brandon Sorensen, as the young freshman has three wins over All-Americans. To add to the 149 depth, Brody Grothus is a guy who has wins over some of those same guys. Lambotte is a 149, but could move to 157 and challenge for the spot with Mike Kelly graduating.
Ross Lembeck – 157
Lembeck is similar to Lambotte in that he has seen limited mat time this year. Just a 6-4 record to this point and surprisingly he hasn’t ran into any DI competition. Lembeck is another guy who could be in the mix at this weight once Mike Kelly graduates.
Skyler St. John – 157
Skyler has yet to register a match this season so it’s pretty much impossible to gauge where he is at to this point in his career. The graduation of his brother Derek, has left some rather large shoes to fill, so Iowa will need someone to emerge at this weight for next season.
Burke Paddock – 174
Paddock came in this season and has had some pretty positive results. He is expected to challenge at 165 next season once Nick Moore graduates, but to this point he has an 22-5 record. Paddock recorded third place finishes at the Joe Parisi and Harold Nichols Open and added a runner-up finishes at the Flash Flannigan Open and Grand View Open this past month. Paddock has scored quite a few wins over DI backups, but doesn’t have a true signature win.
Looking at his 174 results it’s hard to say exactly what type of wrestler Iowa will have for next year at 165. Judging by Paddock won his 174 matches in a mostly lopsided fashion, I think he will see some varying degrees of success next year.
Mitch Bowman – 184
Mitch Bowman also lacks a true signature win in his true freshman campaign, but his 3-1 SV win over Adam Drain is pretty significant. He is finishing the year at 17-8 on the season which is a good amount of matches for a true freshman. Bowman did earn an open tournament title at the Flash Flanagan, with a win over Purdue’s Blake Reid. Bowman is a pretty interesting upperweight, and I am curious if Iowa will take a look at him as a potential future replacement for Nathan Burak at 197.
Sam Stoll – 285
Sam Stoll will be another wrestler that is expected to take on a starting role next year. With Bobby Telford nearing the end of his career, Iowa went out and got Sam Stoll, who comes in with a pretty impressive Greco-Roman background. Stoll picked up a win over Brooks Black of Illinois at the Harold Nichols Open and was eventually awarded an invitation to the Midlands tournament.
Stoll is 17-5 on the year, winning a Grand View Open title his most recent action. His most notable win there was probably over Adam Freimund of North Dakota State. One of the things that Stoll was renowned for in high school was his pinning ways, which he has seemed to have brought with him earning eight falls this season.