Every year D1 College Wrestling takes a look back over his recruiting rankings and puts together a recap, which essentially re-ranks the recruits by assigning point values to NCAA and conference finishes.  For example, Bobby Telford took second at the Big Ten tournament, and fifth at the NCAA tournament, which scored him 14 points this season. Earl has been doing his recruiting rewinds since 2005, and here are a couple quick facts:

  • During the six year stretch, Iowa has had seven wrestlers finish in the top 10 of the rewinds (Brent Metcalf, Montell Marion, Matt McDonough, Derek St. John, Tony Ramos, Bobby Telford, and Mike Evans).
  • During that same period of time, Iowa State has had three finish top 10 (Jake Varner, David Zabriskie, and Jon Reader).

Back when the 2010 recruiting class was signed, Iowa was the consensus #1 overall landing a monster class which was headlined by prep national champion and #4 ranked Mike Evans, and featured an addition three top 20 ranked recruits – #11 Nick Moore, #14 Josh Dziewa, and #19 Bobby Telford. Iowa also landed a pair of Iowa natives, #31 Jake Ballweg and #74 Mike Kelly, and #79 Anthony Baldosaro of New Jersey.

Of the 2010 recruiting class, five of the top 100 recruits made it into the Iowa lineup at some point in their careers, with Mike Evans and Bobby Telford each being main staples as four-year starters. Nick Moore was a three-year starter, and also wrestled a respectable amount as a freshman filling in for an injured Derek St. John. Dziewa and Kelly each spent two seasons as starters in the Iowa lineup, and they also spent an additional year where Kelly was the regular season starter at 149 pounds, but Dziewa was given the surprise nod at the Big Ten conference tournament.


The Cyclones weren’t too far behind their in-state rival landing the #6 overall class, which was also loaded with potential. The top prize in the class was #16 ranked Ryak Finch from Arizona, who didn’t conclude his career with Iowa State, but he did eventually go on to be a two-time NAIA champion for Grand View. #39 ranked Joey Cozart also ended up departing early from Iowa State, he too went on to be a NAIA national champion with Lindley Wilson this past season. The heaviest hitters for Iowa State wound up being a pair of 60 ranked in-state products, #60 Mike Moreno and #65 Kyven Gadson.

Both Moreno and Gadson were actually Cyclone legacies, their fathers Mike Moreno (Sr) and Willie Gadson both attended Iowa State and both were All-Americans during their college careers. The 2013 season ended up being a special one as both ended up earning their first All-American honors (making them the only father-son duos to earn All-American honors at Iowa State), with Kyven earning his just two short weeks after losing his father. #98 ranked Luke Goettl was also a big piece in the 2010 recruiting class as he was a four-year starter as a Cyclone and three-time NCAA qualifier.


Now with all off that in mind we can take a look at the rewind.

Bobby Telford brings home the top spot among Iowa wrestler, as he earns top 10 honors by being ranked seventh in the rewind. Telford was a three-time All-American in addition to never finishing lower than third at the Big Ten tournament. Had it not been for an injury at the 2013 NCAA championships, Telford may have been a four-time All-American and pushed for a top five finish in the rankings.

Three-time NCAA All-American Mike Evans is the only other wrestler to make the top 10 from Iowa as he comes in tied for #9 with Virginia Tech’s Devin Carter. Evans was an impressive three-time Big Ten runner-up and finished sixth at the NCAA championships three years in a row at 174 pounds.

Kyven Gadson was a big mover up the list coming from #65 all the way to #13 in his finish.  Gadson was a nightmare to wrestle over the last three seasons, taking first, fourth, and sixth at the NCAAs in addition to three consecutive Big 12 titles. Gadson also finished his 2015 campaign as the highest individual point scorer in the entire tournament.

Also moving up was two-time NCAA All-American Mike Moreno, who moved up almost 40 spots to take #22 in the rewind. Moreno also was a two-time Big 12 runner-up as a Cyclone.

Nick Moore comes in at #30 after his career. Moore was a three-time NCAA qualifier and finished in the top four of the Big Ten tournament twice. His teammate Josh Dziewa also dropped down the list to #37 as a two-time NCAA qualifier and also received a big boost when he was a surprise Big Ten finalist this past season.


By Ross Bartachek (@rossbchek)

Lead Editor of IA Wrestle