The Iowa Hawkeye program finished unsurprisingly in the top 15 of InterMat’s class rankings, and their late addition of Steven Holloway, may have been the reason they got the bump up to #12 that they did get. What will surprise you as this is the third straight year Iowa has finished the season without a top five recruiting class.
But before anyone goes and hits the panic button, two things are key to the last statement: 1) the last top five recruiting class Iowa had was the #1 overall class in 2012 and 2) Iowa had two #1 ranked recruiting classes on the books during that same time frame. So while some may see some cause for concern, it should also be noted Iowa has found what appears to be some good talent since not landing a top five class.
For starters the following year after the #1 2012 class, Iowa experienced their first “down year”, but in that class they managed to bring in Brandon Sorensen, who finished the season as the nation’s top 149 pound rookie according to AWN. The 2015 class appears to have their diamond in the rough as well, but their clear headliner is top 15 ranked Michael Kemerer, who won just about every tournament east of the Mississippi you could ask of him (okay, Franklin Regional didn’t attend Beast of the East, but he probably would’ve won that one too).
Vince Turk and Cash Wilcke highlight the other top 100 prospects in this recruiting class, and they too could play pivotal roles in the future lineup, perhaps for one, fairly soon. Last night Andy Hamilton talked about the issues the Hawkeyes will face with two of their 141 pound wrestler’s being dismissed from the team, and he even went as far as to suggest that Tom Brands may break his rule of never starting a true freshman to start one of Kemerer or Turk. Of the pair, Turk is probably the more likely of the two to make 141 the easiest, but Kemerer is considered the superior talent and if he could get down to 141 would be a hammer.
The Hawkeyes also landed 10 wrestlers who are not currently ranked, and I will direct you to the Division I commitment page to view all of the wrestlers headed to Iowa, or you can read our recruit preview from last month. The long and short of it are Iowa has landed one of the largest classes in recent memory and we have seen Tom Brands and Co. work their magic on a number of occasions of turning a less than heralded prep into a solid lineup contributor.
The final parting note on Iowa is even though it’s been a while since they have landed a top five recruiting class, 2016 is off to a running start. They already have a top three ranked recruit on board (Marinelli), and another top 50 recruit (Young) and the first official contact period has yet to begin. Iowa looks to have picked up a serious bargain in 2015, and if they can apply those savings to 2016, I think Iowa fans should be really satisfied. The talent in the 2016 class may be a touch better than the 2015 class.