**Since the release of this article the Fab 50 has been revamped. Please be patient while we work to bring you the latest information on the top 10 available seniors in the state of Iowa.**
IAwrestle has unveiled our Preseason Fab 50 rankings, identifying the top 50 wrestlers in the state of Iowa. The list, compiled by rankings guru Lars Underbakke, considers athletes who have at least one high school season under their belts, As we near the beginning of the 2017-18 season, we at IAwrestle are going to take a look at the top 10 uncommitted wrestlers for the class of 2018.
1. Josh Ramirez (Dubuque Wahlert) | Fab 50 Ranking: #10
One of the newest additions to the state of Iowa was Louisiana three-time state champion Josh Ramiez, who made the move to Dubuque Wahlert earlier this year. Ramirez comes in with some great credentials on the national stage, picking up All-American honors at Fargo and a UWW Cadet Nationals. He also owns a win over Marcus Coleman, who was a top five Fab 50 wrestler last year in the state of Iowa. What makes his win over Coleman more impressive is the fact that the win came at 170 pounds, but Ramirez is projected to be down at 160 pounds this year for Wahlert.
Originally an Illinois commit, Ramirez opened his recruitment back up when he moved to Iowa and has since visited the University of Nebraska.
“It was great, I enjoyed it.” Ramirez said of his visit to the Huskers, “The facilities where very nice and the workout partners I’d have would be amazing!”
Ramirez also plans to visit Ohio State this weekend.
2. Nathan Lendt (Southeast Polk) | Fab 50 Ranking: #20
Southeast Polk’s Nathan Lendt has finished in the top three at the state tournament on three occasions, including back-to-back runner-up finishes as a sophomore and junior, but has yet to claim an individual state title in February. On the national scene, Lendt hasn’t put together a big tournament at Fargo, but he has earned All-American honors at both UWW Cadet Greco-Roman Nationals and USA Wrestling’s Preseason Folkstyle Nationals. He competed at 138 pounds this past season for the Rams, but was all the way up to 152 pounds at the Iowa Freestyle and Greco-Roman state tournament.
3. Logan Schumacher (Martensdale-St Mary’s) | Fab 50 Ranking: #22
Martensdale-St Mary’s Logan Schumacher who is coming off a big 12 month stretch that saw him double up in All-American honors at Fargo in 2016, and he also earned his highest finish at the state tournament, a runner-up performance to Iowa State signee Alec McDowell at 182 pounds. While Schumacher has been successful in the state of Iowa his entire career, his national success has really only came within the last year. He has already been in contact with three Division I programs and is looking to pick his recruiting process back up after Fargo.
4. Cooper Lawson (Webster City) | Fab 50 Ranking: #23
Last year was a season of what could have been, as Webster City’s Cooper Lawson entered January ranked with the #1 ranking in 2017, but an injury derailed what could have been a special season for the heavyweight. The biggest question will be how Lawson recovers from that injury as the 2A heavyweight field is loaded with talent. Returning state runner-up John McConkey of Atlantic is #37 on the Fab 50, and Spencer Trenary checks in at #47. Lawson informed IAwrestle that he resumed training in late May, though he has yet to return to 100%.
The other question for Lawson might be whether or not the all-state offensive lineman opts to go the football route in college. Several coaches have already reached out to Lawson to continue his career in wrestling, but the Webster City prep is planning to hold off on making a final decision, possibly waiting until after the season concludes.
5. Ben Sarasin (Cedar Rapids Kennedy) | Fab 50 Ranking: #24
Cedar Rapids Kennedy’s Ben Sarasin enters his senior year a two-time state medalist and has been ranked at or near the top of his weight over the past two seasons. Last season Sarasin was considered the #2 ranked wrestler at 170 pounds (behind Ames prep Marcus Coleman) and after coming up short as a junior, Sarasin is hungry to finish his career with a state title.
”I was very upset-not only because I lost,” Sarasin said of his quarterfinals defeat to Coleman at the state tournament, “But also because I left the mat feeling that I could’ve done more…Obviously I’m very intent on finally earning a state title next year. In order to do so, I’ll be putting more effort and time into training. I am also focusing on becoming a stronger wrestler, both physically and mentally.”
While he doesn’t have a time frame in mind on when he will make his decision, he has informed IAwrestle that he is currently considering Division I schools Iowa, Northern Iowa, the University of Chicago, the University of Pennsylvania, Brown, and Columbia and he has also shown interest in traditional Division III power, Coe College.
6. Matt Robertson (Davenport Assumption) | Fab 50 Ranking: #27
Moving into the Top 10 is Davenport Assumption state champion, Matt Robertson. After rising to the top in 2017 Robertson spent the summer focusing on getting better, and he also competed for Team Iowa Black at the Disney Duals where he was among one of the top performers, going 10-3. Regardless on where his weight shakes out he figures to be a title contender in 2A wherever he winds up.
Robertson has changed his timeline from making a decision after the season to potentially making one in the next couple of months. He has interest from both Division I and III schools, though for now those will remain private.
7. Donny Schmit (Wapsie Valley) | Fab 50 Ranking: #33
As a sophomore Donny Schmit put together a breakout performance winning the 106 pound state title, downing New London’s Sam Loyd in the finals. Last season Schmit ran the gauntlet just to get back to the finals, needing an overtime victory to beat then #5 Brady Henderson (North Linn) followed by pinning #3 Kody Berg (Westwood) in the semifinals. In the finals he ran into Underwood’s Alex Thomsen, who ended Schmit’s chances at picking up title number two, but Thomsen also provided the fuel for Schmit’s motivation to get back on top.
“I need to put some extra work outside of practices.” Schmit told IAwrestle, “Perfecting the little things and keep my shape in check. These seem to be the biggest things that affect me the most.”
Looking forward to this year, Schmit expects to go up in weight, potentially just one weight class to 132 pounds, but Schmit did say that 138 pounds is also on the table. Further down the road Schmit is also considering several school options including Division I programs Iowa and UNI, as well as the other top Iowa programs in the smaller division: Upper Iowa, Wartburg, and Grand View.
8. Tanner Sloan (Albrurnett) | Fab 50 Ranking: #34
Sloan is an attractive recruit for a variety of reasons including the fact that he was a state champion as a sophomore at an upper-weight. Last year was a bit of a setback in terms of Sloan’s placement at state where he took third. On the other hand Sloan was able to bump up to 182 pounds and defeated Alec McDowell 4-1. McDowell was a Virginia Beach Folkstyle All-American shortly after that result took place.
9. Gauge Perrien (Southeast Polk) | Fab 50 Rankng: #37
It’s no surprise to see another Southeast Polk wrestler on the list, this time it’s three-time state place-winner Gauge Perrien. Coming off his best state finish, Perrien joins Cade DeVos and Nate Lendt as returning finalists for the Rams.
10. Brennan Swafford (Mediapolis) | Fab 50 Ranking: #38
Swafford is a new addition to the top 10, so look for more to come on him in the future!
Top 2018 Committed wrestlers (Fab 50 Ranking):
#1 Alex Thomsen (Underwood) – Nebraska
#2 Brody Teske (Fort Dodge) – Penn State
#4 Michael Millage (New Hampton) – Northern Iowa
#5 Joel Shapiro (West Des Moines – Valley) – Iowa State
#6 Nelson Brands (Iowa City West) – Iowa
#7 Francis Duggan (Iowa City West) – Iowa State
#9 Kyle Biscoglia (Waukee) – Northern Iowa
#11 Grant Stotts (West Des Moines – Valley) – Iowa State
#12 Bryce Esmoil (West Liberty) – Northern Iowa
#13 Drew Bennett (Fort Dodge) – Northern Iowa
#14 Cayd Lara (Fort Dodge) – Northern Iowa
#21 Anthony Sherry (Glenwood) – Iowa State
#25 Zach Price (Johnston) – South Dakota State
#28 Gable Fox (Don Bosco) – Northern Iowa
#29 Isaac Judge (South Tama) – Iowa State
#30 John McConkey (Atlantic) – Northern Iowa
#32 Hunter DeJong (Sibley-Ocheyedan) – Iowa State
#36 Chance Throndson (Riceville) – Upper Iowa
#39 Joe Kelly (West Liberty) – Iowa
#40 Trey Brisker (Wilton) – Air Force
#45 Tyrell Gordon (Waterloo East) – Northern Iowa
#49 Jordan Baumler (North Fayette) – Upper Iowa