One of the state of Iowa’s top wrestlers in the class of 2020 has verbally committed as Cael Happel announced on social media he would be jumping on board the Panther Train. The Lisbon prep recently captured his third straight state title in Des Moines, making him eligible to become a four-time state champion next season.
The decision to commit to UNI comes within one week of the junior taking an official visit to UNI. A visit that of course included him witnessing UNI’s third straight victory over instate rival Iowa Statevictory over instate rival Iowa State, who Happel was also considering. Happel also said the University of Iowa was the only other school in contention.
Happel hails from the storied Lisbon wrestling program that has now produced nine wrestlers to win at least three state titles. Three of those wrestlers come from the same family tree as Cael’s father Dean was also a three-time state champion and brother Carter was a four-time champ winning his last in 2015. He was one of three Lions to win a title this season (joined by Robert Avila and Cobe Siebrecht) and he was also named the Dan Gable Mr Wrestler of the Year award recipient in Class 1A.
He becomes the first major recruit for Doug Schwab’s UNI squad in the class of 2020, Happel is ranked the #80 overall recruit in his grade by The Open Mat. The national publication also rates him as the #16 ranked wrestler at 132 pounds. He projects at either 133 or 141 pounds for UNI.
More details will follow on this story.