IAwrestle has unveiled our Pre-Summer 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, and no longer includes the (now graduated) class of 2017. As we near the beginning of the 2017-18 scholastic year, we at IAwrestle are going to take a look at the top 10 uncommitted wrestlers for the class of 2018.
1. Brody Teske (Fort Dodge) | Fab 50 Ranking: #2
There is no denying it now, that Fort Dodge’s Brody Teske the highest rated prep uncommitted in the state of Iowa. One of two wrestlers that will head into this coming season not only seeking his fourth state title, but looking to remain perfect in his quest to do so. There has been much debate on whether Alex Thomsen of Underwood, the other three-time state champion, or Teske is the better prospect and with both wrestlers projecting at 125 to begin their college career, we may get our answer someday.
In July Teske released his top five schools – Iowa, Iowa State, Minnesota, Northern Iowa, and Penn State – and it sounds as though he would like to have a decision made prior to the start of his senior season.
2. Kyle Biscoglia (Waukee) | Fab 50 Ranking: #7
The state of Iowa usually doesn’t have much issue producing top flight 125-pound wrestlers and 2018 will be no exception. With Waukee’s Kyle Biscoglia joining Alex Thomsen and Brody Teske as well credentialed lightweights in the state. After missing out on the state tournament as a freshman, Biscoglia has gone back-to-back at the tournament and has also picked up high finishes at Fargo, UWW Cadets, and Super 32. This summer we saw him competing at 113 pounds for Team Iowa, and 125 seems to be in the cards for when he gets to college. When a potential career 125-pound wrestler like Biscoglia is on the market, he will certainly draw suitors.
3. Grant Stotts (WDM Valley) | Fab 50 Ranking: #9
Other than West’s Nelson Brands, Grant Stotts is the only other top middle-weight prospect in the state of Iowa, and he has had an interesting career to say the least going second, first, and then second at the state tournament. A standout on the football field as well as the wrestling mat, Stotts is entertaining offers from several programs already, though for now he is keeping those options private. After finishing runner-up this past season at 145, Stotts will likely move up to 160 pounds this season, and projects to wrestle 165 or 174 pounds in college.
4. Bryce Esmoil (West Liberty) | Fab 50 Ranking: #10
Coming off a state championship season West Liberty’s Bryce Esmoil has certainly seen his stock go up over the past nine months going from #24 in the Fab 50 all the way up to the #10 spot. He’s been one of the top upperweights in 2A for the past two seasons now, and after winning four matches by bonus at the state tournament, it doesn’t appear that will be changing anytime soon.
His biggest value for Division I programs will center on whether or not he can hold 197-pounds, which would mean we would see Esmoil compete at roughly the same weight for eight years. A three year state medalist at 195 pounds, Esmoil has drawn interest from several Division I programs and he has recently given IAwrestle that list. Among the schools being considered by Esmoil are instate schools Iowa, Iowa State, and Northern Iowa, as well as South Dakota State.
Esmoil is still in the earlier stages of his process, but has also expressed an interest in wrestling somewhat closer to home.
5. Drew Bennett (Fort Dodge) | Fab 50 Ranking: #11
Fort Dodge’s Drew Bennett has run into some tough luck in his career which has prevented him from winning a state title despite being considered a top 20 wrestler at his weight nationally. As a freshman Bennett sat behind teammate Teske, and both his sophomore and junior state runs were ended by Biscoglia. The latter stings just a bit more, as Bennett had seemingly cracked the code on beating Biscoglia, handling him twice in the regular season, but had the script flipped on him at state. Since the season ended Bennett has focused on getting bigger, wrestling up at 126 pounds this summer. Right now he appears to be slotted at 125 or 133 for the future. In August Bennett announced his top 5 schools as Iowa, Iowa State, Northern Iowa, Northwestern, and Oregon State.
6. Nathan Lendt (Southeast Polk) | Fab 50 Ranking: #15
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.
7. Anthony Sherry (Glenwood) | Fab 50 Ranking: #16
Glenwood’s Anthony Sherry caught the eyes of fans as an eighth grader when he doubled up in All-American honors in freestyle and Greco-Roman out at Fargo, and then once again doubling up after his freshman year. Being a young wrestler in the upper-weights, and in Iowa’s largest class, has prevented Sherry from winning a state title, but he has still managed three straight top four finishes at the state tournament. Currently projecting at 184 pounds in college, he has already drawn some interest from a couple school, and he hopes to reach a decision sometime in the fall.
8. Logan Schumacher (Martensdale-St Mary’s) | Fab 50 Ranking: #17
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.
9. Cooper Lawson (Webster City) | Fab 50 Ranking: 19
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.
10. Ben Sarasin (Cedar Rapids Kennedy) | Fab 50 Ranking: 20
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.
Top 2018 Committed wrestlers (Fab 50 Ranking):
#1 Alex Thomsen (Underwood) – Nebraska
#4 Michael Millage (New Hampton) – Northern Iowa
#5 Nelson Brands (Iowa City West) – Iowa
#8 Joel Shapiro (West Des Moines – Valley) – Iowa State
#18 Cayd Lara (Fort Dodge) – Iowa State
#23 Gable Fox (Don Bosco) – Northern Iowa
#24 Isaac Judge (South Tama) – Iowa State
#34 Trey Brisker (Wilton) – Air Force
#37 John McConkey (Atlantic) – Northern Iowa