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. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. Matt Robertson (Davenport Assumption) | Fab 50 Ranking: #22
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 doesn’t plan on making any future college decision until after the season, and he has interest from both Division I and III schools.
8. Chance Throndson (Riceville) | Fab 50 Ranking: 26
Exploding his way into the top 30 on our Fab 50 was Riceville’s Chance Throndson, who put together a strong junior season, including winning the 1A state title to cement himself at #26. Coming into the state tournament ranked #5, Throndson stunned then #2 Martensdale-St Marys’ Josh Tibbits by pinning him in the third period. He followed that match by blanking #1 Cooper Siebreicht of Lisbon, 6-0 in the semifinals, and majored his finals opponent to claim his first state title.
The one thing you noticed about Throndson was his length and leverage advantage he had over other 132-pound wrestlers he faced last season. His two early leaders for college include Division I’s Air Force, and Division III’s Luther College, but he also remains very open to any other schools at this point in the process.
9. Donny Schmit (Wapsie Valley) | Fab 50 Ranking: 27
More on Schmit
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 Nelson Brands (Iowa City West) – Iowa
#7 Kyle Biscoglia (Waukee) – Northern Iowa
#8 Joel Shapiro (West Des Moines – Valley) – Iowa State
#10 Bryce Esmoil (West Liberty) – Northern Iowa
#16 Anthony Sherry (Glenwood) – Iowa State
#18 Cayd Lara (Fort Dodge) – Iowa State
#23 Gable Fox (Don Bosco) – Northern Iowa
#24 Isaac Judge (South Tama) – Iowa State
#24 Zach Price (Johnston) – South Dakota State
#34 Trey Brisker (Wilton) – Air Force
#37 John McConkey (Atlantic) – Northern Iowa
#41 Jordan Baumler (North Fayette) – Upper Iowa
#44 Tanner Abbas (Clarion-Goldfield-Dows) – Grand View