Luke Troy grew up in an Iowa wrestling environment.
He trains under three greats of the Gable era. He studies the Hawkeyes. He tailors his skills toward the Iowa mold.
On Friday, the blue-chip recruit announced something that had been in his mind for years: He plans to wrestle for the Hawkeyes.
Troy, one of the top prospects nationally in the 2017 class, picked Iowa over Iowa State, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Arizona State and Old Dominion, among others.
“This week Iowa State offered me a full-ride and I liked Iowa State a lot and it’s a pretty good school, but I’ve always thought of Iowa being my No. 1 school because I have the same style and I’ve been coached by the Kistler brothers and raised in the Iowa way,” Troy said. “I always liked the competitiveness that goes along with Iowa and I know they’ll do the best for me and get me the farthest, because I plan on being an Olympic champ someday.”
Troy is ranked among the top-20 prospects in the 2017 class by Flowrestling and InterMat. He placed third at the California state meet as a sophomore at 152 pounds. His stock jumped in recent months when he claimed a title at the Folkstyle Nationals and placed fourth in freestyle at the Junior Nationals.
“I love putting points up on the board,” he said. “That’s my No. 1 desire. I get a high from it. When I’m scoring, I feel on top of the world. When it’s just a 1-0 match or a 2-0 match, it’s boring to me. I like the feeling of domination and beating on guys and putting pressure on guys. That’s how Iowa wrestles. They push and they push and they go. They’re shooting shots and opening up their (opponent). I’d say my style is an Iowa style.”
The roots of Troy’s style trace back to Dan Gable’s Iowa dynasty.
Gable fueled his string of nine straight NCAA titles with the help of three brothers from California: Harlan, Marty and Lindley Kistler.
Harlan was a 1983 Big Ten champion for the Hawkeyes. Marty won two national titles and claimed the Outstanding Wrestler Award at the 1986 NCAA Championships. Lindley captured a pair of conference titles and earned All-America honors twice at Iowa.
Harlan now coaches Troy at Riverside King High School, Marty typically makes a weekly appearance at practice and Lindley stops by the wrestling room on occasion.
“They were from the golden age and they know so much technique because they were the ones who created their own technique,” Troy said. “I do pretty good (in workouts against them). They have a lot of experience, though. It goes back and forth.”
Troy is the third wrestler to commit to Iowa’s 2017 class, joining two-time California state champ Justin Mejia and two-time Illinois finalist Jason Renteria, both projected college lightweights.
The new Hawkeye recruit said he’ll likely be a 157-pounder in college. Troy is joining a burgeoning stable of middleweights. The Hawkeyes are slated to sign Flowrestling’s top-ranked 160-pounder Alex Marinelli and Kaleb Young (No. 10 at 160) next week.