Mercurial former Cyclones All-American Patrick Downey to wrestle for Hawkeyes
Patrick Downey, whose tumultuous wrestling career at Iowa State came to an end in February after one All-American season and a series of churlish tweets, is planning to join the Hawkeyes.
Trackwrestling broke the news Thursday night, reporting Downey plans to move to Iowa City this weekend.
“I approach it like my life depends on it,” Downey told Trackwrestling's Andy Hamilton. “It’s all or nothing. I only have one more crack at accomplishing my goal."
Downey, a Maryland native who wrestles at 184 pounds, said he needs to earn his degree at Iowa State first, which he will do online. In the meantime, he plans to compete in open and freestyle tournaments.
Downey is a mercurial but talented athlete who was repeatedly in trouble as a high schooler, spent two years at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado, briefly competed for Nebraska and won a national championship at Iowa Central Community College.
In two years at Iowa State, he was good enough on the mat to take fifth place at the 2016 NCAA Championships — competing at 197 pounds — and was 7-0 last winter before being dismissed by then-coach Kevin Jackson for "repeated violations of team rules."
Downey was known for sending caustic tweets about his situation.
“We’re in conversations with Pat all the time,” Jackson told the Register last winter. “Probably a little bit too much. For some reason, he can’t grasp the fact that Iowa State is bigger than you. It’s bigger than tweets. The wrestling program is bigger than that."
Downey told Trackwrestling that he's reached an understanding with Iowa coach Tom Brands about how he must behave in order to compete with the Hawkeyes.
“We’re here to win this national title,” he said. “His stipulations as far as on the mat and the lifestyle requirements of me being a Hawkeye, those are clear. But tweeting doesn’t affect my wrestling, if anybody’s concerned about that."
“I can’t be out in the bars and the avenues and being around the college party scene,” Downey continued, according to Trackwrestling. “I can’t be doing that kind of lifestyle. It’s just not what’s needed to be an NCAA champion. That’s not how I can represent the school. And other things, like being punctual, being on time for practices and being a good teammate and not getting any preferential treatment because you’re a blue-chip recruit or you’re expected to contend for the title, which are all things that are easy for me to comply with because that’s what I expect to do and that’s how I’m going to treat this last year."