Another top prospect joins Iowa's 2017 wrestling recruiting class

Andy Hamilton
California state champion Justin Mejia committed Wednesday to Iowa.

NCAA wrestling recruiting rules prohibit the Iowa coaches from initiating a conversation with Justin Mejia until next year, and their scholarship talks won't take place until a later date, either.

Depth charts, scale readings and other circumstances are bound to change by the time the California state champion sits down in a couple years to sign his name on a binding letter of intent.

But Mejia is set on the Hawkeyes, and he wants the wrestling world to know it – and now Iowa suddenly has two highly-ranked sophomores in the fold who project as collegiate 125-pounders.

"I just want to have everybody know that's where I'm going," Mejia said. "I've been waiting for this moment forever. I just wanted it to happen so quickly. (Now) I can finally say I'm going to be a Hawkeye."

Mejia compiled a 48-1 record as a freshman on his way to the California state title at 106 pounds for national power Clovis High School.

"(The Hawkeyes are) getting an entertaining wrestler," Clovis coach Ben Holscher said. "The bigger the stage, the better he wrestles. He's a guy who likes to score points and put an entertaining match on. He likes to get after it, he likes to compete and he's a hard-nosed wrestler who's willing to open up his mind and get better each day."

Mejia is ranked third nationally by InterMat at 113, one notch ahead of Illinois sophomore Jason Renteria, who committed to the Hawkeyes two weeks ago. Both wrestlers are ranked among the top 25 prospects in the 2017 class by InterMat.

Mejia said he caught the attention of the Iowa coaches this summer during a camp in Iowa City. He said he called Iowa associate head coach Terry Brands on Wednesday to announce his plans to join the Hawkeyes.

As for the talks about scholarship money, Mejia said those can wait.

"It doesn't even matter to me (how much I get)," he said, "as long as I get to go there."