Seniors make up half of Iowa’s regular starting lineup this season.
For character, performance and sheer impact, their contributions have amounted to a much greater percentage than that.
Thomas Gilman, Cory Clark, Topher Carton, Alex Meyer and Sam Brooks will be recognized during Sunday's Senior Day events at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, and they'll be relied upon for one last home dual at 2 p.m. against sixth-ranked Nebraska.
“Senior Days are funny because there’s more to do,” Iowa head coach Tom Brands told assembled media on Wednesday in Iowa City.
“Like with (football) Senior Day at Kinnick Stadium, they’ve got a bowl game or a game the next week. It’s a good send-off for them, the fans get to see them, it’s important, but there is still a lot of wrestling left in the season.”
Each member of the experienced quintet is ranked in the top 15 nationally entering Sunday’s Big Ten finale, with Gilman, Clark and Brooks set up for top-five showdowns against Tim Lambert, Eric Montoya and T.J. Dudley at 125, 133 and 184 pounds, respectively.
“Wrestling in Carver is not something many people get to do,” Brooks said. “It’s freakin’ awesome. I’ll cherish it and have a ton of gratitude when it’s over, but I still want to freakin’ win.”
The accolades are impressive from Iowa’s rock-solid class of 2012 high school seniors, but they're incomplete.
Gilman and Clark still want shots at bettering their NCAA runner-up finishes. Carton is in his first full season as a starter with more to prove. Meyer and Brooks are All-Americans at competitive weight classes, but they have to perform for the Hawkeyes (11-2, 7-1) to make noise next month.
That effort starts again Sunday against a Nebraska squad coming off a Friday loss to fourth-ranked Ohio State.
“These guys have done a lot of winning,” Brands said. “And there could be a lot of icing on the cake with championships.”
Iowa’s five seniors have a combined record of 110-17 at Carver-Hawkeye in their careers.
NEBRASKA (12-2, 6-2) at IOWA (11-2, 7-1)
Where: Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Iowa City
When: 2 p.m. Sunday
Media: BTN2GO, KXIC 800 AM