The redshirt freshman explains how head coach Tom Brands decided it was time.
Alex Marinelli's debut weekend was good enough for a couple of weekly accolades.
Marinelli, Iowa's redshirt freshman 165-pounder, was named the Big Ten's Wrestler of the Week after collecting two wins over the weekend.
The St. Paris Graham product wrestled for the first time in a Hawkeye singlet Friday against Rutgers. There, Marinelli beat Richie Lewis, the Scarlet Knights' fourth-ranked 157-pounder, 6-4, thanks to a takedown in overtime, part of a 23-15 Iowa victory.
Then, two days later, against Maryland, Marinelli racked up three takedowns and secured a first-period fall over Brendan Burnham in the Hawkeyes' 40-6 victory. It was Marinelli's first-career pin.
MORE WRESTLING COVERAGE:
- Iowa comes back to defeat Rutgers on Friday
- Hawkeyes thump Maryland on Sunday
- Takeaways: Spencer Lee debuts at the UNI Open
- Brody Teske tops Alex Thomsen in a battle of Iowa wrestling unbeatens
- Take Five from Council Bluffs Wrestling Classic
Marinelli is Iowa's second Big Ten Wrestler of the Week honoree, as 157-pounder Michael Kemerer was given the accolade on Nov. 28. The conference award comes just a day after The Open Mat named Marinelli its College Wrestler of the Week.
The Open Mat also named Fort Dodge senior Brody Teske their High School Wrestler of the Week. Teske won the 126-pound title at the Council Bluffs Wrestling Classic over the weekend, where he beat Underwood's Alex Thomsen in a battle of unbeaten Iowa prep wrestlers.
The Hawkeyes are off until Dec. 29-30, when they will compete at the Midlands Championships in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.
Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.