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Iowa coach Tom Brands reacts to Spencer Lee's second straight national title. Cody Goodwin, cgoodwin2@dmreg.com

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The Iowa wrestling program is adding another strong lightweight option to the room.

Gavin Teasdale, formerly one of the nation's top prospects and a one-time Iowa commit, told PA Power Wrestling this week that he plans on joining the Hawkeye wrestling program ahead of the 2019-20 season. He projects anywhere from 125 to 141 pounds.

“In the end, stuff happens for a reason,” Teasdale said on the PA Power Podcast. “This is where I need to be.”

Teasdale was once a highly-touted recruit. He won four Pennsylvania state titles for Jefferson-Morgan High School with a 162-2 overall record. He was considered the No. 16 overall prospect in the class of 2018. He originally committed to Iowa alongside Spencer Lee in April 2016, then backed out and announced his commitment to Penn State in March 2017.

His half-year stay in State College was rocky. He left in the fall semester “for health issues,” then returned after a short while with plans to wrestle at the Southern Scuffle. This past January, Penn State coach Cael Sanderson told local media that Teasdale was transferring from the program.

“The main reason I decided on Penn State in the first place was because it was close, it’s home, it’s an atmosphere you know,” Teasdale said, “but the atmospheres you know can hurt you. The place where you feel the most comfortable can be your biggest enemy. 

“You don’t really know about Penn State’s style until you’re up there. It just didn’t work for a guy like me. I need a hands-on type of coach who’s there for you through thick and thin and just has a passion about the sport. It’s not just about you on the mat. It’s about you as a man as well.”

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Teasdale told PA Power Wrestling, a media company that covers Pennsylvania wrestling at all levels, that he’s been in Iowa for “probably three months” and has spent some time training. He said he weighs around 140 pounds and plans on enrolling for the upcoming fall semester.

It remains to be seen how Teasdale will fit into the Iowa’s lineup, at least in the short-term. The Hawkeyes return postseason starters at 125, 133, and 141 pounds from last year.

Lee is the two-time defending national champion at 125 and will be a junior, with both a conventional redshirt and an Olympic redshirt available.

Austin DeSanto placed fifth at the 2019 NCAA Championships at 133 after transferring in from Drexel. He will also be a junior with a redshirt available.

Max Murin came one win shy of the podium at 141 and will be a redshirt sophomore. Others like Paul Glynn (133), Vince Turk, Carter Happel (both 141), and Jason Renteria (141 or 149) could all factor in as well. 

Teasdale views them all as assets that can help him get where he wants to go. He also said he has all four years of eligibility still remaining — he did not wrestle a match, attached or unattached, while at Penn State during the 2018-19 season.

“It’s one partner after another after another,” Teasdale said. “You’ve got (Thomas Gilman), you’ve got (Cory Clark), you’ve got Spencer. You’ve got Terry and Tom Brands. You’ve got the women wrestlers. The whole Hawkeye program is passionate about the sport.

“You can see the coaches who are straight and honest. They’re real with you, and they’re not going behind your back and saying something else. I like it when someone tells me when I’m doing something wrong, and they tell me to my face.

“The coaches that I have here, there’s nobody better in the country.”

You can listen to Teasdale’s full interview here.

Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.

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