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Iowa coach Tom Brands reacts to the Hawkeyes' first Big Ten tournament title since 2015. Hawk Central

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The Iowa wrestling program trekked up to Michigan for its latest recruiting win.

Andy Simaz, out of St. Francis High School in Traverse City (about two hours north of Grand Rapids), joined the Hawkeyes' 2020 recruiting haul this week. He first informed the Traverse City Record-Eagle of his decision to accept a walk-on offer.

"It’s like the Alabama football of wrestling," Simaz told the paper. "… It seemed the exact type of place I want to go to."

Simaz becomes the eighth member of Iowa's incoming recruiting class — and the first Michigan prep to join the program since Charlie Joseph's redshirt freshman season in 2011-12. He chose the Hawkeyes over Michigan, and projects at 165/174.

As a junior in 2019, Simaz won a state title at 152 pounds. He produced a 120-25 career record, according to records kept by Trackwrestling. He lost most of his senior season to a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

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The Simaz name will sound familiar to some wrestling diehards: His father, Mike, wrestled at Michigan State; cousin Cam was a four-time All-American and a 2012 NCAA champion for Cornell. The family has combined to win 12 state titles in Michigan.

Simaz will join Iowa's impressive 2020 recruiting haul. The group of signees is considered the No. 8 class, nationally, according to MatScouts, and features four top-60 prospects: Minnesota's Patrick Kennedy, No. 4; Arizona prep Jesse Ybarra, No. 37; Florida standout Bretli Reyna, No. 53; and Mason City's Cullan Schriever, at No. 57.

Southeast Polk's Gabe Christenson, who's considered the No. 113 overall recruit in the 2020 class, Schriever's twin brother, Colby, and Leif Schroder, a four-time Montana state champ, round out the class.

Simaz joins that high-powered group, which will join a program that will be heavily favored to win the 2021 NCAA Championships, as nine of 10 postseason starters from this past return will return. He and his family are excited about the opportunity.

"Iron sharpens iron," Mike Simaz told the Record-Eagle. "You can only get better in that way."

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

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