Former Northern Iowa wrestler Drew Bennett announces plans to transfer to Iowa wrestling program

Cody Goodwin
Hawk Central

It took two months for Drew Bennett to find a new home, and he found it south down Interstate 380 for the next steps in his collegiate wrestling career.

Bennett, a Fort Dodge native, announced on Saturday his plans to transfer from Northern Iowa to the Iowa wrestling program. The 141-pounder joins the Hawkeyes with three years of eligibility remaining.

"I am excited to announce that I will be transferring to the University of Iowa," Bennett wrote in a tweet, announcing his decision. "Go Hawks!"

Bennett, a 2018 state champ for the Dodgers, originally committed to Northern Iowa before his senior high school season. He finished his prep career with a 153-8 overall record and was a three-time Class 3A state medalist. He helped Fort Dodge to the Class 3A traditional team championship in 2018, the school's first since 1985.

His stay in Cedar Falls lasted just three seasons, during which he accumulated a 25-14 overall record (that includes his 14-4 mark during his redshirt season in 2018-19). This past season, Bennett went just 2-5 at 141 pounds, and ultimately ceded his starting role to true freshman Ethan Basile.

Bennett entered the transfer portal on March 16, two days before the start of the 2021 NCAA Championships. He ultimately landed on Iowa, one of the schools he originally considered during his initial recruiting process.

Oklahoma's Don Demas, right, wrestles Northern Iowa's Drew Bennett at 141 pounds during a Big 12 Conference wrestling dual, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021, at the McLeod Center in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Jaydin Eierman, a four-time All-American and 2021 NCAA finalist, plans to return and will be the Hawkeyes' presumed starter at 141 pounds. Behind him, true freshman Leif Schroder, senior Justin Stickley, and now Bennett.

Bennett is the program's latest addition via the transfer portal. Brennan Swafford, a two-time NAIA national champ from Graceland, announced his plans to transfer to Iowa in late April. They will arrive in Iowa City at the same time as Iowa's incoming 2021 recruiting class, which was recently ranked No. 3 nationally by MatScouts.

The Hawkeyes won the team title at the 2021 NCAA Championships, their first national team title since 2010. All 10 starters that championship team are planning to return for the 2021-22 season in an attempt to repeat.

On Saturday, Bennett announced his plans to join the cause.

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