Southeast Polk wrestler Nate Jesuroga, a Cadet world medalist, commits to Iowa wrestling program
The Iowa wrestling program picked up a huge recruiting victory on Saturday before the football team’s highly anticipated game against Penn State at Kinnick Stadium.
Southeast Polk junior Nate Jesuroga, one of the country’s best pound-for-pound high school wrestlers, gave his verbal commitment to coach Tom Brands and the Hawkeyes. He picked Iowa over the likes of Oklahoma State and Penn State, among others.
Jesuroga, who projects anywhere from 125 to 141 pounds at the college level, is now Iowa’s second 2023 commitment, joining Iowa City High’s Ben Kueter. They are both considered top-10 overall national recruits in the 2023 class according to MatScouts — Jesuroga at No. 7, Kueter at No. 9.
"Grateful to announce I will be a Hawkeye," Jesuroga later wrote in an Instagram post, formally announcing his decision. "Go hawks."
Their commitments give the Hawkeyes a huge jumpstart on its 2023 recruiting class — Iowa and Minnesota both have secured commitments from two of the top-10 overall prospects in the class — and Jesuroga becomes one of the more decorated wrestlers to commit to Brands.
He has been a high school wrestling star here in Iowa for the last two years. As a lightweight with the Rams, Jesuroga has produced a 72-2 career record with 50 bonus-point victories and is a two-time state medalist in Class 3A. As a sophomore last season, he went 31-0 and won a state title at 113 pounds.
It was only the start of a big year ahead.
Last summer, Jesuroga made the Cadet men’s freestyle world team, earning the spot at 51 kilograms (112 pounds). He then won bronze at the Cadet world championships in July, becoming Iowa’s first Cadet world medalist since United World Wrestling, the sport's international governing body, reinstituted the Cadet world championships in 2011.
Jesuroga has showcased his top-tier ability many times in the last year. He went 7-0 at the Junior men’s freestyle national duals in June, helping Iowa to the championship for the first time since 2005. More recently, he defeated California prep Joey Cruz, 6-1, at FloWrestling’s Who’s Number One to secure the top national ranking at 120 pounds.
Now he’s given his verbal pledge to the Hawkeyes and secured his Division I future. He spoke with coaches at many of the nation’s best programs over the last few months and took a handful of visits this fall.
Jesuroga ultimately decided to take his talents to Iowa City, a month before his junior wrestling season is set to begin. His decision will make Iowa wrestling fans ecstatic for years to come.
Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.