Carter and Carson Martinson, twin wrestlers at Southeast Polk, commit to the Iowa Hawkeyes
The Iowa wrestling program's roll of in-state recruiting victories continued Monday night with two more commitments.
Carson and Carter Martinson, twin seniors at Southeast Polk, told Hawk Central that they've both committed to the Iowa wrestling program. They are the Hawkeyes' fourth and fifth commitments since Saturday.
The Martinson brothers join Waverly-Shell Rock's Aiden Riggins and Des Moines Lincoln's Mickey Griffith in Iowa's 2022 recruiting class. They also join their Southeast Polk teammate, Nate Jesuroga, who committed to the Hawkeyes Saturday as part of their 2023 recruiting class.
"It was everything," Carson Martinson said. "They had great hospitality, treated all the wrestlers the same, and it just felt like some place that you wanted to be."
Carter and Carson are the actually the ninth and 10th wrestlers from Iowa's 2022 senior class to commit to a Division I program. In addition to them, Riggins and Griffith, there's also North Butler's Chet Buss and Don Bosco's Garrett Funk, who are both going to Northern Iowa, and Crestwood's Carter Fousek, who's going to Iowa State.
The other three are all going out of state: Waukee Northwest's Griffin Gammell committed to Virginia, and Dowling Catholic's Jacob and Evan Frost, another set of twin brothers, are both committed to the Ivy League's Columbia.
The Martinson brothers have been critical to Southeast Polk's success in recent years. The Rams have reached the Class 3A state duals finals in three consecutive seasons, and won titles in 2019 and 2020. They've also finished in the top three of the traditional state tournament every year since 2012.
Carson Martinson is a two-time state medalist, finishing third at 152 pounds last season and fifth at 145 as a sophomore in 2020. He is 97-25 overall, according to stats kept by Trackwrestling. He projects at 157/165 pounds in college.
Carter Martinson is also a two-time state medalist, both times at 138 pounds, taking third in 2020 and fourth in 2021. He will take a 90-33 overall record into his senior season, and projects at 149/157 pounds collegiately.
"It's a family up there," Carter Martinson said. "Everybody there is looking toward the same goal, and that's something I want for myself, and I know Carson wants that for him, too."
The Martinson brothers had previously heard from Oregon State, Campbell and Grand View, among others. But an official visit this past weekend to Iowa City confirmed their desire to stay home and wrestle for the Hawkeyes.
This run of in-state recruiting success may continue further. The Martinson brothers were two of 18 total visitors Iowa had on campus this past weekend, many of which included in-state wrestlers — including Riggins, Griffith, Jesuroga and more.
Much of the Hawkeyes' success in recent years came in part to all the out-of-state wrestlers that made up the starting lineup. But Iowa coach Tom Brands has made it clear he hopes to continue building his team with homegrown talent that's blossomed into some of the nation's best.
There are currently 18 Iowa wrestlers who are included in MatScouts' latest national rankings, including Riggins (No. 3 at 160 pounds), Griffith (No. 18 at 182) and Jesuroga (No. 1 at 120). Even more, Iowa flexed its collective depth and talent this summer when it won the Junior men's freestyle national duals for the first time since 2005.
The Hawkeyes have clearly targeted many of those same wrestlers to add to the program. The 2020 recruiting class featured Mason City's Cullan Schriever. The next year, Fort Dodge's Drake Ayala and Ankeny's Caleb Rathjen joined the program as part of the 2021 class.
Now for 2022, all four current recruits are from Iowa, and the Hawkeyes' first two 2023 commits are also two of the state's top pound-for-pound talents in Jesuroga and Iowa City High's Ben Kueter, who committed in September for both football and wrestling.
The Martinson brothers are excited to add their names to the mix — especially for a program that's known not only for successful siblings, but twin siblings at that.
"Iowa wrestling has been on the come-up recently, and Iowa is going to keep it going," Carson Martinson said. "There's a lot of homegrown guys who are going to continue to propel Iowa."
Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.