Bettendorf state champ Bradley Hill is the latest commitment to the Iowa wrestling program
One month ago, the Iowa wrestling program had just one recruit committed between its 2022 and 2023 classes. Now the Hawkeyes have 11.
The latest came Saturday, from Bettendorf senior Bradley Hill. He informed Hawk Central that he, too, has committed to the Iowa wrestling program. He projects at 197 pounds, and is now the seventh member of Iowa's 2022 recruiting haul.
"I've been a lifelong Hawkeye fan," Hill told Hawk Central, "so this has been a dream of mine since I was a little kid."
Hill was one of many high-level wrestling prospects who took an official visit to Iowa last weekend. Since then, 10 of them, including nine in-state wrestlers, have committed to the program:
- Southeast Polk's Nate Jesuroga committed Saturday afternoon;
- Waverly-Shell Rock's Aiden Riggins committed Saturday evening;
- Des Moines Lincoln's Mickey Griffith committed Sunday evening;
- Carter and Carson Martinson, twin seniors at Southeast Polk, committed Monday evening;
- Mason City Jace Rhodes and West Lyon's Easton Fleshman both committed Tuesday afternoon;
- Waverly-Shell Rock's Ryder Block committed Friday morning;
- Montana state champ Drake Rhodes added his name to the list Friday night;
- then Hill made his announcement on Saturday.
And that's not even counting Iowa City High's Ben Kueter, who committed last month to play football and wrestle for the Hawkeyes. His commitment can be seen as the first in this remarkable run of in-state recruiting victories.
"I think it's awesome," Hill said. "A lot of us already wrestle together at Sebolt Wrestling Academy. It'll be nice to already have a little family in this recruiting class."
Jesuroga, Kueter and Block are all 2023 wrestlers. All three are considered top-50 overall prospects in the country, according to MatScout's 2023 national big board — Jesuroga at No. 7, Kueter at No. 9, Block at No. 40. No other school has as many top-50 prospects committed, but both Minnesota and Illinois currently have two each.
Riggins, Griffith, the Martinson brothers, Fleshman, Hill and both Rhodes are all 2022 recruits. Riggins, Griffith, Drake Rhodes and Hill are all top-200 prospects — Riggins at No. 34, Griffith at No. 150, Rhodes at No. 154, Hill at No. 161.
Many are in MatScouts' national weight class rankings, too:
- Jesuroga is No. 1 at 120 pounds;
- Block is No. 13 at 132;
- Kueter is No. 4 at 220;
- Drake Rhodes is No. 23 at 152;
- Riggins is No. 3 at 160;
- Griffith is No. 18 at 182;
- Hill is No. 10 at 220;
- and Fleshman is No. 22 at 285.
Hill's addition gives the Hawkeyes another fast-rising national talent. Over the last year, he went 33-0 and won a Class 3A state title at 220 pounds, took second at the Junior folkstyle national championships, then made the finals of the Cadet men's freestyle world team trials. He is 99-26 overall at Bettendorf entering his senior season.
Before committing to Iowa, Hill had started to hear from a handful of schools, including Virginia Tech and Division II power St. Cloud State. The visit to Iowa City last weekend convinced him to join the Hawkeyes, the defending NCAA Division I team champions.
"I couldn't see myself going anywhere else," Hill said. "It was really cool getting to hang out with the team, and the atmosphere at Iowa was amazing that weekend."
Hill and Rhodes now give Iowa a 8-man recruiting class for 2022 — so far, at least. There were other high-powered prospects on that visit that have yet to make a decision, including a handful more in-state wrestlers and some talented out-of-state recruits, too.
Hill is also the 13th wrestler from Iowa's 2022 senior class to commit to a Division I program. In addition to the seven future Hawkeyes, three others are staying in-state, too: North Butler heavyweight Chet Buss and Don Bosco lightweight Garrett Funk are going to Northern Iowa, and Crestwood's Carter Fousek is headed to Iowa State.
The other three are going out-of-state: Waukee Northwest's Griffin Gammell committed to Virginia, and both Jacob and Evan Frost, twin wrestlers at Dowling Catholic, are headed to Ivy League's Columbia.
Montana state champ Drake Rhodes also commits to Iowa wrestling team
Iowa quietly picked up another big commitment on Friday night from Drake Rhodes, a two-time Montana state champion from Billings West. He picked the Hawkeyes over Missouri and North Dakota State, and projects at 157/165 pounds.
"I’m excited to announce that I will be continuing my academic and athletic career at the University of Iowa!!" Rhodes wrote in an Instagram post, announcing his decision. "I’m very thankful for the opportunity and excited to make my dreams come true.
"I’m very thankful to my coaches, family, and friends who helped get me here. Go Hawks!"
Rhodes won Montana state titles as a freshman at 113 pounds and last season at 152. As a sophomore, he took second at 126. He is 97-7 overall for his career. He is also another top-200 recruit, considered the No. 154 overall prospect nationally in the 2022 class by MatScouts. He is also currently ranked No. 23 at 152 pounds.
Rhodes took seventh at USA Wrestling's Preseason National Championships in 2019, then took second in 2020. He is also the second Montana wrestler to join the program in recent years — Leif Schroder, a four-time Montana state champ from Bozeman, was a member of the Hawkeyes' 2020 recruiting class.
Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.