Southeast Polk's Joel Jesuroga, a 2021 state champ, commits to the Iowa wrestling program

Cody Goodwin
Hawk Central

Last month, Southeast Polk star Nate Jesuroga committed to the Iowa wrestling program.

On Thursday, his older brother, Joel, decided to join him.

Joel Jesuroga, a senior at Southeast Polk, told Hawk Central that he has also committed to the Hawkeyes. He chose Iowa over Iowa State, Northern Iowa, Nebraska and North Carolina, among others. He projects at 149/157 pounds.

"It's the best place in the country," Joel Jesuroga told Hawk Central. "I feel like I can reach my potential there — and Nate and I will be able to stick together."

Southeast Polk's Joel Jesuroga, a 2021 Class 3A state champ, committed to the Iowa wrestling program on Wednesday. He is the 10th member of the Hawkeyes 2022 recruiting class.

Jesuroga's decision means Iowa now has 10 members in its 2022 recruiting class, and eight are Iowa natives. What's more, three are from Southeast Polk, as both Carter and Carson Martinson committed to the Hawkeyes last month. (Nate is a 2023 recruit.)

The other five in-state commits are Waverly-Shell Rock's Aiden Riggins, Bettendorf's Bradley Hill, Des Moines Lincoln's Mickey Griffith, Mason City's Jace Rhodes and West Lyon's Easton Fleshman. Those eight join Pennsylvania standout Kolby Franklin, who committed last weekend, and Montana state champ Drake Rhodes.

The Hawkeyes are getting another still-rising talent in Joel Jesuroga. He went 30-1 and won a Class 3A state title last year at 145 pounds, and will take an 85-15 overall record into his senior season this winter. He also won a Junior freestyle state title and finished as the Junior Greco-Roman state runner-up, too.

Even more, Jesuroga was a member of the Iowa team that won the Junior freestyle national duals this summer, posting a 6-1 record over the two-day competition. He is currently ranked No. 23 nationally at 145 pounds, according to MatScouts, and is considered the No. 154 overall prospect in the 2022 class.

With Joel Jesuroga now in the fold, the Hawkeyes now have six of the top-200 wrestlers in the current senior class committed as part of their 2022 recruiting haul, according to MatScouts' latest 2022 Big Board, which was released Wednesday:

  • Riggins is No. 25 overall;
  • Franklin is No. 27;
  • Hill is No. 87;
  • Griffith is No. 129;
  • Jesuroga is No. 154;
  • and Fleshman is No. 186.

Even more, Nate Jesuroga's commitment has helped spearhead the Hawkeyes' jumpstart on their 2023 recruiting class, which currently features three top-40 overall recruits, in Nate (No. 7 overall), Iowa City High's Ben Kueter (No. 9) and Waverly-Shell Rock's Ryder Block (No. 40). 

The Hawkeyes ended a championship drought last March when they won the 2021 NCAA Championships. Everybody returned for the '21-22 season to try and run it back, and the work Tom Brands and his staff have done on the recruiting trail over the last few years has ensured that Iowa isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

Joel Jesuroga is now the 17th in-state wrestler from Iowa's 2022 senior class to commit to a Division I program. Four others are staying in-state: North Butler's Chet Buss, Don Bosco's Garrett Funk and West Delaware's Wyatt Voelker are all going to Northern Iowa, and Crestwood's Carter Fousek, a three-time state champ, is going to Iowa State.

The other five are going out-of-state: Iowa City West's Hunter Garvin is going to Stanford, both Iowa City West's Robert Avila Jr., and Waukee Northwest's Griffin Gammell are going to Virginia, and Dowling Catholic's twin brothers, Jacob and Evan Frost, are both going to the Ivy League's Columbia.

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