Northern Iowa wrestling adds two more to its 2020 recruiting class

Cody Goodwin
The Des Moines Register

The Northern Iowa wrestling program's 2020 recruiting class doubled in size this weekend.

A pair of senior high-schoolers — one from Iowa, another from Ohio — announced their commitments to the Panthers on Sunday. The in-state addition is Woodbury Central's Wade Mitchell, while the out-of-stater is Ohio prep Nevan Snodgrass.

Both wrestlers bring credentialed backgrounds to Northern Iowa's 2020 recruiting haul, which now stands at four. Mitchell and Snodgrass join Lisbon's three-time state champion, Cael Happel, and Florida standout Ethan Basile.

Woodbury Central junior Wade Mitchell celebrates after beating Emmetsburg senior Spencer Griffin for a Class 1A state title win at 145 pounds on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019, at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

In Mitchell, Northern Iowa is getting one of the state's brightest talents. He is a three-time state medalist, a two-time finalist, and a 2019 state champion for the Wildcats. He went 42-1 last season en route to the Class 1A title at 145 pounds, going undefeated against in-state competition. His career mark entering the 2019-20 season is 133-24.

"Extremely excited to announce my commitment to the University of Northern Iowa," Mitchell, who projects around 149/157 at the next level, wrote in a post on Instagram, announcing his decision.

"Thank you to everyone who has helped me become the person and wrestler I am today. Can’t wait to continue my wrestling and academic career as a panther!"


Fairmont's Nevan Snodgrass goes for the slam on Eric Beck of La Salle.

Snodgrass is one of the country's best 2020 recruits. Flowrestling considers him the No. 39 overall prospect, and the nation's No. 6-ranked wrestler at 170. His commitment is significant for the Panthers on a national scale, as it gives them three top-125 wrestlers in the 2020 class, according to Flo — Happel is No. 45 overall while Basile is No. 123.

A senior at Kettering Fairmont in Ohio, Snodgrass's credentials are mighty impressive. He's a three-time Ohio state medalist, placing fourth as a freshman at 145 pounds, fourth as a sophomore at 160, then third last season as a junior at 170. He projects at 174 at the next level. His career record entering the upcoming season is 109-16.

What's more, Snodgrass' results at some of the country's toughest high school wrestling competitions back up his position in the polls: He placed third at the 2018 Walsh Ironman, then earned double All-American honors at the 2019 Junior Men's Freestyle and Greco-Roman national championships, placing third in both styles.

It was a strong recruiting weekend for Northern Iowa. A future that already looks very bright just got even brighter, as the Panthers' 2020 haul is shaping up to be one of the nation's best.

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

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