Ankeny senior Trever Anderson, a two-time state champ, commits to UNI wrestling program
ANKENY — A long and winding recruiting process for Trever Anderson came to an end this week, and he decided to stay in-state.
Anderson, a two-time state wrestling champ for Ankeny, told the Register that he has committed to the Northern Iowa wrestling program. He picked the Panthers over Northern Illinois and Edinboro, among others, and projects at 125 pounds.
“It was just the feeling, that once you get there and it just feels right,” Anderson said. “I love the coaching staff. They’re all really invested me and care about me — and it’s only two hours away.”
Anderson becomes the fifth known member of Northern Iowa’s 2022 recruiting class, which features plenty of in-state flavor. Four of the five commitments are from the state of Iowa: West Delaware’s Wyatt Voelker, North Butler’s Chet Buss, Don Bosco’s Garrett Funk, and now Anderson. (The fifth: Cadet world silver medalist Cory Land.)
Northern Iowa coach Doug Schwab has built his program with in-state kids as the foundation. The Panthers’ current roster features 36 wrestlers, and 23 are from the state of Iowa, including six of the 10 postseason starters from last season.
“You don’t really think about it,” Anderson said, “then you take the visit (to Cedar Falls) and it’s like, shoot, there’s a ton of Iowa kids here.
“Most kids will say they grew up watching Iowa wrestling, but then guys like Drew Foster, a homegrown Iowa kid who didn’t win a state title, go on and win a national title. You take notice of that, and obviously Doug knows what he’s doing.”
In Anderson, Northern Iowa is getting one of the state’s best lightweight wrestlers from the last three seasons. He won Class 3A state titles during his freshman and junior seasons, at 106 and 120 pounds, respectively, and finished third as a sophomore at 113. He will take a 107-5 record into his senior season with the Hawks.
Anderson is also credentialed nationally. He finished eighth at the 2019 Cadet freestyle national championships. He was at one point considered one of the top lightweight prospects in the 2022 class nationally by MatScouts.
But this is where Anderson’s recruitment became long and winding.
First, after his third-place finish at the 2020 state tournament, the COVID-19 pandemic eliminated any and all spring and summer wrestling opportunities, like age-level world team trials, national competitions, and more. That was a hurdle all wrestlers faced.
But then, midway through last season, Anderson suffered a shoulder injury that kept him off the mat for a month. He came back and muscled his way to his second state championship, then underwent surgery and spent all summer rehabbing, again keeping him out of all the high-level wrestling competitions.
Anderson basically slipped under the radar while many others around the state boosted their recruiting stock at various regional and national tournaments. The whole experience was a little frustrating, he said, but also revealing.
“I was hearing from a lot of schools in the beginning, then a lot of them didn’t talk to me as much when I get injured,” Anderson said. “In some ways, it sucked, but it also showed me the coaches who were still invested in me and cared. That was nice.”
Anderson took five visits, to Grand View, Northern Illinois, Iowa, Edinboro and, finally, Northern Iowa. That final trip to Cedar Falls sealed his decision, leading to his announcement this week. Schwab initially reached out to him ahead of his junior season, and stayed in contact with him all the way through his injury and state title.
Now Anderson is joining the Panther Train. He’s also the 19th in-state wrestler from Iowa's 2022 senior class to commit to a Division I program. Him, Voelker, Funk and Buss are all headed to Cedar Falls while Crestwood’s Carter Fousek and Gilbert’s Fernando Villaescusa are both headed to Iowa State.
Of the remaining 13, eight are going to be Hawkeyes: Waverly-Shell Rock’s Aiden Riggins, Des Moines Lincoln’s Mickey Griffith, Bettendorf’s Bradley Hill, Southeast Polk’s Carter Martinson, Carson Martinson and Joel Jesuroga, Mason City’s Jace Rhodes and West Lyon’s Easton Fleshman.
The other five are all going out-of-state. Two are headed to Columbia, in Dowling Catholic twins Jacob and Evan Frost. Two more are headed to Virginia, in Iowa City West’s Robert Avila Jr., and Waukee Northwest’s Griffin Gammell. The other, Iowa City West’s Hunter Garvin, is headed to Stanford.
Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.