Gable Porter, a state champion wrestler for Underwood, commits to Virginia

Cody Goodwin
Des Moines Register

On Friday morning, Gable Porter became the seventh in-state wrestler in the 2023 class to commit to a Division I wrestling program, but unlike the six before him, the Underwood senior opted for an out-of-state school.

Porter announced his commitment to the University of Virginia. He picked the Cavaliers over a slew of interested schools, which included Nebraska, Missouri and Northern Iowa, among others. He projects at 133/141 pounds.

"I'm very excited to announce that I'll be continuing my academic and athletic career at the University of Virginia!" Porter wrote in an Instagram post, announcing his decision. "I would like to thank everyone who has helped me to get to this point."

Porter is one of Iowa's elite wrestling talents in what's becoming a deep 2023 pool.

He boasts a career record of 84-1 entering his senior season at Underwood, according to stats kept by Trackwrestling, and is a two-time Class 1A state champ and three-time state finalist. Last season, he went 42-0 and won his second state crown at 132 pounds. Along the way, he beat four different state champs from four different states.

Nationally, Porter also ranks among the best. He is considered the No. 83 overall prospect in the 2023 class by MatScouts and is ranked No. 11 nationally at 132 pounds entering the summer months. He is one of 17 Iowa wrestlers currently in MatScouts' national rankings, and one of 13 on MatScouts' 2023 Big Board (10 are in the top 100).

In addition to his statewide success — 71 of his 84 career victories have resulted in bonus points, including 52 pins — Porter has turned in some stellar results nationally. Last summer, he made the finals at both the Cadet Greco-Roman world team trials and the Junior greco national championships

Underwood's Gable Porter, right, is a two-time Class 1A state champion. On Friday, he announced his commitment to Virginia.

Porter's commitment to Virginia continues what might be a budding pipeline from the Midwest to Charlottesville.

The Cavaliers' 2022 recruiting class included two premiere Iowa high-schoolers, in Iowa City West's Robert Avila Jr. and Waukee Northwest's Griffin Gammell, and two more from Nebraska, in Bellevue East's Garrett Grice and Papillion-La Vista's Nick Hamilton. Hamilton spent his first two prep seasons at Underwood, and won a state title in 2020.

Even more, Gabe Christenson, a two-time state champion from Southeast Polk, joined the Virginia program after spending the 2020-21 season at the University of Iowa. Christenson redshirted this past season, posting a 10-6 record at 197 pounds in '21-22.

Now Porter is jumping on board with head coach Steve Garland and his top two assistants, Travis and Trent Paulson, both Lewis Central graduates and former Iowa State wrestlers.

Perhaps this recruiting momentum means more from the Midwest — maybe even Iowa — could be on the way.

Underwood's Gable Porter defeats Don Bosco's Garrett Funk in the Class 1A 132 pound state wrestling championship match Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022, at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

Iowa high school wrestling, 2023 college commitments

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