Pictured: A look inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena on the campus of the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa. Image courtesy of The Des Moines Register.
What a great weekend it was for the Iowa Hawkeyes. The University of Iowa football program secured a big-time win over conference foe then-No. 4 Penn State on the home turf of Kinnick Stadium.
Also, the reigning 2021 National Champion Hawkeye wrestling program had its biggest recruiting weekend of the year, landing pledges from a trio of standout in-state prospects in Nate Jesuroga, Aiden Riggins, and Mickey Griffith.
— Iowa Hawkeye Wrestling (@Hawks_Wrestling) October 9, 2021
Southeast Polk junior Nate Jesuroga, TOM’s No. 1 at 120 pounds and No. 6 (P4P) high school wrestlers in the Class of 2023, gave his verbal commitment to coach Tom Brands and company before the showdown on the gridiron.
“Grateful to announce I will be a Hawkeye. Go hawks 🐤.”
On the mat, Jesuroga has a 72-2 career record with 50 bonus-point victories. Additionally, Nate is a two-time state medalist in Class-3A for Polk. Last year, Nate was an unblemished 31-0 and won a state crown at 113 pounds.
On the international scene, Jesuroga is equally acclaimed. In July, Nate brought home a World bronze medal while representing the United States at 51kg in Budapest, Hungary, at the 2021 Cadet World Championships.
At the next level, Jesuroga is likely to fit somewhere in the 125-141 pound range.
Concerning Riggens, he made his college intentions known via Instagram following Saturday’s football game at Kinnick.
“Iowa City, see you soon. Go-Hawks!!🐤
It has been a long-drawn-out process through decisions, covid-19, and visits. To the coaches who reached out and invested your time and effort into me, I thank you very much. None of this would be possible without every coach, friend, family member, and fan. After coming to a final decision; I am very proud to announce that I will be continuing my academic and athletic career at the University of Iowa!”
With Riggins’ announcement, he is the first recruit from the Class of 2022 to join the Hawks. Like Jesuroga, Riggins has quite the lengthy list of recent accolades. The Waverly-Shell Rock senior, TOM’s No.3-rated prospect at 160 pounds, has amassed a 122-5 overall record through three seasons with the Go-Hawks. Over that span, Riggins has captured three Class-3A state medals, including a first-place finish from earlier this year in February.
Also, during the COVID-condensed 2021 season, Riggins was a Cadet World Team Trials runner-up and Fargo finalist, among other achievements.
At the next level, Riggins likely fits as a 160/174-pounder.
The last of Iowa’s commitments came on Sunday from Des Moines Lincoln’s Micky Griffith, a two-time Class-3A state finalist, and a 2020 state champ. With one season of high school competition left, Griffith sits at 92-13 overall. He shared the news on Instagram.
“Iowa city here we come🐤🟡⚫️
After talking to coaches and family, I’ve decided to commit to Iowa. This has been my lifelong dream and it is what is best for my goals and my academic success. I’d like to thank all of the coaches and family members who have made sacrifices to get me here today. Go Hawks⚫️🟡🐤.”
In the Hawkeye room, Griffith project to be a 174/184-pounder.
These three commitments, plus Ben Kueter’s pledge from last month, are noteworthy for many reasons. Most importantly, they come at a time when Iowa needs lineup depth. Everyone in the starting lineup for the Hawks is of senior or super-senior standing. Thus, these recruits will come in handy in 2022-23 when Iowa looks for an entirely new lineup.
Additionally, all four of these recruits from the Class of 2022 and 2023 are in-state recruits. Lately, the Iowa starting lineup has been dominated by Pennsylvania preps and other out-of-state recruits.