photo courtesy of Kayla Wolf; The World-Herald
The Iowa State Cyclones got some good news on the recruiting front Monday night as Conor Knopick (Millard South, NE) gave Kevin Dresser’s squad a verbal commitment. Knopick was tabbed #54 overall in the last Class of 2021 rankings from TOM. Conor joins #56, Paniro Johnson, as rising seniors that have committed to Iowa State.
For Conor to grab his second state title this season, he needed to knock off two-time champion and Cadet freestyle national champ, Jakason Burks, in the finals at 132 lbs. That was a huge turnaround for Knopick, who had been taken off the mat on a stretcher during a match against Burks at the Metro Conference Tournament in January. Conor had landed on his head in a very frightening sequence. At the state meet, Knopick was one of five Millard South wrestlers that claimed individual titles, which led Nate Olson’s squad to a second consecutive team crown by over 70 points. The Patriots finished the season ranked third in TOM’s Midwest Regional Team Rankings.
Earlier in the regular season, Conor was a runner-up at the Council Bluffs Wrestling Classic. He was also able to get onto the podium at the preseason Super 32 by finishing fifth. At the Super 32, his best win came over Bucknell-signee Kurtis Phipps, a Pennsylvania state champion. Like many of his teammates at Millard South, Knopick has a strong Greco background. He has placed in Fargo twice in Cadet Greco (3rd in 2018 and 2nd in 2017) and was a member of the Cadet World Team in 2019. Conor finished the 2019-20 campaign ranked 14th in the nation and third in the Midwest.
At the next level, Conor will compete at either 133 or 141 lbs. The Cyclones have a 2020 recruit in Zach Redding that looks to be in that area, as well. It’s also unclear at this time, where 2019 NCAA Round of 12 finisher Austin Gomez will go. Gomez was at 133 that season, but he probably won’t see that weight again.
For Iowa State recruits and all of the college commitments around the nation, check out TOM’s College Commitment Page.