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High School Wrestling Recruiting

Schwab’s Northern Iowa Panther Train is Picking Up Steam After Pair of Labor Day Verbal Commitments

Pictured: Cadet World silver medalist Cory Land. 

Few in Division I wrestling coaches are happier after Labor Day weekend than Northern Iowa head coach Doug Schwab. 

Schwab ended his holiday weekend with a pair of verbal pledges from Garrett Funk, a two-time state-placer out of Don Bosco in Gilbertville, Iowa. The 120-pounder has a fifth-place finish (sophomore) and a third-place finish (junior) to his credit after not making the state tournament as a freshman.

“I’m happy to announce that I’ve accepted an offer to continue my academic and athletic career at the University of Northern Iowa!” Funk stated on Twitter of the commitment.

Also, on Monday, the Panthers received a commitment from Moody, Alabama, standout Cory Land. The lightweight is 2021 Cadet World silver medalist and four-time Alabama state champ, who boasts an unblemished 154-0 heading into his final high school season.  

“UNI bound🐾🚂, Been waiting for the moment since I started wrestling to commit to a D1 college and now I can say I did it. Excited and blessed. Thank you to all my coaches, training partners, friends, and family that have helped me get this far. #rolltide #panthertrain” 

The pair of lightweights, both of whom project in the 125/133 range at the next level, represent Schwab’s second and third commitment for Northern Iowa in the Class of 2022. The other verbal thus far for the Purple and Gold in-state heavyweight Chet Buss of North Butler-Clarksville, who will be a contender for the 285-pound spot when he arrives in Cedar Falls. The big man, a two-time heavyweight state champ, is 127-2 with one season of high school scrapping remaining. 

 “I am super excited to announce that I will be continuing my academic and athletic career at The University Of Northern Iowa. I would like to thank everyone that has supported me through everything. Panther train full steam ahead🟣🟡,” Buss wrote on Instagram earlier this year in March 2021. 

With three pledges from the Class of 2022 set to jump aboard the Panther Train in the future alongside 2021 NIU All-Americans Brody Teske (7th at 125) and Parker Keckheisen (4th at 184), it’s an exciting time to be a Panther wrestling fan. 

Of this trio, Buss and Land have the potential to be instant-impact starters for the squad upon their arrival in Cedar Falls following the conclusion of their respective prep careers. 

In Boss’ case, he projects as a heavyweight at the next level. Funk and Land, the ladder of whom is likely the biggest recruit in the Schwab Mob era so far, will probably be a one-two punch at 125 and 133 down the line at UNI. 

Northern Iowa is well on its way toward an elite Class of 2022 recruiting cycle. It will be fun to see who else Schwab and staff can bring to town. 

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