Iowa scored one of the biggest recruiting coups in the rich history of its wrestling program Wednesday afternoon when the Hawkeyes plucked two of the nation’s top prospects out of Pennsylvania.
Two-time world champion Spencer Lee and undefeated two-time Pennsylvania state champ Gavin Teasdale simultaneously announced their plans to wrestle at Iowa. Both were members of the American Family Insurance ALL-USA Wrestling First Team.
Lee — the pound-for-pound No. 1 wrestler nationally in the 2017 class, according to Flowrestling and InterMat — has been one of the most coveted recruits in decades.
College coaches from coast to coast flooded his phone and mailbox in recent months in an effort to land the projected college 125-pounder who captured freestyle world titles the past two summers at the Cadet and Junior levels. He has yet to lose a match in three seasons at Franklin Regional High School. He ultimately picked Iowa over Penn State.
“He’s incredible,” said Jody Strittmatter, who trains Lee and Teasdale in his Young Guns Wrestling Club. “He has it all. He’s great on the mat. He’s great on his feet. He’s good offensively, good defensively. Off the mat, he’s an incredible kid. Smart, intelligent, polite. He’s the total package.”
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Teasdale is near the top of that list now, as well. The sophomore from Jefferson-Morgan High School is rated by Flowrestling and InterMat as the No. 3 overall prospect in the 2018 class.
He breezed through his bracket this year at the Pennsylvania state meet and set a tournament record by scoring 96 points in four matches. Teasdale will likely wrestle at 133 pounds in college.
“Gavin gets better every year,” Strittmatter said. “He started late. He didn’t start until he was 10 years old, but he keeps progressing and getting better and better, and he loves the sport. He wrestles every single day of the year and you see progress every time he steps on the mat.”