There were several times throughout the past two weeks when Steven Holloway thought he was finally ready to make a college choice.
Iowa seemed like the top school one day. Indiana appeared to be the best fit the next. Then Northern Iowa started seeming like the right place for Holloway to continue his wrestling career.
Northern Iowa assistant Randy Pugh and Indiana coach Duane Goldman made trips to Mediapolis to visit the two-time state champion and coaches from all three schools continually checked in over the phone.
“It was getting a little too stressful and I told them to back off a little bit and give me some space so I could decide,” Holloway said. “One coach would call me and they’d sweet talk you and make it sound really good, so (I’d be thinking) I want to go there. Then the next coach would call and you’d be like, ‘No, wait, I want to go here.'”
After a couple stressful weeks of sales pitches and weighing pros and cons, Holloway finally came to a decision Wednesday when he committed to Iowa.
“They were all good options,” he said. “I feel like Iowa is the best option for me.”
Holloway was one of the last big prizes left on the recruiting market. He compiled a 171-11 career record at Mediapolis, reached the state finals three times and won titles the past two seasons at 195 pounds, where he’s ranked 13th nationally by InterMat.
The projected college 197-pounder addresses one of Iowa’s primary recruiting needs in this class. The Hawkeyes have two-time All-American Nathan Burak at the weight, but he has just one season of eligibility remaining and there’s no obvious replacement on the current roster.
Holloway is the second Mediapolis senior to commit to Iowa’s 2015 recruiting class. The Hawkeyes signed four-time state medalist Cole Erickson in the fall. Though Erickson helped Iowa’s recruiting efforts, Northern Iowa had Holloway’s former prep teammates Adam Drain and Drew Foster pulling in another direction.
Ultimately, Holloway said his decision came down to Iowa’s “reputation and where I want to go and what I want my college career to be.”
“You want to be the best, so you’ll train with the best, and they’ve got that reputation,” he said. “They’re tough and hard-nosed and I feel that style is good for me.”