The University of Iowa gained a top wrestling recruit on Nov. 9, when Jacob Warner of Washington committed to the program.
Warner is ranked nationally as one of the top wrestling prospects overall and the top prospect in the 195-pound class.
A two-time state champion who will be looking for a third this year, he committed to Iowa after over a year of consideration.
“I took my time because there were a lot of schools after me,” said Warner. “I wanted to make sure that I knew the exact one and I knew all the factors that were in play and I didn’t leave any stones unturned.”
After the vigorous recruiting process was over, Warner was left feeling that Iowa would be the best fit for him for a number of reasons.
“When it came to Iowa, the atmosphere stuck out to me and the guys that are there want to win, just like me,” Warner said. “It was a perfect fit for me, the coaches, training-partner wise, everything was a good fit.”
Warner was considering offers from Iowa, Ohio State, Minnesota and Arizona State.
“In the end, it was a hard decision between the last couple schools, but once I laid everything out on paper, it didn’t make sense to go somewhere else.”
Iowa’s 2017 recruiting class is one of the top in the nation, with a total of seven wrestlers committed to the program.
All seven of the incoming-freshman will redshirt in their first year on campus, Warner said.
“I’m going to redshirt my freshman year because we have a good class coming in so everyone is going to redshirt,” Warner said.
This season, Warner is competing in the 195-pound weight class, but is planning on wrestling at the 197-pound weight class at Iowa.
The difference is only two pounds, but the difference is big, Warner said.
“I’m still a little boy compared to (the 197 pounders in NCAA),” Warner said. “So, hopefully I can grow my body out and get ‘man strength.’ I need to get bigger and stronger overall, not necessarily gain any weight but more muscles mass.”
Warner has already overcome one major obstacle of his high school career this year, as he won the 195-pound tournament at the Walsh-Jesuit Ironman competition in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.
Warner earned first place after outscoring his opponents 43-1 during four matches.
The finish is his best outing in the Ironman tournament, as he finished in second place in the 182 pound division last year.
“Going from second (last year) to winning shows the growth that I’m having as a wrestler,” Warner said. “It feels good knowing that the hard work is paying off, but I need to continue to put in time so that I can keep progressing.”
“I was really pleased that (Warner) finally climbed the mountain (of winning the Ironman tournament),” Washington wrestling coach Bryan Medlin said. “But he has even higher peaks that lie ahead. He didn’t wrestle perfectly and he knows that, so I expect him to be better in the future and not satisfied with his success.”
With half of his senior season remaining, Warner is looking forward to the rest of the year and the possibility of becoming a three-time state champion.