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Iowa Hawkeye wrestling program adds two more in-state prospects to 2022 recruiting class


Tom Brands and the Hawkeye wrestling program have planted their flag all over the state of Iowa during the past month.

They went north to Waverly-Shell Rock, where they picked up a commitment from Aiden Riggins. They came to Des Moines, where they landed another from Lincoln's Mickey Griffith. They went just east of Des Moines, where they received verbals from three Southeast Polk wrestlers: Nate Jesuroga and both Carter and Carson Martinson.

And one month ago, they went right down the road and scooped up Ben Kueter, the multi-sport star from Iowa City High who a month ago announced his commitment to the Hawkeyes for both football and wrestling.

On Tuesday, Brands and Co., planted two more flags thanks to two more recruiting victories. Both Jace Rhodes, a senior from Mason City, and Easton Fleshman, a senior from West Lyon, announced their commitments to the Iowa wrestling program.

More: Waverly-Shell Rock state champ Aiden Riggins commits to the Iowa Hawkeye wrestling program

Rhodes and Fleshman are now Iowa's sixth and seventh commitments in the past four days, and are also the fifth and sixth members of the Hawkeyes' 2022 recruiting class, joining Riggins, Griffith and the Martinson brothers. (Both Jesuroga and Kueter are in the 2023 class.)

All of these guys, along with many others, took an official visit to Iowa City this past weekend, which sold them on the idea of joining the Hawkeyes, the defending NCAA team champions in Division I wrestling.

"I went on the visit and it was just an awesome environment," Rhodes told Hawk Central. "Watching the guys scrap, the game, hanging out with everyone, I just felt like it was the place to be.

"It makes sense academically and it's where I think I can be the best wrestler."

Rhodes is the third Mason City wrestler to go to Iowa in as many years. Both Cullan and Colby Schriever, another set of twin brothers, joined the Hawkeyes as part of their 2020 recruiting class. Cullan is still there, while Colby recently transferred to NAIA's Montana State University-Northern.

In Rhodes, the Hawkeyes are getting one of the state's more under-the-radar recruits. He is a three-time Class 3A state medalist, which includes a finals appearance as a freshman in 2019. He also won a Junior men's freestyle state title last spring, and will take an 83-18 overall record into his senior season with the Mohawks.

More: Take a look at the Iowa Hawkeyes wrestling facility set to break ground in 2022

Fleshman is a budding heavyweight prospect. He was a Class 2A state medalist last winter at 220 pounds, won a Junior freestyle state title last spring and was a member of Iowa's Junior national dual team that won the Junior national dual championships in June. He's currently ranked No. 22 nationally at 285 pounds, according to MatScouts.

"I'm super excited to officially announce that I am committed to the University of Iowa to continue my academic and wrestling career," Fleshman wrote in an Instagram post, announcing his decision.

"I want to thank my parents for everything they have done for me to get me to this point. I also want to thank my coaches for believing in me and pushing me. And lastly, I want to thank God for giving me this opportunity."

The commitments from both Rhodes and Fleshman mean 12 wrestlers from Iowa's 2022 senior class have committed to Division I programs. Six of the 12 are going to Iowa: Rhodes, Fleshman, Riggins, Griffith and the Martinson brothers.

Three others are also staying in state: North Butler heavyweight Chet Buss and Don Bosco lightweight Garrett Funk are both headed to Northern Iowa, and Crestwood's Carter Fousek, a three-time state champ in Class 2A, is headed to Iowa State.

The other three are going out of state. Waukee Northwest's Griffin Gammell is headed to Virginia, and Dowling Catholic's Jacob and Evan Frost, another set of twin brothers, are both committed to the Ivy League's Columbia.

Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.