The Iowa Hawkeyes are the defending team National Champions and will be looking to get past number 2 Penn State again to make it a 2 peat. Let us look through their lineup and see what they are working with this season.
125lbs Spencer Lee
There really is not much that needs to be said about Spencer Lee. He is the face of Iowa wrestling and he has been since he won his first national title back in 2018 over Nick Suriano. He is a two time hodge trophy champion and he will be looking for his third this year along with his 4th national title which will put him into an elite category with guys like Cael Sanderson and Kyle Dake plus a couple others. Last season he won a majority of his matches by bonus points and chances are that he will end up doing it again and claim his 4th national title.
133lbs Austin Desanto
Desanto has been one of the biggest names in the sport of wrestling since he went on an incredible regular season run in 2019 where he started off with a win over national finalist Ethan Lizak and it quickly escalated into him defeating now national champion Nick Suriano. He has had some very big wins throughout his time including Spencer Lee, Nick Suriano, Seth Gross, Roman Bravo-Young. He will be looking for his first national title this season. Last year he placed third and he is looking good for this season.
141lbs Jaydin Eierman
Eierman is one of the more accomplished wrestlers on the Iowa lineup, he transferred from Mizzou and wrestled his last year at Iowa and was a national runner up to only Nick Lee. He wrestles a more physical and unorthodox style and it has brought him a lot of success on the college scene. He has some of the best wrestlers in the country around him and he has all the tools that he needs to get this done. It will all depend on how he performs with a stacked weight class including Nick Lee, Sebastian Rivera, and Stevan Micic just in the Big Ten. He has placed 5th, 4th, 3rd, and 2nd in his past four tournaments, so will he win a national title this year? only time will tell.
Related Article: Can Jaydin Eierman Finally Win An NCAA Title
149lbs Max Murin
Max Murin seems to be one of the unsung heroes of the Iowa Hawkeye lineup but he has grown into being a very valuable piece in the Iowa lineup. He was a blood round finisher last season and he will most likely be able to finally figure it out in his final season and become an All American. Just like I said with Jaydin Eierman he has all the tools he needs to get to where he wants to be it is all going to be decided on if he can put it all together where it matters. If he does perform to his potential I could see him placing as high as 3rd or 4th at the national tournament and I am very high on him this season.
157lbs Kaleb Young
Young is one of the better wrestlers on the Iowa lineup as he proved last year with an All American finish placing 7th. He made the Big Ten finals at 157 pounds last season in a very deep bracket including Kendall Coleman of Purdue and Chase Saldate of Michigan State. He lost to none other than Ryan Deakin who has proven to be one of the best in the country throughout college. His performance at nationals was solid but a little underwhelming in my opinion, I feel like he can improve drastically on that performance and solidify him as a top 5 guy in this field should he wrestle to his potential in his last year.
165lbs Alex Marinelli
Alex Marinelli AKA “The Bull” has been one of the best wrestlers in the country throughout his run at Iowa, he will be going into his final year of eligibility at Iowa and will be looking to finally claim that national title that he has been hunting since his freshman year. He did not All American last season being he was pulled out of the tournament due to injury but assuming he is back and healthy I think he has a very good chance to win it. The guys that stand in his way are Mizzou’s Keegan O’Toole, Pitt’s Jake Wentzel, and Cal Poly’s Evan Wick. I think this is the year that he can finally get it done and we can also finally see another round of Wick vs Marinelli which have been awesome explosive matches throughout their career.
Related Article: Can Alex Marinelli Finally Win A NCAA Title
174lbs Michael Kemerer
Kemerer had a rough finish last season going undefeated until the national finals where he faced freshman Carter Starocci and lost in overtime. He defeated Starocci in the Big Ten finals just two weeks prior and will be looking to get back on track and finally claim a NCAA Title on his way out in his last year of eligibility. Other than that he is one of the most accomplished Iowa wrestlers there is and has all the talent and capabilities to get it done this year it just comes down to what keeps being said and that is he needs to be able to put it together in the post season just like he does in the regular season. Even with that he has consistently been one of the better wrestlers in the country and has had very dominant showing across the board in his years at Iowa.
184lbs Nelson Brands
Nelson Brands is a very interesting case, his potential is through the roof from what we have seen in his earlier career matches but the main problem is consistency. If he can get that he will 100% be the starter (He is already the predicted starter) for the entire season. If he is he should be looking to make a run to an All American finish at the national tournament. If he wrestles to his potential he will be force to be reckoned with and he will also be able to pull some big upsets along the way in what should be a very successful career for the young Hawkeye.
197lbs Jacob Warner
Warner is a very solid wrestler but a good amount of his talent gets dismissed by many due to how many guys and the depth that is coming into the field at 197 pounds. This includes freshman Braxton Amos coming onto the scene, and also guys like Pat Brucki and Ben Darmstadt making returns which will be interesting being we have not seen them since 2019 due to Ivy League schools shutting down programs. Warner 100 percent has the ability to get onto that podium again at the NCAA Tournament and if he plays his cards right and peaks at he right time could be looking at a National Title in his future and the first one of his career.
285lbs Tony Cassioppi
Big Tony has been on the scene a lot recently with his impressive body transformation and just recently winning a U23 World Title. He is currently number 3 in the country behind only Mason Parris and Olympic Champion Gable Steveson. His main task will be to take out Mason Parris this season and try to get to the number 2 spot. Gable Steveson is a whole other level to this but it will be very good for Cassioppi to get good competition this season vs the best in the world and see where he stands because we all know what his ultimate goals are. Other than that I would confidently say he is the second best wrestler on the already stacked Hawkeye lineup behind only Spencer Lee. It will be a good season for Cassioppi and hopefully he can put it together in his Sophomore year to make it into the national finals.