The addition of another middle weight to Iowa’s wrestling roster was perhaps more a matter of want than need for the Hawkeyes.
Iowa already has a wealth of young talent that could fit into slots at 157 and 165 pounds with freshman All-American Derek St. John, heralded redshirts Nick Moore and Michael Kelly and possibly a couple other underclassmen with growth potential.
The Hawkeyes might not necessarily need help at those weights, but they wanted two-time Missouri state champion Patrick Rhoads.
“All of those guys are only going to make me better,” said Rhoads, who signed a letter of intent to Iowa. “I’m going to make them better and we’re going to be great training partners. You plan to start, but if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen. Iowa is not necessarily my end goal. I want to go to the Olympics and wrestle around the world.”
Rhoads compiled a 171-19 career record with 113 pins, splitting his career at Oak Park and Staley high schools in Kansas City. He placed fourth at the state meet as a freshman and sophomore before winning 101 of his 104 matches in his junior and senior seasons and capping both years with titles.
Rhoads had several other options. He said Missouri, Oklahoma and Northern Iowa recruited him in the fall, and Old Dominion and George Mason came after him in April after he placed fourth at 160 pounds at Senior Nationals.
“It’s always been my dream (to wrestle at Iowa),” he said. “I thought maybe I might get the opportunity, but I was being optimistic and thinking I could always do it if I got the shot. I always had other plans just in case.”
Rhoads is thought to be the sixth wrestler to commit to Iowa’s 2011 recruiting class. The Hawkeyes signed three-time South Dakota state champion Kris Klapprodt in November, picked up a commitment from George Mason transfer Cayle Byers in February, signed Davenport Assumption state champ Brody Grothus in April and also added commitments from walk-ons Joey Trizzino and Jake Kadel.
Rhoads said signing with the Hawkeyes is “a weight off my shoulders and a new weight on my shoulders.”
“I’m glad I know where I’m going now,” he said. “That’s something I’ve been worried about — where am I going to go and what am I going to do? — because I hadn’t signed yet and it’s kind of late. But I know somewhat the work that’s going to entail at Iowa, and I’m prepared and ready to do it as much as I can be. It’s always been my dream and goal to wrestle there.”