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Ohio state champion picks Iowa

[ 2 ] October 23, 2011 |

Nate Skonieczny spent years putting himself in position to wrestle for Iowa.

The Ohio state champion cheered for the Hawkeyes, spent hours watching video clips of former Iowa greats and told his dad he wanted to wear the black singlet and wrestle in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

“He told me, ‘They don’t really recruit Ohio, so don’t be disappointed if they don’t call you,” Skonieczny said.

His phone rang in September. Iowa coach Tom Brands was on the other end.

“When I got that call, it was awesome,” Skonieczny said. “I knew that was where I was going to end up.

“I’ve been the biggest Iowa Hawkeye fan since I was about 10 years old. I love watching YouTube (videos of) Mark Ironside, Lincoln McIlravy and Brent Metcalf. I love watching those guys wrestle.”

Skonieczny’s dream of wrestling for the Hawkeyes became one step closer to reality Sunday night when the blue-chip recruit verbally committed to Iowa. The Walsh Jesuit senior selected the Hawkeyes over Ohio State, Michigan and West Virginia.

“The campuses are the same somewhat, but (Iowa’s) wrestling, their intensity level is way above everyone else’s,” he said. “That’s where champions are made.”

Skonieczny is ranked the No. 8 overall prospect in the 2012 class by InterMat. He’s the fourth top-20 recruit to commit to Iowa’s class. He projects as a 141- or 149-pounder in college.

Skonieczny compiled a 136-9 record during his first three seasons, placing second as a freshman and third as a sophomore before claiming a state title last season, finishing 50-1.

“I’m a go-getter,” he said. “I attack, attack, attack and try to wear you down and beat you up in the third (period). That’s what’s worked out best for me. I’m real basic. I’m not the one you want to go out and watch.”

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Category: Wrestling

About Andy Hamilton: University of Iowa graduate Andy Hamilton is originally from Williams, Iowa, and started at the Des Moines Register in August after 12 years at the Press-Citizen. He covers wrestling for Hawk Central. View author profile.

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