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Telford works out with UI football players

[ 0 ] November 7, 2012 |

Apparently the way Iowa football strength coach Chris Doyle built offensive and defensive linemen was not lost on Iowa wrestling coach Tom Brands.

Brands sent Bobby Telford to Doyle in the offseason to see if he could add some muscle to the heavyweight.

“We needed to strengthen some things,” Brands said. “If you watched his wrestling, there were some things left undone.”

Telford worked out in groups with Iowa football players on a program custom-designed for wrestling. It involved adding a lot of burst from the hips and legs for Telfrod.

“We worked on a lot of explosion stuff,” Telford said. “It was good. I got some good weight on there and got more explosive.”

Telford went 29-9 last season and finished fifth in the NCAA Tournament as a redshirt freshman. The Hockessin, Del., native said he felt the workouts would pay off.

“(Coach Doyle) holds all his athletes to a high standard,” Telford said. “I was just one of the guys there.”

SORTED OUT: At one point this off-season, it looked like Mike Evans, Grant Gambrall and Ethen Lofthouse might be headed for a the same weight.

“I’m not going to say it’s a no-brainer, but sometimes some of these things have a way to work themselves out,” Brands said.

Evans finished 26-8 and runner-up at 165 in the Big Ten Tournament. Lofthouse finished 28-9 and 7th at the NCAA Tournament at 174. Gambrall was 12-12 between two weights after placing third at the NCAA Championships as a sophomore at 184 pounds.

Evans will stay at 165, Gambrall will wrestle at 174 and Lofthouse will move up to 184.

“I wrestled up a weight class this summer and felt alright,” Lofthouse said. “I know what I can do. I’m not worried.”

Gambrall, now a senior and more than a year-and-a-half removed from a concussion, is comfortable at 174.

“Each year I’ve thought I could go 74, but this year it was the right choice,” Gambrall said. “I feel like I can move better than I did at 97, for sure.”

BURAK’S LEG UP: Freshman Nathan Burak isn’t your typical wet-behind-the-ears freshman at 197 pounds.

Burak spent a year after high school training at the Olympic Training Center near his home in Colorado Spring, Colo.

“It helped me on a lot of small things,” Burak said. “It definitely was a very profitable year.”

Burak comes in at a weight that is not as deep for Iowa. Junior Tomas Lira went 11-10 last season. Sophomore Jeremy Fahler was 12-5 at 184.

“My plan is to go out and win the wrestle off,” Burak said.

Wrestle offs are today, Friday and Saturday.

NOT DUCKING MIDLANDS: Brands didn’t mince words for the people disappointed that Iowa was going to miss the 50th Midlands Tournament in Evanston, Ill.

“We want to be in Midlands,” Brands said. “Let’s make that real clear. All this BS and people speaking for me, that really irritates me sometimes.

“We want to be a part of that in the future. We quit messing with this national duels thing, and then the Big Ten quit moving dates back into early January for Big Ten duels, and maybe we can have it make more sense for the schedule.”

The Midlands are Dec. 29 and Dec. 30. Iowa competes in the Grapple at the Garden Dec. 16 and Dec. 17 in New York and hosts Ohio State on Jan. 4.

FRESHMAN M.I.A.: Freshman Nate Skonieczny is not with the Iowa wrestling team, but Brands said the door was open if he wanted to return.

“He left on his own accord,” Brands said. “We want to make sure he’s OK.”

Skonieczny is a 141-pounder and two-time state champion from Stow, Ohio.

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Category: Wrestling

About Ryan Suchomel: Reach Ryan Suchomel at 339-7368 or rsuchomel@press-citizen.com. View author profile.

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