Iowa State will hold onto two of its four incoming wrestling recruits, new Coach Kevin Jackson said Thursday.
Trent Weatherman, a two-time 152-pound state champion from nearby Ballard High School, and Boaz Beard, who owns four state titles and a 110-2 career record at Wichita (Kan.)-Goddard H.S., have re-affirmed their commitments to the program after former coach Cael Sanderson left for Penn State last month.
Recruits David Taylor of St. Paris, Ohio, and Luke Macchiaroli from Tempe, Ariz., have asked for and were granted releases from their letters of intent.
Weatherman is one of the state’s top recruits. His high school is 15 minutes south of Ames.
“He is locked in now,” Jackson said. “That’s a huge keep for us. He’s a hometown product from right down the road and one of our best kids in the state. I need to keep that kid.”
Beard and his parents met with Jackson Monday on campus. A few hours later, Beard said he wasn’t going anywhere else.
“That makes me feel good, cause I’m just meeting the kid,” he said. “But in three hours I think I can express the mission of what we are all about. His parents loved Cael. They still do.”
As for Jackson’s existing roster, he said there are some considering a transfer, though he is choosing not release them to Iowa or Penn State. He would not say the wrestler’s names.
“There may be one guy like that who is on the fence, maybe two,” Jackson said.
Add senior 157-pounder Cyler Sanderson to that list, too. Sanderson, the younger brother of Cael, has not yet told Jackson whether he’ll be staying with the program.
The rest of ISU’s core group of Jake Varner, David Zabriskie, Nick Gallick, Nick Fanthorpe, Jon Reader and Mitch Mueller aren’t going anywhere. Rumors continue to linger that Varner is thinking of following Cael Sanderson out East.
Jackson said he hasn’t gotten that impression from Varner. The 197-pound national champion does have a very close relationship with Sanderson.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if Cael is working on him,” Jackson said. “Who wouldn’t want a Jake Varner on your team. That would hurt us real badly if he left, but I don’t believe he’s going to leave. He told me he was all-in.”