Iowa's already-very good 2020 recruiting class added a few new members over the weekend, boosting the quality of that class even more. First, Iowa picked up a verbal commitment from an atypical recruiting location on Friday: Bozeman, Montana.
After a long process I have decided to continue my Academic and athletic career at the University of Iowa! I cant thank everyone enough for helping me reach this point! This opportunity is a dream come true for me. Go Hawks! -LS pic.twitter.com/p3eRLvxt4j— leif (@LeifSchroeder) October 25, 2019
Leif Schroeder, a 3-time Montana state champion, is set to provide Iowa with some more options at the middleweight ranks. Leif Schreoder -- who we will definitely be calling LEAF SHREDDER if he cracks the Iowa lineup, even though his first name is actually pronounced "Layf" -- won a state title at 113 lbs as a freshman, 126 lbs as a sophomore, and 132 lbs as a junior. He's 82-1 heading into his senior season and projects to wrestle at 149/157 lbs in college.
Schroeder is a bit off the radar in terms of the recruiting services, partly because he competes in Montana but mainly because he hasn't had a great deal of success at national freestyle, folkstyle, or Greco competioons. His best finish was 6th at the 2016 Cadet Greco-Roman national championships. That said, he certainly sounds highly motivated, per his comments to Cody Goodwin in The Des Moines Register:
His first exposure to the Hawkeyes came on a trip to USA Wrestling’s folkstyle national championships when he was very young. The family drove in and took a detour to Carver-Hawkeye Arena, where Schroeder got a workout in before competing a few days later.
Since then, Schroeder immersed himself in Iowa wrestling. He watched the Hawkeyes online, and when he couldn’t, he found ways to follow their results. He grew to love Thomas Gilman’s tenacity, and pictured himself donning the all-black singlet someday.
“I remember being a little kid and telling my parents, ‘I’m going to wrestle for the Hawkeyes,’” Schroeder said. “I haven’t had the best national success in my high school career, so I thought it might be slipping away and that I might be running out of time.
Cracking the Iowa lineup won't be easy, but he wouldn't be the first less-heralded recruit from a non-traditional location to find success in the Iowa wrestling room. Hopefully the "Shredder" can become Iowa's latest out-of-nowhere success story.
Iowa's other 2020 recruit arrived on Monday and comes with a bit more hype. Bretli Reyna, from South Date in Homestead, Florida is a three-time state champion himself.
Iowa gets it second commitment for the class 2020 within the last week. This time its the fast rising Florida prep Bretli Reyna https://t.co/0igGS7Uh92— Ross Bartachek (@rossbchek) October 29, 2019
Reyna won a Florida state championship at 106 lbs as a freshman, at 120 lbs as a sophomore, and at 132 lbs as a junior, on his way to a 175-5 overall record. Reyna's stock has been rising in recent months, especially after winning the 145 lb weight class at this year's Super 32 Challenge, the most challenging preseason high school tournament around. That success helped boost Reyna to #35 overall on Flowrestling's 2020 class rankings. His Super 32 success included a win over the #11 overall recruit, Josh Saunders.
Like Schroeder, Reyna is expected to compete at 149 or 147 lbs in college. Interestingly, if Reyna emerges as the heir apparent at 149 lbs, he'd be following in the footsteps of Iowa's current 149er, Pat Lugo, who also hails from South Dade. Lugo's connection to Reyna through South Dade certainly played a factor in the latter's decision to head to Iowa.
Welcome to Iowa, Leif and Bretli. We're excited to see what you can do in black-and-gold singlets in a few years.