Caring is Creepy 2023: Have a Seat, Gabe Arnold

By RossWB on January 2, 2022 at 6:30 pm
go hawks go
Gabe Arnold (instagram)

The news isn't all gloomy around Iowa wrestling right now. Tom Brands & Co. picked up a major commitment for their 2023 recruiting class on Saturday: 


A post shared by Gabe (@grnold.aabe)

Gabe Arnold, originally from Georgia but now a junior at Wyoming Seminary in Pennsylvania, gave a verbal commitment to Iowa yesterday, further strengthening Iowa's already-robust 2023 recruiting class. Arnold is the #1-ranked prospect at 170 lbs and the #6 overall prospect, nationally, per MatScouts. Among his accomplishments are a title at FloWrestling's recent Who's Number One event, a U16 freestyle national championship at Fargo, and two National Prep championships. 

He chose Iowa over interest from multiple programs, including Missouri, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, and Penn State. But his decision really came down to Iowa and Missouri -- and the Tigers had a strong pull given that he's a Mizzou legacy. And not just in the sense that his dad attended the University of Missouri -- the ties go deeper than that, as Cody Goodwin elaborated on in The Des Moines Register

For one, Arnold’s dad, Phil, wrestled at Missouri and is originally from Columbia, Missouri. Phil Arnold was a two-time state champ for Hickman, which sits two-and-a-half miles from Missouri’s campus. He is also J’den Cox’s uncle — yes, the same J’den Cox who won three NCAA titles for the Tigers and is now a five-time world and Olympic medalist.

Arnold said that he chose Iowa because he wanted to forge his own path. A combination of factors led him to select Iowa, as he told Goodwin: 

It was a combination of things for me,” Arnold told Hawk Central. “Being around the team and that culture and hearing (Iowa coaches Tom and Terry Brands) speak, it all drew me in.

“I completely bought into the program the moment my visit began. It just felt right.”

It didn't hurt that he also made his official visit to Iowa during the weekend of the much-hyped Iowa-Penn State football game in October: 

"I mean, it was a big football game, so the tailgaters were out,” Arnold continued. “My host was Jacob Warner, and we were walking around, people walked up to Warner, Aaron Costello, all those guys, and they were so excited to see and talk to these guys.

“It was so cool to see the fan base support them like that. I wanted to be part of that. I was damn near ready to commit on my visit. That was my first time in Iowa City and it did not miss.”

That game continues to pay big dividends for Iowa -- in multiple sports. 

Arnold projects at 165 or 174 and once he arrives on campus in 2023, he could form a potent 1-2 punch with Patrick Kennedy, a redshirting freshman at Iowa who was also a blue chip recruit at those weights. He also continues a burgeoning pipeline for Iowa at Wyoming Seminary, a prep school that routinely turns out top wrestling prospects. Iowa added Kolby Franklin, a highly-ranked 197 lb prospect, as part of their 2022 recruiting class and are pursuing Meyer Shapiro, a Wyoming Seminary wrestler ranked the #2 overall prospect in the 2023 recruiting class. (Shapiro projects around 149 lbs in college.) 

As noted, Arnold is just the most recent blue chip recruit that Iowa has landed in 2023. They've also picked up verbal commitments from Nate Jesuroga (#4 overall) and Ben Kueter (#13), as well as Ryder Block (#54). This is shaping up to be a very strong class for Iowa wrestling as it continues to build for the future. Welcome to Iowa, Gabe. We can't wait to see you in black and gold. 

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