Big news from the world of college wrestling 'crooting. Really big news. Like "best recruit in his class" big. Iowa's already-excellent 2023 recruiting class got even stronger this week with the addition of Cody Chittum.
Chittum is currently the #1 overall recruit in the Class of 2023, per Flowrestling. He had previously given a verbal commitment to Minnesota back in June of 2021, but has now changed his mind and decided to wear black and gold instead of maroon and gold during his collegiate career. (Presumably because he decided that he wanted to be part of a team that could actually have an opportunity to win something of significance.)
He explained his decision to switch his commitment to Iowa in comments to The Des Moines Register's Cody Goodwin:
"It felt like home there," Chittum said. "I love how (the coaches) are super intense and I love all the teammates there, too. I was really happy being around those guys and had a good connection with everybody at Iowa.
"Being around them, it really opened my eyes, and I just felt like it was my new home."
Chittum projects at 149 or 157 in college, which are weights where Iowa is definitely looking to secure high-end talent for the future. Mission accomplished on that front. Chittum is fresh off winning a Junior national freestyle championship at Fargo Nationals earlier this month; he went 7-0 with six technical falls en route to that title. Chittum wrestles with an heavily physical, aggressive style that should fit in well in the Iowa lineup. He also finished third in the Junior Greco-Roman championship at the same event. In addition, he won the Super 32 Challenge last fall (an event featuring several top prep wrestlers from across the nation) and won gold at the Junior Pan-American Games. He does not lack for accomplishments on the mat.
The current plan is for Chittum to move from his home in Tennessee and gray shirt while training with the Hawkeye Wrestling Club during the 2022-23 season. He would then enroll in the fall of 2023, with four years to compete (plus a redshirt season to use, should he choose).
Adding Chittum to their Class of 2023 haul gives Iowa a truly stacked recruiting class, with four wrestlers ranked in Flowrestling's overall Top 10 and five total in the Top 50. The other highly-ranked recruits include Nate Jesuroga (#5), Gabe Arnold (#6), Ben Kueter (#9), and Ryder Block (#41). Jesuroga projects at 125 for now, with Block at 141, Arnold at 174/184, and Kueter likely at heavyweight. That class, plus a few other wrestlers Iowa has picked up in recent class, could serve as an excellent foundation for Iowa to compete for more Big Ten and NCAA championships over the next five years.
Welcome to Iowa, Cody.