There haven't been many in-state high school star wrestlers that have slipped through the fingers of Tom Brands and the Iowa wrestling program -- but Brody Teske was one of them. Emphasis on the was in that previous sentence, though. Because now Teske is going to be a Hawkeye.
Go Hawks!! pic.twitter.com/qzNoyjAQVq— TeskeBT (@BrodyTeske) August 14, 2022
Of course, saying that Teske slipped through Iowa's fingers out of high school isn't entirely accurate -- it was a complicated situation. Teske was a monster in high school at Fort Dodge; he went 175-1 over his four season there and won four state championships -- at four different weights (106 as a freshman, 113 as a sophomore, 120 as a junior, and 126 as a senior). But despite those glistening credentials and the fact that he wrestled just a few hours away from Iowa City, Teske chose not to start his college career with the Hawkeyes. Instead, he chose Iowa's arch-rival, Penn State.
One major reason for Teske not choosing Iowa out of high school? He projected at 125 lbs in college and, well, the Hawkeyes did have another wrestler at that weight -- perhaps you've heard of Spencer Lee? Lee presented a massive roadblock to any of Teske's ambitions at 125 lbs. But Penn State proved not to be the ideal landing spot for him, either; he went 6-2 while redshirting in 2019, then went 5-2 in 2019-20 before transferring at the semester.
His travels brought him back to the state of Iowa and a spot in the UNI lineup. Teske went 14-3 in 2020-21 with the Panthers, including a Big 12 championship. He went just 2-2 at the NCAA Tournament, though, losing in the Round of 12 and missing a chance to become an All-American. Last year Teske went 14-8 overall and was a runner-up at the Big 12 Tournament, before again going 2-2 at NCAAs and just missing a chance to contend for All-America honors.
Teske is a graduate transfer and has two years of eligibility remaining (2022-23 and 2023-24). While he's wrestled his entire college career thus far at 125, that weight isn't available to him at Iowa -- that Spencer Lee fella is still going to be suiting up in black and gold for one more year. But Teske confirmed in an interview with The Fort Dodge Messenger that he'll be competing at 133 lbs this season.
He also explained his motivation for the move to Iowa:
“My window of opportunity is closing quickly,” Teske said in an exclusive interview with The Messenger. “I’m someone who has always valued self-reflection and focused on constant growth. At the end of the day, I am what I am at this stage in my career: a two-time NCAA qualifier who has gone 2-2 twice at nationals. That’s not good enough.
“I’m unsatisfied with myself. I’ve got two short years (of eligibility left collegiately) to make this work. So I sat down and evaluated where I’m at and what I need to reach that next level. And to me, there’s no better place and no better room to push myself to see my full potential than as an Iowa Hawkeye.”
He's going to be hard-pressed to find better training partners or coaches (for his weight) than he will in Iowa City. Aside from Lee, Iowa also has Drake Ayala, Jesse Ybarra, and Cullan Schriever as teammates to roll with. He'll be under the tutelage of Tom and (especially) Terry Brands, two of the best lightweight coaches on the planet. And the Hawkeye Wrestling Club offers opportunities to work with Dan Dennis (a former Olympian) and Austin DeSanto. If a better Teske is possible, his best shot of finding that version of himself is probably at Iowa.
And, frankly, that's the version of Teske that Iowa will need in the lineup. 133 was one of the bigger question mark weights in Iowa's lineup headed into the upcoming season; there was no obvious replacement for DeSanto in Iowa's training room and Cullan Schriever was the most likely option to start at that weight. Schriever will still have a chance to make his case -- he did go 15-5 at 133 last year, though he struggled against the weight's best guys -- and the hope is that he and Teske force each other to improve and that Iowa ends up with a 133er that can contend for All-America honors once again. We'll have to wait and see exactly how that battle shakes out.
But in the meantime, we're happy to welcome Brody Teske to Iowa. It's never a bad thing to add more talent to the wrestling room, especially at a weight of need. And it's certainly nice to get a state legend in black and gold, too. We can't wait to see what you can do in a Hawkeye singlet, Brody.