Spending a semester as an intern for Sen. Chuck Grassley was expected to be a future-changing experience for Eric DeVos.
The state champion from Waverly-Shell Rock never imagined it would ultimately point him back toward the wrestling mats in his home state.
DeVos said Wednesday night that he is transferring to Iowa after spending the last two years at Penn.
“I honestly hadn’t really thought about transferring back until I came out (to Washington D.C.),” he said. “There’s a lot of people from Iowa in Sen. Grassley’s office, and being around those people made me miss home and the Iowa personalities and mentalities.”
DeVos compiled a 270-17 record in six prep seasons, winning Minnesota high school titles in seventh and eighth grade before claiming an Iowa championship as a sophomore for Waverly-Shell Rock. In all, he wrestled in five state title bouts.
He left for Penn as a 125-pound prospect. He’s coming back as a likely 157-pounder.
“I went out to Penn, and physically and mentally I was still a kid, and I kind of wanted to get away like any kid does,” DeVos said. “Penn was a place where I had good coaches, a good team and it’s obviously a good school. I feel I really grew up there, both physically and mentally. Being more mature, I just thought about my priorities more — family being my No. 1 priority. My dad is sick, and this is a good chance to get closer to him and be there for my younger brother, who lives in Okoboji.
“Then, obviously Iowa wrestling is something I’ve always had a fascination with.”
DeVos said he has three seasons of eligibility. As a freshman, he traveled with the Quakers as a backup at 141. He sat out this past season while recovering from a knee injury.
“I didn’t have wrestling for close to a year and it’s been the worst year of my life and the best year of my life, too,” he said. “It’s been terrible not being able to scrap every day, but the feeling I have right now, I’m just ready to get back at it, and I haven’t felt like that in a long time.”