The search for heavyweight prospects took Iowa wrestling coaches around the country in recent years.
They found one this year just up the road.
Solon’s Lance Evans committed Friday to the Hawkeyes, selecting Iowa over Nebraska, Iowa State, Northern Iowa, Northern Illinois and Air Force. He went 31-0 as a senior on his way to winning the Class 2-A state title at 220 pounds.
If Evans had any plans of wrestling at 197 in college, they’ve disappeared at the dinner table in recent weeks. He’s a heavyweight now – and he’s working toward becoming a full-grown one.
“I’ve been growing a lot since the season ended,” he said. “I’m about 230 right now, but that’s changing as we speak.”
Evans was a three-time state medalist at Solon, where he compiled an 82-16 career record. After wrestling on the junior varsity team as a freshman at 145 pounds, he placed seventh at the state meet at 182 as a sophomore and fifth as a junior at 195.
He’s the third heavyweight to join the Hawkeyes in the last 13 months. Iowa landed a commitment last April from Pennsylvania state champion Aaron Bradley, who delayed enrollment and is on a two-year Mormon mission in Brazil. Last November, the Hawkeyes signed two-time Minnesota state champion Sam Stoll, who set a national high school record as a senior with 63 consecutive pins.
“It’s great to have that many guys competing for a (starting) spot,” Evans said. “It’ll force everybody to bring their ‘A’ game every day to practice. It’ll make everybody a lot better than they could’ve been without that competition.
“I wanted (to go) someplace where I’d have people in the room to push me. I decided there would be plenty of that at Iowa.”