The University of Iowa ended the week with not one, but two, verbal commitments from All-American transfers from North Dakota State, Jared Franek and Mike Caliendo. Each announced their decision via social media today. The pair went into the transfer portal after Roger Kish left North Dakota State for the Oklahoma position.
In 2023, both made the NCAA podium with Franek taking fourth at 157 lbs, while Caliendo was seventh at 165 lbs. Franek was a three-time Big 12 finalist for the Bison, winning his first title in 2023. In each of the previous two seasons, Franek ended his season in the NCAA Round of 12.
Caliendo was third in a loaded Big 12 weight class that featured the eventual national finalists. He finished his freshman season with a 29-5 record, was named the Big 12’s Freshman of the Year by InterMat and was the 165 lb representative on InterMat’s All-Freshman team.
How each fits into the Iowa lineup remains to be seen. The incumbent at 157 lbs, Cobe Siebrecht, has two years of eligibility remaining, as does 165 lber Patrick Kennedy. Both made the NCAA tournament in their first full years as starters for Tom Brands’ team. The Hawkeyes also have All-American Nelson Brands at 174 and Abe Assad at 184, both with a year of eligibility remaining.
Iowa now has four transfers for the 2023-24 season with Franek and Caliendo joining Joey Cruz and Victor Voinovich.
Franek will have one year of eligibility remaining, while Caliendo has three.
2023 165 lb NCAA 7th Place finisher Michael Caliendo; Photo courtesy of Sam Janicki