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Ex-Penn State wrestler Teske to enroll at Northern Iowa

Brody Teske is leaving the Nittany Lions to become a UNI Panther.

The 125-pound redshirt freshman who had been on the wrestling roster at Penn State is returning to his home state ... where he will wrestle at the University of Northern Iowa.

Brody Teske
Teske posted this succinct announcement on his Instagram account Tuesday:

I will be returning to my roots and the state that will always be home to me! I appreciate the support!

As InterMat reported, PSU head coach Cael Sanderson announced Teske, a four-time Iowa high school state champ, had entered the transfer portal ... with speculation centering on the Fort Dodge, Iowa native enrolling at the University of Iowa.

That speculation centered on the right state, but wrong state school, as revealed in Teske's in-depth interview with The Messenger, the daily newspaper in his hometown, published Wednesday.

"UNI is just that hard-nosed grit -- the way I was raised," Teske told the Fort Dodge newspaper. "That blue-collar attitude. They don't have all the glitz and glamour, and they don't need it. It's not a big business there. That's what I love -- the family atmosphere, which is what we embraced under Coach (Bobby) Thompson as Dodgers. I have great respect for Coach (Doug) Schwab and his staff, and the way they treat their wrestlers. They're very welcoming, and I feel like I can be me.

"I just have a much better understanding of what I'm looking for than I did when I was in high school," Teske continued. "This isn't going to be easy. I'm walking away from a tremendous opportunity and a scholarship at Penn State with no real guarantees (at UNI). That's not the conventional way to do it. But I'm excited because I feel like I've found my true self and sense of purpose again."

Teske shared his thinking behind his decision to switch from Penn State to Northern Iowa:

"I was out all of December (with the injury), and when I came home for Christmas break, I really took a step back and had some difficult conversations with myself and my family," said Teske. "Last Tuesday, I went to Coach Cael's office and we talked through everything. I told him I just wasn't physically or mentally satisfied with myself, which had been building for a long time, in all honesty."

"Look, I'm not going to speak negatively about Penn State. That's an experience I will carry with me the rest of my life. I learned things from Coach Cael that I'll take with me forever, and definitely miss. I'm not questioning what they do or the way they train. That would be foolish based on their track record. It works for some -- it just didn't work for me."

"Those closest to me know the truth. I know the truth," Teske said. "Sometimes, deciding who you are and what you aren't is as important as anything. I feel like I'm much closer to that today. I was an 18-year-old kid being recruited by every school in the country (in 2017). When (PSU head coach and Iowa State legend) Cael Sanderson offers you a scholarship…I was convinced I needed that. How do you say no? I needed the big name. I needed Coach Cael. Penn State was the top of the mountain.

"I began to realize, though, that I was I chasing something that wasn't me. On and off the mat, so much added up and made me understand what is truly important. And I feel like UNI aligns more with my values. Who I am not just as a wrestler, but as a person."

Teske will be eligible to compete for Northern Iowa next season.

In transferring to the Cedar Falls-based university, Teske will join former Fort Dodge teammates Triston Lara, Drew Bennett and Cayd Lara, who are all current members of the UNI Panther wrestling program.

Brody Teske is one of the most accomplished prep wrestlers within the state of Iowa in recent memory.

During his four years at Fort Dodge High, Teske went 177-1 overall -- the best record in the long history of the school's mat program -- winning four Iowa state championships from 2015-18, making him one of 27 four-timers in state history. As a senior in 2018, Teske also led the Dodgers to a traditional state team championship, their first since 1985.

While still in high school, Teske was named the Class 3A Dan Gable Wrestler of the Year and was also named one of the Des Moines Register's Wrestler of the Year winners.

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D_W (1) about 11 months ago
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