2021 Junior National freestyle runner-up Ben Kueter (Photo/Tony Rotundo; WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
Even though the Iowa Hawkeyes have yet to receive a verbal commitment from the current senior class, head coach Tom Brands' Class of 2023 is off to a great start. Sunday, the Hawkeyes got a commitment from the #9 overall junior in the nation Ben Kueter (Iowa City, Iowa). Not only will Kueter take the mat for Iowa, but he's also expected to play on the gridiron for legendary football coach Kirk Ferentz.
Kueter is two-for-two in capturing state titles in Iowa's 3A classification. He won the 160 lb weight class as a freshman before making the massive jump to 195 in 2020-21. This summer, in Fargo, Kueter made the Junior Freestyle National final at 220 lbs.
Not only has Kueter starred in wrestling and football, but he's also actually a four-sport athlete for City High, competing at a high level in baseball and track, as well. On the football field, Kueter is a tight end and linebacker, while playing centerfield for the baseball team. He was also a part of the school's distance relay team.
As we learn more about Kueter's commitment, it could be a no-lose situation for the Iowa wrestling program. Kueter's scholarship dollars are expected to be absorbed by the football team, which is helpful when wrestling is only allotted 9.9 total. That means Brands' team will get the services of a blue-chip athlete at 285 lbs without allocating any money towards him. Of course, this arrangement would limit the amount of time Kueter gets to compete wrestling-wise, since Iowa's football program typically is in the hunt for major bowl games in late-December/early January.
Our Big Ten correspondent Cody Goodwin wrote about wrestlers playing football at Iowa in December of 2019. Iowa has been notorious for having football players with wrestling experience; however, they haven't really had an athlete like Kueter that attempts to do both. In Cody's article, both coaches alluded to the same and Brands even admitted to deferring to football if both he and Ferentz are interested in a prospect, "But if it's somebody we really want, we'd have a conversation." I think that sums up Brands and the wrestling staff's interest in Kueter.