2023-24 Iowa Wrestling

Iowa Wrestling Plucks Parco From Portal, Brings Back Brands

Iowa Wrestling Plucks Parco From Portal, Brings Back Brands

Iowa wrestling picked up two key pieces for next season with the transfer of Kyle Parco and return of Nelson Brands.

May 21, 2024 by Andy Hamilton
Iowa Wrestling Plucks Parco From Portal, Brings Back Brands

Iowa has added two pivotal pieces to its lineup for next season. 

Four-time 149-pound All-American Kyle Parco announced Tuesday evening on Instagram that he’s joining the Hawkeyes. His post came several minutes after All-American Nelson Brands shared that he’s coming back to Iowa. 

In Parco, the Hawkeyes are getting a consistent winner who posted a 95-20 record during the past four seasons. He placed sixth at the NCAA Championships as a freshman for Fresno State before transferring to Arizona State after the Bulldogs dropped their program. 

In three seasons with the Sun Devils, Parco won three Pac-12 titles and placed eighth, fourth and fifth at the NCAA Championships. 

Parco helps solidify the lighter half of Iowa’s lineup behind returning 125-pound NCAA finalist Drake Ayala. The Hawkeyes lost NCAA qualifier Brody Teske at 133 and All-Americans Real Woods (141) and Jared Franek (157) from last season’s fifth-place finish. 

The return of Brands is equally as important. The three-time Iowa state high school champion placed fifth at the 2023 NCAA Championships at 174 pounds as a junior. He served a one-year suspension this past season after being involved in the state’s sports wagering probe. 

Brands said last fall that he had a medical hardship year at his disposal and it appears that’s what he’ll be exercising next season. 

It remains to be seen how the Hawkeyes will fit their upperweight puzzle together with 165-pound All-American Michael Caliendo, 174-pound NCAA qualifier Patrick Kennedy, Brands and Gabe Arnold, who went 12-1 as a true freshman at 174 and 184.