The question has been on the mind of every Iowa fan since the start of this season: Will Spencer Lee wrestle this year or will he redshirt?
It seems to now be confirmed. Per Darren Miller of Hawk Talk Daily, Lee's first varsity match is slated for this Friday night against Michigan State at storied Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa. Make sure to watch the three-time world champion make his black-and-gold debut LIVE on Flo at 7 PM Central.
We've talked about Lee's status nonstop and thought the Hawkeyes might pull the 125-pounder's redshirt at the end of November when this happened on their "move of the week." Our own Christian Pyles even coined #FreeTheLee before we knew if Lee would wrestle as a freshman.
The buzz around Lee really ramped up Friday night at Midlands after he teched All-American Sean Russell. Admittedly, we pushed a lot of that, but it is a move that could drastically alter the team race at NCAAs. Before the Miller article was released, Iowa put out this tweet:
The speculation ran even more rampant after Lee lost in controversial fashion to Ronnie Bresser of Oregon State and then defaulted out of the tournament on Saturday afternoon. Lee was quoted by Miller in the article:
"If you can't move forward on a loss then you will be stuck behind everyone else. It's not something I expected, no one expects to lose. Now I'm moving forward and getting ready for the next match. Wrestling not to lose rather than wrestling to score points is a different mindset."
This would be the second year in a row a marquee freshman made his varsity debut at Carver-Hawkeye, as Mark Hall had his redshirt pulled when Penn State traveled to Iowa last January. Lee's opponent would be another true freshman in the Spartans' Rayvon Foley.