Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!
Already a subscriber? Log In
What a position Casey Swiderski was in.
For more than two weeks, Purdue, Michigan, Iowa State and Michigan State all waited to find out if Swiderski would become their first Class of 2022 recruiting prize. His other choice -- North Dakota State -- has already secured a commitment from Minnesota's Maxwell Peterson, who is No. 12 at 132.
Swiderski finally ended the suspense Saturday (Nov. 7), the same day he began competing at the NHSCA Fall National Duals. The two-time state champion announced on Instagram his commitment to the Cyclones.
Swiderski wrote in a post that had received 936 likes in less than a week:
Just a small town boy chasin' his dreams
Cody Goodwin of the Des Moines Register was among the first report on Swiderski's decision, later adding on Twitter that "Iowa State opens its 2022 recruiting class with a bang. Saw him at Midwest Ironman Duals this summer. Kid’s good."
With plenty of time still to grow, Swiderski will likely land at either 141 of 149 in college, but it appears Iowa State will have a much greater need at 149 by the time he sets football on campus in the fall of 2022.
Current starter Jarrett Degen is putting the finishing touches on a fine career this season. The three-time NCAA qualifier and 2019 All-American boasts a 68-23 record. Ryan Leisure, Degen's likely successor, is already a junior.
The only 149-pounders currently on the roster are a pair of true freshmen, who are expected to redshirt this season. Ben Monroe has finished the top three at the Iowa state tournament four times while Cam Robinson made the top five at the Pennsylvania state tournament three times. His high school record was 152-26.
The Cyclones will have arguably even bigger shoes to fill at 141 next season as two-time NCAA qualifier and 2020 Big 12 champion Ian Parker, who was a two-time Michigan state champion at St. Johns.
There is a crowded field of potential replacements for Parker, including two sophomores and three freshmen. Nebraska high school senior Conor Knopick, No. 5 at 141, will also be in the mix. He just committed to Iowa State on Wednesday.
Others at 141 include sophomores Noah Namer and Charlie Kleeps, who posted a combined 29-20 record last season. Kleeps is a four-time Montana state champion, who finished with a 168-15 high school record. Namer is a former Kansas state champion.
Since July, Swiderski has raised his recruiting profile significantly with six wins over wrestlers currently ranked among top 19 nationally of their weight classes
That continued at Fall National Duals where he wrestled on a team called Menace-Peanut Butter with several Dundee teammates, including Purdue commit Stoney Buell.
Swiderski knocked off No. 7 Nico Nardone of New Jersey, 4-1, in overtime. Neither wrestler generated much offense throughout regulation. Nardone, a Penn commit, held a 1-0 advantage from 1:13 to go in the second period until Swiderski drew even with 50 seconds left in regulation.
Nobody scored in the first overtime, but Swiderski began the second overtime in the down position and escaped in six seconds for a 2-1 lead. He then shot underneath Nardone's defense in the waning seconds for a takedown.
Also at NHSCA Duals, Swiderski edged Colorado state champion Weston Dalton (3-2), who was 34-4 last season. He also bested Pennsylvania state qualifier Arik Harnish with a 22-5 technical fall. Harnish has a 75-39 prep record.
Swiderski, who has never lost to a Michigan wrestler in high school competition, went 46-2 as a freshman, winning a 103-pound state title. Last season, he finished with a 39-1 mark and the 135-pound state championship.
Swiderski's most head-turning off the offseason was a 6-4 decision over Drake Ayala, an Iowa commit and two-time Iowa State champion, at the Midwest Ironman Duals. Ayala is seventh in the current pound-for-pound national rankings and No. 1 at 126 pounds.
At the Super 32 challenge, Swiderski decisioned No. 8 Tom Crook, a two-time Florida state champion, 8-3. He also knocked off Pennsylvania's Nathan Lucier, a Binghamton commit ranked No. 19 at 138, by a 10-3 count. Swiderski then decisioned No. 14 Ty Whalen of New Jersey, 6-3.
At the Grappler Fall Classic, Swiderski nipped No. 17 Dy'Vaire Van Dyke (Ohio), 5-3, and decisioned two-time Florida state champion Danny Nini, 4-2.
Swiderski's resume also includes gold at USA Wrestling's preseason nationals in 2018 and Fargo Cadet Freestyle All-American status.
Davison's Alex Facundo (No. 1, 170), Dundee teammate Braeden Davis (No. 3, 106) and Davison's Caden Horwath (No. 4, 113) are the only Michigan wrestlers ranked higher than Swiderski in any weight class.
He is Michigan's second Class of 2022 Division 1 commit, joining Stevensville Lakeshore's Micah Hanau (Army).