Posted On: 03/29/21 4:14 PM
I’ve been meaning to publish this article for a while, and because the NCAA championships have concluded with our very own Iowa Hawkeyes taking home the team championship, I want to take advantage of this opportunity for PrepRedzoneIA before it’s too late. As a former high school wrestler whose biggest claim to fame is my completion of the “J Robinson 28-Day Intensive Camp” heading into my senior year, I have and always will have a deep appreciation for the sport of wrestling, as well as how the lessons and skills you learn as a wrestler translates to the football field. This past season in the Hawkeye State we saw a very exciting state wrestling tournament, and amongst the competitors there were some noteworthy dual-sport athletes who are/were complete studs on the mat and on the gridiron. Amongst the flurry of tweets, updates, and champions, I made sure to take note of some of my favorite prospects I saw competing at state (yes, I said state, not “states) and wrote about their past wrestling season, their football film and recruitment, and any other info I could find. I hope you enjoy!
Tristan Mulder (Western Chrisitian) LB. 6’1, 210 lbs. c/o 2021. All-State linebacker. Committed to play football & wrestle at Northwestern College.
Possibly my favorite athlete on the whole list, Mulder was the Class 1A 195 lb. state champion and brought the first-ever state championship to the Western Christian wrestling program. He won by tech fall over Blake Brocka from Tripoli 16-0. He finished his senior season 35-0 after returning from a junior season that saw him finish as the Class 1A 170 lb. runner-up in 2019. On the gridiron, he helped lead the Wolfpack to back-to-back playoff appearances and finished his senior season as the team’s leading tackler and was named to the Iowa Print Sports Writer Association All-State Team. He also was a 3x All-District selection and an All-Northwest Iowa Review pick. He made for a massive commit for Northwestern College who held offers from Midland University, Morningside, Graceland, Sioux Falls, & Grand View. His senior Hudl displays a fast yet patient LB prospect who flows to the ball well and is slippery to avoid blocks and strong at the point of contact. He’s going to be an outstanding collegiate LB.
Derek Anderson Derek Anderson 6'6" | QB Hinton | 2021 IA (Hinton) QB/ATH. 6’6, 220 lbs. c/o 2021. Committed to Northern Iowa. 2x First Team All-District. 4.24 GPA and 34 ACT
Finished as the Class 1A runner-up at 220 after a tough 6-3 decision to Cole Clark of Lisbon. In 2019 he placed third at 1A 195 lb runner-up. Anderson had a very interesting recruitment story that saw him originally commit to DII Northern Sun competitor Sioux Falls under the condition he could listen to D1 suitors if they came calling, and later the UNI Panthers smartly offered up after Anderson took the initiative and emailed his film out to a bunch of programs, ultimately catching the eye of the Panthers staff, where they wanted him at DE. Also noteworthy, his awesome grades and test scores meant that a lot of his schooling would be paid for from academic scholarships. In the shortened 2020 season he totaled 37 tackles defensively and served as the team’s QB, going 131-280 for 1,776 and 18 TDs in two seasons. His defensive film shows him playing safety, LB, and DE at 6’6, 220, and boy is it fun to watch. He’s very hard for his opponents to block, and he can cover some ground, as there’s a play a minute in where he runs down a wide-open receiver with some huge strides and even bigger effort. There’s also a play where he is playing as the deep safety and goes up and snags a ball over a WR at its highest point like it’s nothing serious at all. The offensive film just continues to show off a rare and special athlete for his size, whose incredible versatility must be irreplaceable for his high school coaching staff. He’s an exciting one, and I think UNI got a steal.
Togeh Deseh Togeh Deseh 6'0" | DL Muscatine | 2021 IA (Muscatine) DL. Committed to Grand View University. @Togeh_21
In the 2020-21 wrestling season he placed 5th in the state at 285 lbs. for Class 3A and finished with a 41-7 record. Deseh also had a really special state tournament where he became a naturalized citizen the morning before the second day of competition and wore his singlet underneath his dress clothes to save time after the ceremony. During the 2020 football season, the Muscatine lineman posted 27 tackles, 15 TFLs, 2.5 sacks, and 1 INT. He committed to Grand View over offers from MSU-Mankato, UNI, and Upper Iowa among others, and was recently selected to the Iowa Shrine Bowl in June. His senior film shows off a NG and RG with a great first-step who plays with a low pad level and a ton of speed for his size. He’s got a great motor and is a very disruptive defensive lineman who can get himself into the backfield in a hurry and look athletic while doing it. His interception came on a great read on a screen pass that he snagged out of the air, and I was also really impressed with his quickness when shooting over a gap as well as how he viciously annihilates attempted blocks. He’s a special athlete at the size and Grand View landed an absolute monster. It wouldn’t have surprised me at all if he signed with a D1 team based off his film.
Cade Sheedy Cade Sheedy LB State IA (Davenport North) OLB. 6’, 205 lbs. c/o 2022. @SheedyCade
Sheedy finished 8th at 3A 195 lbs last wrestling season. The 2022 prospect is receiving recruiting graphics from UNI, NDSU, Wayne State, South Dakota, and UNI. Going into his senior season he’s already a 3-year varsity starter who has a career stat line of 142 tackles, 39 TFLs, 5 INTs, 6 FFs, 6 FRs, and 3 sacks. His junior season film shows a standup edge defender who can tackle in space and get off blocks effectively and can withstand a double or triple team to continue to hold the edge. He’s also a strong tackler who brings the hammer when laying a hit. As a RB he also does a good job of showcasing his overall athleticism, as he has some moves in the open field and even threw out a mini hurdle last season. I’m excited to see where his recruitment takes him going forward.
Blake McAlister Blake McAlister 6'0" | ATH South Central Calhoun | 2022 IA (South Central Calhoun) RB/DB. 6’, 175 lbs. C/o 2022. @bmcalister_4 – Holds an offer from Grand View.
Finished as the Class 1A runner-up at 170 lbs. Won a crazy semifinal matchup in a 2-1 thriller over Lisbon’s Max Kohl. He was also his District’s champion, his Section’s champion, his Conference’s champion, and won the Herb Irgens Invitational and finished as the runner-up at the Crusader Invitational. Last season he finished 6th at Class 1A 160 lbs., and won his District, Section, and Conference that year as well. His junior film shows off a long but powerful RB who had a really impressive state championship run where he ran through three or four tackles. His length is helpful in both his strides, as well as his stiff-arm, and he covers ground in his gait and surprises tacklers with his lower-body strength. As a DB he also showed some hops and ball-skills, and he’s got great balance and lined up all over the field for SCC, making plays where ever they put him at. He may not be reporting all of his college football interest, but at this point in time, I think he’s underrecruited on the gridiron and should be seeing some more DII interest. He also looks poised to finally capture that illustrious state championship on the mat next season, so keep your ears peeled for McAlister.
Jayden Soard Jayden Soard LB IA (South Central Calhoun) LB. 6’1, 215 lbs. c/o 2022. 3.3 GPA @jsoard55
Our second South Central Calhoun stud in a row, Soard finished as the Class 1A 220 lb. 8th place finisher with a crazy 52-10 record! On the gridion, he’s been offered by Grand View and is receiving recruiting graphics from Dartmouth, Bemidji State, MSU-Mankato, Wayne State. He was named a Third Team All-State LB in 2020 after finishing with 61 tackles, 2 FF, 2 FR, and 1 INT, and was also named First Team All-District. A well-built LB who comes off the edge with some fury, Soard is a hard-hitter who crushes people in the open field and easily takes on blocks from smaller opponents. I also like his instincts in coverage, and I think he does a good job of getting hip to hip quickly with ball-carriers, squeezing the distance and open field between the two effectively.
Jack Gaukel (Sergeant Bluff-Luton) Committed to wrestle at Iowa State
Class 2A 152 lb. state champion after winning a 10-2 decision over Tyler Brown from Winterset. Finished as a 4x Iowa state finalist. Also was recently finished first in the Bill Smith Freestyle and Greco Tournament a couple of days ago, and also won his District, his Section, the MRAC Tourney, the Herb Irgens Invitational, the Perry Invitational, the Rollin Dyer Invitational, and the Austin Robers Memorial tournament this past wrestling season. He chose to stay home and committed to the Cyclones over offers from Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Northern Colorado among others and finished his career with a record of 203-14. He’s only got a couple of game clips on his Hudl account, but in it you see a speedier LB with absolutely no qualms about sticking his head in there and laying a hit.
Luke Gaffney Luke Gaffney 6'3" | DL Linn-Mar | 2022 IA (Linn-Mar) OL/DL. 6’2.5, 235 lbs. C/o 2022. First Team All-Conference and 2nd Team All-Metro. GPA 3.32
5th place finisher at 3A 220 lbs. who won by fall in the 5th place match over Carson Williams Carson Williams 6'5" | TE Marshalltown | 2021 State IA of Marshalltown. This past wrestling season was awarded First Team All-Metro, First Team All-Conference, Captain, District champion. Offered to play football by Grand View and is receiving football recruiting graphics or mail from South Dakota, UNI, Columbia, Dartmouth, Iowa Central, Wayne State, Sioux Falls, Bemidji State, Grand View, Drake, North Dakota, Northern State, Iowa, NDSU, Army, MSU-Mankato, St. Thomas, Winona State, and Concordia-St. Paul. On the football field, he’s a bruiser who can work from a combo block to a second-level defender and never quits blocking until the whistle is blown. He’s got a strong initial punch and does a good job of keeping his hands inside, and his leg drive is outstanding. Thanks to his wrestling background it also seems like he has a good understanding of leverage, and he’s also always looking to finish and put a hurting on opponents.
Kalob “Tank” Runyon (Southeast Polk) DL/OL. Committed to Northern Iowa to wrestle. First Team All-State football.
An absolute monster on the mat or the gridiron, Runyon placed third at Class 3A 220 lbs. and won that third-place match by fall. Finished as a 2x Iowa state placer. Brother Lance Runyon qualified for the NCAA national wrestling tournament for UNI in his redshirt season in 2020-21, and was a 2019 state champion for SEP in 2019. Kalob helped the Rams to a third-place 3A state team championship this past season and was the starting center for the Southeast Polk Iowa state big-school runner-ups on the gridiron. He could have been a monster OL or DL in college, but also is a great signing for UNI on the mat. His Hudl account is not updated as well.
Caleb Rathjen Caleb Rathjen 5'10" | DB Ankeny | 2021 IA (Ankeny) DB. Class of 2021. Committed to Iowa to wrestle
2020 Class 3A state runner-up at 152 lbs. Finished his wrestling career as a 4x finalist and 2x state champion. Has been recently selected to wrestle in the USA vs. PA All-Star matchup and is signed to the traditional powerhouse Iowa Hawkeyes to wrestle in college. He was no slouch on the gridiron though and helped Ankeny win the big-school Iowa state championship this past fall as a DB/SB. He was an excellent tackler, who played the run really well and also had some awesome special teams tackles on punt and kickoff. As a safety he ran the alley well and closes the gap on ball-carriers in a hurry while always making sure he’s the nail and not the hammer. He’s got some fun highlights to watch, and I’ll remember his DB days when I’m watching him compete for national championships as a Hawkeye.
Caleb Helgeson (Johnston) SS/CB. 6’1, 190 lbs. Committed to Iowa State to wrestle
Class 3A state champion at 170 lbs. after winning a 4-1 decision over Mickey Griffith of Des Moines Lincoln. Was the third-place Class 3A 160 lb. wrestler in 2020, and in the ’21 season he won his District, placed first at the Ed Winger Classic, won the Johnston Invite, and placed 2nd at the Bob Sharp invitational. His senior football film displays a DB who has no problem meeting a RB in the hole and is strong and physical enough to cover TEs in the passing game. He also runs the alley well.
Keean Kamerling (Mount Vernon) OL/DL. 6’4, 260 lbs. Committed to play football for UNI.
Finished 22-6 overall and placed seventh at Class 2A 285 lbs in the 2021 wrestling season. Accepted a PWO opportunity from the UNI Panthers to play D1 FCS ball over offers from Simpson, Culver-Stokton, Hamline, Loras, Grand View, Morningside, Graceland, Wayne State, and Drake. Also selected to the Iowa Shrine Bowl. His senior tape shows a lean 260 lber. who is a menacing run-blocker with a great understanding of leverage who moves opponents where he wants them to go and takes advantage of defenders reaching or overextending themselves. Also a strong cut-blocker, he’s quick off the LOS at both the OL and DL positions and as a defensive lineman does a great job of getting off blocks and making tackles in space for a big guy. He’s a promising PWO commit for the Panthers this season.
Bradley Hill (Bettendorf) 6’1, 205 lbs. LB. C/o 2022. @BradleyHill242
His junior wrestling season in 2021 saw him win the Class 3A 220 lb. title after defeating Luke Walker of Waverly-Shell Rock 5-3 in the finals. He also had a successful 2021 regular season that saw him win the District title, the MAC Conference title, the Ed Winger Classic, and the Bettendorf Midwest Shootout. For his efforts, he was named the QuadCitiesTimes Wrestler of the Year after he completed just the seventh perfect season in school history after bumping up a weight class midway through the season despite weighing around 205 lbs. He finished the season with only five of his 29 matches having gone to a third period, and he finished with 21 pins, three tech falls, and a MD, and pinned three straight wrestlers in the state tournament before meeting Walker in the finals. As a LB, Hill is long and does a good job of moving and tackling in space, doing a good job of keeping his feet active in the open-field and not overextending or trying to anticipate where the ball-carrier is moving. He’s also a strong tackler and can beat attempted blockers with his quickness. He’s obviously a really accomplished wrestler, but hasn’t reported any college football interest.
Spencer Mooberry Spencer Mooberry 6'3" | WR Osage | 2021 IA (Osage) Committed to NDSU to wrestle
Man, I’m a big fan of Mooberry and have been since PrepRedzone first moved into Iowa and I started watching film on Hawkeye state prospects. Mooberry was the Class 2A 182 lb. state champion who won a tough 6-4 decision over Adam Ahrendsen of Union in the finals in 2021, and also won his District, Section, the Top of Iowa Conference Tour, the Johnston Invite, and the South Winneshiek Invite. In 2020 he was the Class 2A 170 lb. runner-up, and helped Osage win a team state championship as well. He was a really intriguing football prospect too, who stands at 6’4, and plays at around 200 lbs, and has a tremendous amount of length and is a weapon with the ball in his hands. He caught 22 passes for 551 yards and rushed 50 times for 436 yards this past fall, and also scored 9 TDs. His long strides and powerful lower-body help him to run through and run by weaker tackle attempts, and he also possesses great balance and vision in the open field and can make defenders miss in a variety of different ways. He can slip through tacklers, has quick feet that can cut on a dime and send opponents flying, and he also has a mean stiff-arm and good speed for his size to boot. I love watching him play football, and although I will eagerly follow his wrestling career with the Bison I am a little saddened his football career is over. He’d be a great match for the NDSU football team as well…
Cade Everson (Camanche) RB/OLB. 5’11, 190 lbs. c/o 2021. Committed to Iowa Western CC to play football
Qaulified for state at 182 lbs. in Class 2A, but surprisingly did no place. During the 2020-21 wrestling season he won his District, his Section, and the Bob Lueders Invite, and placed third at the Bettendorf Midwest Shootout. He also won the Farr Jenens Invitational, the Saber Invitational, and the Willard Howell Invitational, and placed third at the South Winneshiek Invite. On the gridiron, the senior posted stats of 208 carries for 1,551 yards and 18 TDs, 26 receptions for 306 yards and 4 TDs, 253 kick return yards and a kick return for a TD, 310 punt return yards and 2 TDs, and 53 tackles to earn himself the 2A District 5 MVP. A committed #JUCOPRODUCT for #BestChanceU Iowa Western, Everson is a natural football player whose burst and acceleration really pop off his film initially. With great vision and a well-rounded skill-set of speed, power, quickness, and aggression, he’s a really tough RB to corral and broke off some massive runs in the fall of 2020. He can hurt defenses between the tackles or out on the edge, and with his sturdy and powerful frame, I think he can also act as a workhorse back capable of beating a defense down over four quarters. He’s also a really explosive returner who can make people miss in a variety of fashions, and made some really impressive special team returns this past season. I think the Reivers got themselves a good one.
Tim Nimely (Muscatine) RB/LB. 5’8, 185 lbs. Committed to Grand View
A QuadCitiesTimes First Team All-Metro wrestler at the 170 lb. weight class, Nimley placed fourth at Class 3A 170 lbs. and ended his senior season with a 36-3 record to go along with his District championship, and MAC championship. He finished his career as a 2x state placer and third in school history for wins with 126. He’s also only the 13th Muskie wrestler to surpass 100 wins. On the gridion, Nimley held offers from Missouri S&T and Grand View before ultimately choosing the Vikings, and his senior highlights show off a powerfully built RB with some powerful quads that help him run through and run over would-be tacklers. I mean it, he made a TON of tacklers miss, and most of them were just due to his excellent lower-body and straight-line power that left a trail of bodies in his wake after his more impressive runs. He’s got good speed at the top-end as well, and is a strong one-cut runner who generates a ton of force when he sticks his foot in the ground. He’s going to be a really fun collegiate RB to watch.
Carter Cahill Carter Cahill 5'8" | DB Centennial | 2022 IA (Ankeny Centennial) RB/DB. 5’8, 175 lbs. c/o 2022
In the 2020-21 wrestling season he finished 5th at 160 lbs in Class 3A and finished as the runner-up in his District and the CIML Iowa Conference. As of right now he’s receiving some recruiting interest from the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs, and his junior season film displays a quick and athlete prospect with good speed and effort and dynamic ability that extends to the offense, defense, and special teams. If he gets daylight he’s gone when carrying the rock, but he’s also tough enough to run that thing between the tackles. On defense, he recorded 39.5 tackles and 1 INT, and presents an intriguing skill-set and toughness that I think more college programs should be taking a look at and staying in contact with.
Griffin Liddle Griffin Liddle 6'3" | DL Bettendorf | 2021 State IA (Bettendorf) DL. 6’3, 275 lbs. Committed to Iowa
Finished 2020 as the Class 3A heavyweight state champ with a 3-1 victory over Gabriel Geenlee of Ames in the finals. In his wrestling career, he was 2x state champ and won the Iowa Wrestler of the Year by the QCTimes, and a four-time state medalist that is considered a Top-100 wrestling recruit in the entire 2021 class. This wrestling pedigree helped him and the Hawkeys become such a good fit, as HC Kirk Ferentz is a huge fan of ex-wrestlers, as all five starters on the 2019 Iowa OL were successful high school wrestlers. He held additional offers from Army, Iowa State, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Michigan State, and is a Top-40 DT in the nation in his class. He’s a monster in the trenches, and is extremely quick laterally and has excellent hand-usage and a mean arm-over that he used effectively all season as a 3T. He eats up double-teams, has a powerful pop in his pads and his arms/hands, and is a sound tackler who will lay out, fly around, and sacrifice his body to make a play on a ball-carrier. His quickness really jumps off the film the most, and he’s got a great Hudl that is exciting, fun to watch, and no doubt proves that he’s a nationally ranked defensive tackle prospect. Big things coming from him in Iowa City!
Carson Tenold (Don Bosco) RB/LB. 6’1, 190 lbs. C/o 2022.
The 2021 state champion at Class 1A 182 lbs., he won a tough 3-1 victory over Jackson Dewald of Westwood in the state finals that followed his twin brothers state championship at 170 lbs. Carson also helped Don Bosco to a state dual championship in 2021 and win three straight traditional tites in the team tourney. On the gridiron, he’s been receiving some recruiting love from NDSU, and his junior film show off an electric 8-man player who had a ton of production in 2020 and is willing to do whatever the team needs from him in terms of running, blocking, and tackling. He’s got great speed and is a powerful pursuer in defense who also made a ton of big runs off jet sweeps and bubble screens. He’s a violent and aggressive tackler who can move and operate well in space and can blitz and core from his LB position no problem. His athleticism and versatility are huge pluses when coming from the 8-man level, and his size and the way he uses it are also impressive for 8-man. He definitely deserves more recruiting attention in football at this point in time.
Cade Tenold Cade Tenold IA (Don Bosco) ATH. 6’2, 190 lbs. C/o 2022.
Tenold beat the aforementioned Blake McAlister Blake McAlister 6'0" | ATH South Central Calhoun | 2022 IA of South Central Calhoun by tech fall in the finals to win the Class 1A 170 lb. state championship and also won his District, Section, and the Indianola Varsity Tournament in December. He was also a 4th place finisher at Class 1A 152 lbs. in 2019. A very accomplished football player, Tenold was his district’s defensive MVP and was also named First Team All-State as a LB in 2020. The first play of his Hudl is ridiculous, as he takes a short kickoff to the crib after spinning and running through five or six different tackle attempts, showing off great contact balance and athleticism. As a LB/DE he’s a thumper who does a good job of containing the QB in the pocket and getting off blocks either through speed or strength. He plays with a ton of speed as well, and is much more of a punisher than his brother, bringing the pain from his DE spot or as a lead-blocking FB. It’s no wonder he was named All-State last season, and more college football programs need to get on this kid.
Carson Williams Carson Williams 6'5" | TE Marshalltown | 2021 State IA (Marshalltown) TE. 6’5, 230 lbs. Committed to Buffalo
Finisihed 6th at the Class 3A 220 lb. state tournament in February, and also won the Strom Invitational this past season and placed second at his District. The Buffalo Bulls TE commit also held offers from Eastern Michigan, Western Illinois, Eastern Illinois, Southwest MO State, and South Dakota State, but ultimately decided to join the FBS Buffalo program. He’s a dangerous pass-catcher in the open-field and has some impressive moves and speed for a man of his size, as well as obvious ball-skills and redzone potential. I’m excited to see what the future has in store for him,
Aaron Graves Aaron Graves DL State IA (Southeast Valley) DE. 6’5.5, 260 lbs. C/o 2022. Committed to Iowa
Came into the state tournament with a 30-3 record in his first year wrestling since middle school and finished fourth at Class 2A 285 lbs. The early Hawkeye commit is a violent and aggressive football player who I could watch pull into the open field all day long. He’s light on his feet and moves very well out in space for a man of his size, and he absolutely puts a hurting on people when he gets his hands on them. With a crazy explosive get-off at the LOS, he looked almost unblockable at times and was a QB’s worst nightmare who was too fast for opposing OTs to get a hand on and too strong to stop once you did engage. He’s easily a 4star prospect with legit NFL potential and the fact that he just picked up wrestling again this year and placed in the hardest state tourney in the US is an easy reference point of this athleticism overall as a recruit.