Recruit wants to be champ for UI
By Andy Hamilton
Iowa City Press-Citizen
J.J. Krutsinger has a list of reasons why he likes the Iowa wrestling program, and the Hawkeyes probably have several reasons why the feeling is mutual.
Krutsinger, a 125-pounder from Waterloo Columbus, verbally committed to Iowa over the weekend, selecting the Hawkeyes over UNI and Wartburg.
"I feel that the environment there would motivate me academically and athletically," Krutsinger said. "When you talk to (coach Tom Brands), he motivates you. You want to wrestle (for him). That's what I need for my college experience so I can get everything I can out of it, and I feel he will provide that for me."
Krutsinger will provide the Hawkeyes with another wrestler at 125, a weight where sophomore All-American Charlie Falck was their only option this past season.
"I think they see I'm a motivated person and I'm a hard worker with a lot of potential still," he said. "I know I've still got a lot to prove because the step from high school to college is a big leap, but I know I can do it."
Krutsinger compiled a 124-11 career record at Waterloo Columbus, winning the 125-pound title in Class 2A as a junior after placing third as a freshman and second as a sophomore. He went 34-2 as a senior, losing a tiebreaker decision in the state finals to MFL MarMac's Kyle Pedretti after beating Pedretti the previous two weekends at the sectional and district meets.
"It showed me I still have a lot to work on, and after that match I knew I wasn't going to have my wrestling career end like that," Krutsinger said. "My next step is to be a national champ."
Krutsinger said the loss in the state finals pointed out that his technique needs more polish.
"I know that coach Brands and (Dan) Gable and the staff there are some of the best technicians in the country," Krutsinger said. "I think that's what I need to help improve my wrestling ability."
Krutsinger is believed to be the fifth wrestler to join Iowa's recruiting class of 2007. The Hawkeyes signed Bettendorf heavyweight Jordan Johnson and North Scott 189-pounder Brodie Ambrose in November and added New Hampton heavyweight Blake Rasing and Osage 189-pounder Vinnie Wagner this spring.
"I just know I get to work with the best workout partners in the country, and that was a big (factor in) my decision, too," Krutsinger said. "Just getting the workout partners in the room will help me out a lot."
Reach Andy Hamilton at 339-7368 or email@example.com.