Grant Gambrall a Hawkeye
Grant Gambrall wanted to check out a few schools before he made his college selection. But ultimately, the West High state champion?s desire to wrestle at Iowa outweighed his wish to prolong the process.
Gambrall verbally committed to the Hawkeyes Monday afternoon, becoming the third top wrestler to join Iowa?s Class of 2008.
?I wanted to look around and make sure I was making the right choice, but from the beginning I thought I?d be a Hawk, I always thought I?d be a Hawk when I was younger and just starting wrestling and watching the Hawks at Carver,? Gambrall said. ?I guess I kind of knew that?s where I wanted to be, but I wanted to make sure and that?s what took me as long as it did.?
There were other reasons, too, why Gambrall said he selected the Hawkeyes over Iowa State and Nebraska.
?They?ve got great coaches and it seems to me like they?ve got a great team and have a good future and can hopefully get back to the way it was after having a little bit of a down time and not winning (the NCAA title) for a while,? Gambrall said. ?And then there?s just the fact that I?ll be wrestling in front of the best college wrestling fans in the nation. I don?t think there are any fans like Iowa Hawkeye wrestling fans and that had a lot to do with it, too.?
Gambrall compiled a 47-1 record this past season when he captured the Class 3A 171-pound state title. His only loss came against Mike Benefiel, a Northwestern recruit and the nation?s top-ranked wrestler in the Class of 2007.
Gambrall has a 118-15 career record and placed second at 160 pounds as a sophomore at City High before moving across town.
Gambrall, ranked the No. 46 overall recruit in the country by InterMat, joins an Iowa class that already included West High freestyle Junior National champion Nate Moore (ranked eighth by InterMat) and Illinois prep Jordan Blanton (No. 13 by InterMat).
?That?s definitely a good start (to the recruiting class),? Gambrall said. ?Hopefully we can keep it going.?
Gambrall placed fifth in the 171-pound freestyle bracket at the Junior Nationals, winning a 1-1, 1-0 decision against Blanton, who placed seventh.
?He?s a real good wrestler,? Gambrall said. ?He?s definitely hard-nosed and offensive. ? He keeps moving and he?s pretty light on his feet. He seemed a little smaller than me, though.
Re: Grant Gambrall a Hawkeye
West's Gambrall commits to Hawks
By K.J. Pilcher
Grant Gambrall's wrestling career has been centered around Carver-Hawkeye Arena, working out there as a member of the Hawkeye Kids Club or watching the University of Iowa take the mat.
Things aren't expected to change in college. Gambrall committed Monday afternoon to continue his wrestling career for Hawkeyes coach Tom Brands.
``It had a lot of influence on my final decision,'' the Iowa City West senior said. ``It's pretty fun knowing that I finally got there after wanting to be a Hawk for so long. It's definitely something to look forward to.''
As a junior, Gambrall posted a 47-1 record, winning the Class 3A 171-pound state title. Gambrall, a three-time state qualifier, was a state runner-up as a sophomore for Iowa City High before transferring to West. He has a career mark of 116-16.
This summer, Gambrall was a double all-American at the Junior National tournament in Fargo, N.D., placing fifth in freestyle and third in the Greco-Roman competition. He also won a crown in April's Folkstyle National tournament at Cedar Falls.
Gambrall said he will receive a scholarship, but declined to share details. He plans to red-shirt his first year then make an immediate impact.
``I think I'll be around 174 or 184 (pounds),'' Gambrall said. ``I plan on starting all four years and doing real well.
``I think I have the work ethic to do it. I'm confident.''
Iowa won out over Iowa State and Nebraska. The Hawkeyes tradition, which has influenced him during his career, was a deciding factor.
``I think they draw the biggest crowds to their wrestling meets and the fans get into it,'' said Gambrall, noting he'd reunite with former Hawkeye Kids Club mates and current West teammate Nate Moore, who committed to the Hawkeyes earlier this year. ``I like that part of it.''
West Coach Mark Reiland said Gambrall joining the Hawkeyes is a good fit.
``He's not afraid of hard work. That's the No. 1 aspect you need to be successful,'' Reiland said. ``He's not flashy. He's always finding a way to be successful. That's something that will carry over to the next level
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