Wrestling transfers to contend for starting spots


Iowa State newcomer Sam Schuyler answers questions at media day Oct. 26.

Sam Stuve

This offseason, the Iowa State wrestling program added three transfers to bolster its 2021 roster, and by the start of the season in late November, all of them could be in the starting lineup at some point this season.

The transfers? Buffalo transfer Sam Schuyler and Campbell transfers Austin and Jason Kraisser all received high praise from Iowa State wrestling coach Kevin Dresser and expressed confidence in themselves at media day Oct. 26. 

Schuyler appears to be the front runner at heavyweight, according to the media packet that was given out at Iowa State’s media day. 

With Schuyler being new to the program and being “dinged up,” Dresser said he’s still getting to know about him as a wrestler. 

“He’s got a tremendous work ethic, wrestling is important to him, he tries really hard and, you know, he got dinged up a little bit this summer,” Dresser said. “So we’ve only been back on the mat live for about a month or so. Just kind of getting to learn a little bit about it and how I know he competes really hard.”

The Kings Park, N.Y., native had a 9-4 record in 2021, including going 1-2 in the 2021 NCAA tournament, beating The Citadel’s Michael McAleavey 3-1 in sudden victory period one. Schuyler, a redshirt senior, has a 33-23 career record. 

Schuyler said his transition to moving to the state of Iowa has been easy enough.

“Yeah, the transition here has been good, I like it here a lot and I have a lot of really good resources and it’s been easy,” Schuyler said. 

His decision to come to Ames was a mix of wanting to go to school in an area that he could settle down in after college and was a traditionally-good program.

“After I transferred, I knew I needed a good program where I can settle down for a while after college too, had a lot of Americans and a good atmosphere and Iowa State is a traditional, good program so how could I not want to be a part of a school like that,” Schuyler said. 

With Iowa State having eight national titles, the fourth-most in the nation, Iowa State is considered a “traditional power,” despite not winning a share of the conference team title since 2009 or national title since 1987. 

In the last three of Dresser’s four years at the helm, Iowa State has placed at least third in the Big 12 Championships and has placed 16th or better in the NCAA Championships. 

Much of this success can be attributed to wrestlers currently on the squad, such as David Carr, Ian Parker and Jarrett Degen. But heavyweight Gannon Gremmel, who placed fifth at the 2021 NCAA Championships, deserves some credit for the program’s success as well. But now, Gremmel is gone from the program and has graduated, leaving an open spot at heavyweight, which is an opportunity for a wrestler like Schuyler to step up.

And Schuyler’s goals for the season are very simple, place highly at the NCAA Championships.

“My goals, same thing, I want to win a title, be an All-American, which I think I could accomplish,” Schuyler said.

Schuyler may wrestle-off the likes of Ethan Andersen and Francis Duggan for the starting spot at heavyweight. 

As for Austin and Jason Kraisser, the Ellicott City, Md., natives are both juniors who transferred from Campbell University this past off-season. 

Jason is currently listed at 157 pounds and has a 26-10 record collegiately. Austin, on the other hand, is listed at 165 pounds, has finished in the top three in the SoCon Championships on three occasions and has a 67-38 record. 

At 165, there appears to be a bit of a competition for the starting spot.

“We’ve got five guys battling in there, I think we’ve got four, maybe even five that can jump in there and be the guy,” Dresser said.

One of the wrestlers Dresser mentioned that is in contention for that starting spot is Austin Kraisser. 

“We got Austin Kraisser, a sixth senior now, that guy can run he can wrestle, we just got to get into you know getting back in shape and fit,” Dresser said. “He got here in June and we really liked him but he’s got some guys that are going to wrestle-off as well.”

Also in contention for the starting spot at 165 could be former starters Isaac Judge and Logan Schumacher.