The Iowa wrestling program scored a monster recruiting victory on Saturday.
Real Woods, an All-American for Stanford last season, announced via his personal Instagram that he was traded to join the Hawkeyes. Woods has struggled at 141 pounds his entire career so far and has two years left of eligibility.
“Today begins a new chapter,” Woods wrote. “While I’m very excited to continue my final two years of eligibility as a Hawkeye, I can’t help but think about the people and memories that made my experience at Stanford special.”
► More recruitment: Lisbon’s Cade Siebrecht announces commitment to Iowa
Woods will take the spot at 141 vacated by Jaydin Eierman, whose eligibility has now expired. Eierman also transferred to the Iowa program after four years at Missouri and reached the NCAA Finals in 2021 as part of the Hawkeyes’ tag team title effort.
From a national perspective, 141 pounds should be wide open next season, as the top three at this year’s NCAA championships – Nick Lee of Penn State, Kizhan Clarke of North Carolina, Sebastian Rivera of Rutgers – will all graduate . That leaves plenty of opportunities for athletes like Woods, who should be in the hunt for the title.
The addition of Woods also means Iowa should now have four All-Americans in its 2022-23 starting lineup, along with Spencer Lee at 125, Jacob Warner at 197 and Tony Cassioppi at 285. They will be the centerpieces of a Hawkeye. talented young wrestlers are expected to step into the starting roles next season.
In three seasons at Stanford, Woods compiled a career record of 42-8 and qualified for the NCAA three times. He also won a pair of Pac-12 titles and was on the roster when the Cardinal won the 2019 Pac-12 Tag Team Championship. Of his 42 career wins, he scored bonus points in 26. His 8 losses in career occurred at the All-Americans.
In 2020, Woods went 19-1 and won the 3rd seed at 141 pounds before the NCAA Championships were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, he struggled with injuries, went 6-3 and reached the bloody round at the national tournament. Last season he went 17-4 and took sixth place after reaching the semi-finals.
“For Stanford wrestling fans, it was an honor to present what I hope has been an exciting display of my abilities over the past four years,” Woods continued in his Instagram post. “I’m proud beyond words to have represented this Stanford S on my back. There will always be a special place in my heart for you.”
► Analysis: An all-too-early look at Iowa wrestling’s 2022-23 lineup
Now he will join an Iowa team that is aiming for a second NCAA tag team championship in three years. The Hawkeyes won the 2021 tag team title, then took third place last season, behind Penn State and Michigan – two programs that were seeking Woods’ services when he entered the transfer portal last week , with Oklahoma State.
Woods entered the portal as a graduate transfer (he spent four years at Stanford when you count his redshirt year in 2018-19), but soon opted for Iowa City. He attended Montini Catholic near Chicago, where he won three state titles, and was Flowrestling’s 21st overall 2018 Big Board prospect when he originally signed with the Cardinal.
With the addition of Woods, Iowa’s 2022-23 lineup could look like this:
- 125:Spencer Lee
- 133: Cullan Schriever
- 141: Real woods
- 149: Max Murin
- 157: Bretli Reyna/Cobe Siebrecht
- 165:Patrick Kennedy
- 174: Nelson Marques
- 184: Abe Assad
- 197:Jacob Warner
- 285: Tony Cassiopi
It’s a young but hungry Hawkeye lineup, bolstered by the new but experienced face at 141 pounds.
Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.