Andy Hamilton "¢ Iowa City Press-Citizen
Nick Moore joked in May that he might hold off on making a commitment until next spring just to throw off all of the people who expected an announcement this summer that he was headed to Iowa.
As it turned out, the three-time state champion from West High might have thrown himself for a loop.
"I wanted to stay open-minded and not get set on Iowa, "Moore said. "But in the end, it would've hurt a bit not to go to Iowa."
So Moore committed to the Hawkeyes on Sunday night, ending a short recruiting process that also included Old Dominion and Edinboro -- perhaps the only two schools that thought it wasn't a lost cause to pursue a wrestler who has a brother and three other high school teammates either at Iowa or on their way.
"Even if it's just your siblings there, it's tough to turn away from that school, "Moore said. "But I live in Iowa City, too, so they probably didn't want to waste their time."
Moore has compiled a 131-1 record at West and has won 99 straight matches since losing to Iowa freshman Mark Ballweg, then of Waverly-Shell Rock, in the 2007 state duals after winning their previous meeting a week earlier in the state semifinals.
Even more impressive, Moore has run the table the past two seasons with an injured right shoulder that required a pair of off-season surgeries.
"He knows how to compete, and he's done a real good job of wrestling the top competition, "West coach Mark Reiland said. "He always seems to step up to the challenge. He's won two of his three state titles injured. There aren't a lot of kids who can do that. You'd like to think his mental toughness is one of his strong suits.
"That's the biggest (strength) he has -- the toughness part. He knows how to battle, he doesn't typically get flustered. At the state tournament this year, he didn't get flustered even though he was having close matches. He doesn't like having them close, but sometimes when you're physically not able to do some things it's going to be that way. He stuck to what he knew he could do, and that's going to take him a long way."
Moore, projected as a 157-pounder in college, is ranked the No. 10 prospect nationally in the Class of 2010 by InterMat. He is the second recruit to verbally commit to Iowa's 2010 recruiting class, joining Waverly-Shell Rock two-time state champion Jake Ballweg.
Moore is set to become the fifth West wrestler in three years to sign with the Hawkeyes. Iowa landed his brother, Nate, and Grant Gambrall in 2007 and signed Dylan Carew and Derek St. John last fall.
"(Iowa) just showed a lot of interest in me and looked at me as an individual, "Nick Moore said. "I really thought that was a good place for me and they had me in their best interests.
"I especially liked the coaches. They just seem like they're always giving 110 percent to you. They just want you to succeed to the best possible ability that you can. I feel like if I surround myself with those kind of people things will click. The coaches, especially, it just seems like you want to be around those type of people with the success they've already had."