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April 9, 2008
Brands adds JUCO national champion
Junior College national champion Colby Covington has decided to wrestle for head coach Tom Brands and the University of Iowa next season. Covington, who won the national title at 165 pounds for Iowa Central in 2007 and then redshirted this past season, will sign with the Hawkeyes on Wednesday.
"I really like the system they have up there," said Covington. "I trust Brands and the coaches and they're going to make me into the wrestler I want to be. I think Brands is an awesome coach and real passionate about making his wrestlers the best. I'm willing to do whatever it takes to be the best and won't rest until I have done that."
Covington picked the Hawkeyes over Iowa State and Oklahoma State, among others, after watching Iowa's dominant performance at nationals in St. Louis last month. The Oregon native, who has three years of eligibility remaining, could fit into the lineup next season at 165, which will be wide open after the graduation of two-time national champion Mark Perry.
"I think it's the best place for me to meet the goals that I have, which is to be a three-time NCAA champ and Olympic champ." Covington said. "When you have nine other starters who have the same goal, then it's a process that's fun to see how good you can get in the rise to the top. "
Wrestling unattached during his redshirt year, Covington placed third at the Midlands in December. There, he lost in the quarterfinals to Iowa State's Jon Reader, but also beat two eventual NCAA qualifiers in Indiana's Matt Coughlin and Purdue's Luke Manuel. Covington may have the chance to meet up with them again in the Big Ten next season, where he looks forward to wrestling the Iowa style.
"I think I fit in well with the style they wrestle, which is to push the pace and dominate," said Covington. "There's nothing more that I like than to break people. I don't want to win, I want to dominate."
The late signing period for college wrestling opens this week on Wednesday, April 9. During the early signing period in November, the Hawkeyes added four in-state high school recruits in Nate Moore (125) from Iowa City West, Matt McDonough (130) from Linn-Mar, Mark Ballweg (135) from Waverly-Shell Rock, and Grant Gambrall (171) from Iowa City West.