CEDAR RAPIDS - As victorious Iowa City High senior Joe Hoff reported to the scorer's table, he felt a tug on his arm.
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From the time Max Murin began watching college wrestling, he has been enamored with the University of Iowa.
He liked the style of wrestlers like Brent Metcalf and then Tony Ramos. Murin will have a chance to live out his dream of being a Hawkeye and compete in front of the Carver-Hawkeye Arena crowd.
Murin, a two-time state finalist and 2015 state champion for Central Cambria High School in Ebensburg, Pa., confirmed Saturday that he has verbally committed to wrestle for Iowa and head coach Tom Brands. Murin is ranked 81st in the Class of 2017 by Flowrestling and is No. 7 in the country at 132 pounds.
“I wanted to be a Hawkeye since I was real young,” Murin said in a phone interview with The Gazette shortly after making a public announcement on Twitter. “I love the tradition and I love the intensity that Iowa Hawkeye wrestlers have.”
I'm proud to announce that I'm going to continue my wrestling and academic career at the University of Iowa#GoHawks pic.twitter.com/ntPyazOsTI— Max Murin (@max_murin) August 27, 2016
Murin is a three-time state medalist, placing fifth as a freshman and getting second at 126 last season. He trains with the highly-touted Young Guns Wrestling Club that is coached by John and Jody Strittmatter, who was a two-time All-American and Outstanding Wrestler at the 2000 Big Ten Championships.
Murin, who is 119-5 for Central Cambria, is the fifth Young Guns wrestler to commit to Iowa recently, joining current Hawkeyes Michael Kemerer and Kaleb Young, Flowrestling’s top overall recruit from the 2017 class Spencer Lee and Gavin Teasdale, who is ranked No. 7 among current high school juniors.
“I didn’t commit because my friends and teammates were there,” said Murin, a freestyle All-American, who placed third at the 2016 Cadet Nationals. “I’m definitely happy they are there.
“I’ve been wrestling with them my entire life and am real close with them. It’s going to be nice being on the same team as them in college.”
Murin said he expects to compete at 138 pounds for his senior season. He added that he projects to wrestle at 141 or 149 for Iowa. Brands and his brother, Iowa associate head coach Terry Brands, made a major impact on him.
“I really like them as a coach,” Murin said. “I just want to be around them. They’re fun to be around and make me a better person.”
The lower and middle weight talent in the Hawkeye wrestling room promises to make him a better competitor. He welcomes the challenge working with other top wrestlers. Murin also has international aspirations and said Iowa is the place for him to be his best.
“I also want to wrestle after college and win world and Olympic titles,” Murin said. “I want to reach my full potential.”
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