AMES — There is no doubting Iowa State 157-pound freshman David Carr’s talent.
He was the No. 2 overall recruit and No. 1 recruit at his weight, won five high school state titles, was a Cadet World bronze medalist and won every major national high school tournament.
That begs the question, should Iowa State forgo a redshirt and let him wrestle immediately?
“Right now, we’re 98 percent sure that we’re going to keep him (redshirted),” Iowa State wrestling coach Kevin Dresser said. “I say that 98 percent meaning it. We’re going to keep his redshirt and let him progress. Common sense tells you a 20-year-old David Carr as a freshman is going to be better than a 19-year-old David Carr as a freshman because that kid loves wrestling and he is a total sponge. He’s going to keep getting better and better.”
Carr is a competitor through and through, but he’s willing to help the team however he can.
“If I redshirt, it’s still good for the team because I’m going to wrestle the starters,” Carr said. “I’m going to help out and be a good training partner and push them. If they need to work out at 4 a.m., I’ll be there, I don’t really care. As far as I’m concerned, I’m just trying to help out the team.
“I love wrestling and I hate waiting, but anything to help out the team is my mindset.”
Luckily for Carr, Iowa State’s early-season schedule is filled with open tournaments where he can prove that he shouldn’t be redshirted. Iowa State has the Cyclone Open, Lindenwood Open, UNI Open all before Christmas. And the Cyclones have the Southern Scuffle over the new year, the tournament that will determine whether Carr gets to burn his redshirt.
“The Southern Scuffle will be a good test because you have Penn State there, probably the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked guys there if North Carolina State is there,” Dresser said. “We just want to see how he competes at a real high level. That’s the highest level. What do you do as a coach if a guy goes and has a great, great weekend?”
Carr’s teammates have seen his talent
“David Carr, that kid could freaking run through college wrestling right now,” 141-pound wrestler Ian Parker said. “That’s super exciting.”
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Even if Carr redshirts, just his personality alone will make a difference in the room. He always smiles and always sees the positive in a situation.
“He’s kind of like that new puppy you get, and he just runs around the room and wags his tail the whole time,” Dresser said. “That’s David. You’re not going to catch the guy in a bad mood. He’s upbeat, he’s positive. He’s a mat rat, he’s in here all the time.
Carr isn’t afraid to challenge anyone in the room, either. He wrestled 197-pound, three-time All American Willie Miklus.
“I pinned Carr in a match — that happened — make sure to put that in the article,” Miklus said with a laugh.
Carr contends Miklus cheated.
“I think you can learn from anybody. I drill with the 125-pounders and the heavyweights. Willie, he’s a character. We get along well because we’re both goofy and we have that going for us. Also, it’s fun.
“And I learned that he cheats. He tickles — he was tickling me, pulling my shirt and he was the ref of this match. We’re going to have a rematch here soon and I’ll be tweeting out who wins.”
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