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Why wrestler Alex Marinelli chose Iowa over Ohio State
ANSWER: Iowa freshman wrestler Alex Marinelli won four state titles at Graham High School in St. Paris, Ohio, and finished his high school career with a 200-4 record. He was a highly sought recruit and opted for Iowa over Ohio State.
Iowa’s wrestling history stands tall against nearly every other program, but the Buckeyes have built quite a program under Tom Ryan. But Marinelli is his own man and opted for Iowa’s tradition over Ohio State’s proximity and recent excellence.
“They [the Buckeyes] were on my radar early because they were recruiting me early and so was Iowa,” Marinelli said. “I felt that Iowa fit me a lot, lot better, and I had some people in my life that thought different. I had some pressure there. There’s a lot of pressure when you’re a people pleaser like me. I’m the type of person that needs to do what he needs to do.
“I came to Iowa and I love it, and it’s the best decision I ever made.”
What won over Marinelli were the down-to-earth personalities of coach Tom Brands and assistant Ryan Morningstar. Marinelli is a small-town guy, and Iowa City appealed to him more than Columbus.
“Growing up, I had a Carver-Hawkeye Arena poster above my bed,” Marinelli said. “That’s just something I’ve always dreamed of, coming to Iowa and being on this campus, it’s a small-town feel. You get that small-town feel with the cornfields. I went to high school at St. Paris Graham and that’s a country town and they know how to work hard, and that’s just Iowa. They’re not flashy, they just put their noses down and get to work.
“I remember the first meeting I had with Tom and Morningstar. They didn’t show up in their suits and Mercedes and something like that. They showed up in their Ram truck, jeans and a T-shirt. They weren’t trying to be flashy. They were their normal selves. They’re not trying to win your over.”
Marinelli has won over Iowa, however. After a redshirt season, Marinelli is ranked eighth nationally at 165 pounds with an 8-0 record. He owns three tight victories over ranked opponents.
“I loved Marinielli,” Brands said. “Every time I watch Marinelli wrestle, I thank Morningstar for going out and getting that recruit. Morningstar’s baby, like a shiny red Ferrari except for he’s a work horse. A work truck, a lunch-pail guy or whatever you want to call him.”
No. 4 Iowa (9-0, 4-0 Big Ten) travels to No. 2 Ohio State (9-0, 4-0) for an action-packed dual at 3:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. CT Sunday. BTN will televise the event live.
Read more Question of the Day answers about the Iowa Hawkeyes here.
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