By Pat Harty
IOWA CITY, Iowa – The Gable Steveson-to-Iowa rumor gained a considerable amount of legitimacy after I was told by a very reliable source on Monday that it could happen.
In fact, this source, who doesn’t get carried away with rumors, and is very objective and knowledgable about Hawkeye wrestling, gave the impression that he thinks there is a good chance that it could happen.
Steveson, the former three-time NCAA heavyweight champion from Minnesota, has been teasing Hawkeye fans on Twitter, and he did it again on Monday by posting a tweet in which he is wearing an Iowa t-shirt as a kid, and another picture of himself standing next to Iowa head coach Tom Brands during a recent visit to Iowa City.
And while Steveson could just be doing it for fun and for attention, my source says Steveson is seriously considering transferring to Iowa because he wants to help Iowa defeat Penn State, and because Iowa is working hard to raise a significant amount of money through name, image and likeness.
Steveson retired from traditional wrestling following the 2022 season to pursue a career in the WWE and it was assumed that he had wrestled for the last time in college.
However, Steveson told Flo Wrestling in June that he wants to return to the NCAA mat for his final year of eligibility.
He has one year of eligibility afforded by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Steveson then started raising eyebrows this past Sunday when he tweeted, “Year 6?”
And then barely one hour later Sunday, he tweeted a yellow bird emoji, which is often used in Hawkeye-related tweets with a question mark.
He then followed that with his tweet on Monday in which he is wearing an Iowa t-shirt as a kid in one picture and standing next to Tom Brands in the Iowa wrestling room in the other picture.
Of course, there is also the possibilty that Steveson could decide to finish his career as a Minnesota Gopher.
He is from Minneapolis, and this past Sunday, he also tweeted a golden letter “M” and a question mark.
It seems that Steveson is asking both fans bases for advice on what he should do.
Being the skeptic that I am, I had doubts about the legitimacy of this rumor until speaking with my source on Monday.
I don’t have many sources for Iowa wrestling, but this source is highly credible, and I respect and believe what he tells me.
He also tipped me about the one Ferrari brother transferring to Iowa, and he predicted that the youngest of the three Ferrari brothers would eventually commit to Iowa, and that has since happened.
Iowa already has an established heavyweight in senior Tony Cassioppi, who finished fourth at the 2023 NCAA Championships.
But Steveson is in a class by himself, and Cassioppi also has an Olympic redshirt year that he could use. That would allow him to train with Steveson on a daily basis.
It’s incredible to think that Iowa could have both Gable Steveson and Caitlin Clark competing as Hawkeyes this coming school year.
Steveson is arguably the greatest heavyweight in the history of college wrestling, while Caitlin Clark, the consensus National Player of the Year, is one of the most decorated and popular players in the history of women’s collegiate basketball.
The addition of Steveson would help to narrow the gap between Iowa and defending national champion Penn State, and I’m told by my source that Steveson is highly motivated by that factor.
With the addition of Steveson, Iowa, at least on paper, would be in a better position than Minnesota to challenge Penn State for the 2024 national team title.
Iowa finished runner-up to Penn State at the 2023 NCAA Championships.
Iowa also packs Carver-Hawkeye Arena on a regular basis for wrestling matches, and the Iowa fans showed their respect for Steveson by giving him a standing ovation in what was thought to be his final performance at Carver Hawkeye in January 2022.
Steveson had just defeated Cassioppi 17-7, and that was the highlight for Minnesota in its 22-10 loss.
Gable Dan Steveson is also named after former Iowa wrestling coach and Olympic gold medalist, Dan Gable, adding some more spice to the gumbo.
So, stay tuned for further devlopments because this is more than just a rumor on social media.
Gable Steveson is seriously considering being a Hawkeye, and Iowa fans are now waiting anxiously for it to become true.
— Gable Steveson (@GableSteveson) July 17, 2023