Iowa State wrestling has added another phenom to their middleweights. Tuesday morning it was announced that super-recruit Cody Chittum would be flipping his commitment to Iowa State. Less than a year ago the Tennessee native switched from Minnesota to Iowa, but recent recruiting by Iowa coaching staff soured Iowa City for the young wrestler.
BREAKING: Cody Chittum has flipped his commitment from the University of Iowa and will be signing NLI later this afternoon to wrestle for the Iowa State Cyclones ✏️ ️ pic.twitter.com/wAgAMzckla— StaleMates (@stalematesshow) May 9, 2023
Chittum, originally from Tennessee, was the number one ranked pound for pound wrestler in the country (by Flo and MatScouts) before reclassifying. He’s won just about every tournament possible for a high schooler: Fargo Junior Nationals, Super 32, Pan-Ams, He spent time at Blair Academy, a prestigious New Jersey boarding school/wrestling factory. Before his junior season Chittum committed to Minnesota. Then things changed and he switched to Iowa and announced he’d be graduating high school early. That move allowed Chittum to take a grayshirt year (similar to what Paniro Johnson did in 2021-22) and train with Hawkeye Wrestling Club. Results-wise, things were going very, very well. Chittum won medals at three international senior level tournaments (like against guys trying to make the Olympics). He was wrestling at a very-high level for someone so young.
Down 10-3 at the break, Cody Chittum used this four-point throw to defeat Junior World champ Erik Arushanian of Ukraine in the first round of the Bill Farrell Memorial International. pic.twitter.com/PNCvkHmMWh— FloWrestling (@FloWrestling) November 19, 2022
Why The Move
With everything seemingly going well in Iowa City, why would Chittum leave? One sentence from Cody Goodwin’s Des Moines Register Article says it all: “he’d rather leave Iowa City than be teammates with the Ferraris.”
The Ferraris, who crossed paths with Chittum at Blair, are one of the most polarizing families in wrestling. The oldest, AJ, won an NCAA title as a true freshman for Oklahoma State. Middle brother Anthony was in Stillwater, too. Both left in summer 2022 amid legal issues. Outside of the courtroom their abrasive personalities and cringey social media garnered them loads of attention, positive and negative.
Anthony Ferrari announced his commitment to Iowa in March. With that news the wrestling world assumed rest of the family circus would follow, including AJ, youngest brother Angelo (who Iowa State recruited), and their vocal father.
Chittum is not the only newcomer who can make an instant impact in the Iowa State lineup. Linn-Mar grad Tate Naaktgeboren just placed at U20 Nationals in freestyle and Greco. He could redshirt or jump in right away to the 184 spot vacated by Marcus Coleman. 4-time Nebraska state champion Garrett Grice transferred in after redshirting last year at Virginia. He will compete for the 133 spot. Chittum himself has four years of eligibility and a redshirt available. I’d guess he goes at 157 next year. There will have to be some juggling of the lineup with Casey Swiderski, Paniro Johnson, Jason Kraisser, and David Carr returning. Obviously Carr is the guy at 165. The other three all have the option to redshirt left. It’ll be fascinating to see how that plays out not just next season, but over the next four. Your next chance to checkout Chittum on the mat is at the U20 World Team Trials June 2-4.
I want to start by thanking the UVA Wrestling staff for supporting and believing in me.— Garrett Grice (@GarrettGrice) April 19, 2023
With that, I am very blessed and excited to announce, I will be transferring to Iowa State University to continue my academic and athletic career. ️ pic.twitter.com/ew5DvwgJNO