WYOMING - Thinking he was most likely going to be attending college and wrestling for a D-III program a little closer to home, lightning all of a sudden struck for Midland senior superstar Damon Huston.
“I’m extremely excited to announce I will be continuing my academic and athletic career at Iowa State University,” said Huston, who recently made the huge proclamation on Twitter.
“Thank you to all my family, friends and coaches for the endless support. Go Cyclones!”
The commitment to the major Division-I powerhouse program seemed to gain more steam over the past couple of months, as Huston had previously been looking more at local D-III colleges like Loras and Coe.
“That’s where I was leaning until I started talking with the coaches at Iowa State,” said Huston, who was given a walk-on opportunity by Cyclone head wrestling coach Kevin Dresser a few weeks ago.
“Iowa State just had everything I was looking for, from both the academic and athletic side of things.”
Huston is planning on an engineering major while in college, and Iowa State has one of the top programs in the entire country.
“Their wrestling program isn’t too bad either, and I’m really excited to get there and get started.”
The recruiting pressure had been heating up as Huston has been getting ready for his final campaign wrestling at Midland.
“It’s nice to get this college thing taken care of and now I can go out and concentrate fully on my senior season and focus on winning that state championship,” said Huston, who reached the championship match last year as a junior while also making it to the podium at Wells Fargo Arena as a sophomore.
“With all the COVID stuff going on, I haven’t even been on campus at Iowa State, but that’s something I hope to be able to do sometime here soon,” he said. “I really haven’t been able to take many visits anywhere. COVID has really messed everything up.”
Along with Coe and Loras Colleges, Huston had also been considering D-II Upper Iowa University until his recent contact with the Cyclones.
“I’ve been in contact with the coaches at Iowa State for about four or five months, and when they decided they wanted me to be a part of their program, I jumped at the opportunity,” Huston said. “I know making the jump from high school to the D-I level is going to be a big one, but I’m up for the challenge.”
Huston’s high school wrestling coach thinks he’s up for it too.
“Once he gets into the room at Iowa State and starts practicing, honestly, I think he’s going to make major gains as a wrestler,” said Midland wrestling coach Casey Huston, who also doubles as Damon’s dad and who has mostly stayed out of the recruiting process. “I just wanted to make sure Damon made a smart academic decision, and didn’t solely think about just wrestling when choosing a college. Otherwise, I pretty such stayed out of the process and let Damon make the decision. Any questions he had though, his mother and I were obviously there for him.
“What I do know is Damon will be facing some very tough competition at Iowa State, so tough he’ll have to improve, and I think he will. Whether or not he’ll be good enough to crack the line-up at Iowa State at some point, we’ll find out in the next few years, but Damon is going to give it all he has. He’s always loved challenges, and this is going to be one of the biggest of his life. It’s going to be fun to watch how it all plays out.”
Huston said he expects to wrestle at 125 or 133 pounds once getting to Iowa State.
“Coaches told me I’ll redshirt my first year there and just hit the weight room and get used to college and life wrestling at the D-I level,” he said. “This is a dream come true, and I’m going to try and make the most of it.
“I’ve just got some unfinished business left at the high school level that I need to take care of this winter. It’s time to get back to work.”