Jaydin Eierman shows his skills in Hawkeye debut

The 141-pounder fell behind early but rallied to defeat Nebraska’s Chad Red Jr., 8-4.


Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa’s 141-pound Jaydin Eierman grapples with Nebraska’s Chad Red, Jr. during a wrestling dual meet between No. 1 Iowa and No. 6 Nebraska at Carver Hawkeye Arena on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. No. 1 Eierman defeated No. 7 Red by decision, 8-4, and the Hawkeyes defeated the Cornhuskers, 31-6.

Isaac Goffin, Assistant Sports Editor

For over a year, Iowa wrestling fans were itching to see No. 1 141-pound wrestler Jaydin Eierman compete at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Though fans couldn’t be there in person, the three-time All-American and transfer from Missouri showed what he could do for the first time in a Hawkeye singlet on Friday night in No. 1 Iowa’s 31-6 victory over No. 6 Nebraska.

And he did so against one of Nebraska’s best wrestlers – No. 7 Chad Red Jr. A two-time NCAA All-American, Red Jr. finished third at the Big Ten Championships last season.

And in Eierman’s first competition of the season, Red Jr. got the best of him to begin with, as he scored a takedown against Eierman 21 seconds into the match. It was something Iowa head coach Tom Brands described as slow.

“I shouldn’t have given up that takedown in the first,” Eierman said. “I was just a little too flat-footed.”

But Eierman said he started to feel Red Jr. fade away, which made Eierman realize he needed to stay focused and do what he was good at. The Columbia, Missouri, native started to win his battle and then won the match, 8-4.

“It was amazing to finally get out there and just came out to do which is to help us win and dominate,” Eierman said. “I think I could have been more dominate in my match but there were some little here and there things that I could have capitalized on. It’s just going to get better from here.”

Eierman was down 2-1 at the end of the first period.

After getting a quick escape in the second period, Eierman got his first takedown of the night with 38 seconds left in the second period. A second later Eierman got two more points for a near fall. In the third period, Eierman got his final takedown of the night in the middle of the period.

RELATED: Top-ranked Iowa wrestling team dominates No. 6 Nebraska, 31-6, in season-opener

On that takedown and near fall, Eierman made a cradle move, which he’s been working with Brands and associate head coach Terry Brands.

“It’s just like a feel thing,” Eierman said. “If I feel it, I’ll go for it. But me, Tom, and Terry have been working on just getting my legs back. It’s the fundamentals that will help me boost those positions. And when I locked it up, I should have not rushed it that much. I got a little too excited I feel like but I should have ended the match there, but I’ll have another opportunity come Big Tens.”

When Eierman announced he was going to transfer to Iowa in Nov. 2019, he expected his first appearance at Carver-Hawkeye Arena to be in front of packed stands. But with COVID-19, tickets were only given to immediate family, making the attendance at Carver on Friday night only 246 people.

That didn’t impact Eierman’s performance on the mat.

“Even when there’s a big crowd I know how to block it out and just hear my coaches,” Eierman said. “There’s nothing different. I’m so blessed to be able to wrestle here at Iowa and being able to compete in Carver-Hawkeye Arena putting on that singlet for them. It’s just really an honor and a true blessing blessed by God to be here and being to compete with this virus going around. I’m just happy going out there and competing.”

Like many of his wrestlers, Brands was proud with how Eierman performed, and he knows Hawkeye fans were as well. Eierman has another season of eligibility after this season.

“He’s a fan favorite and no fans have ever seen him in the arena yet,” Brands said. “So, this relief year, it’s going to be awesome for Jaydin Eierman.”