Eierman finding rhythm in return to collegiate competition

The top-ranked 141-pounder believes he has finally shaken off the rust after more than a year away from collegiate wrestling.

Iowa%E2%80%99s+141-pound+Jaydin+Eierman+grapples+with+Nebraska%E2%80%99s+Chad+Red%2C+Jr.+during+a+wrestling+dual+meet+between+No.+1+Iowa+and+No.+6+Nebraska+at+Carver+Hawkeye+Arena+on+Friday%2C+Jan.+15%2C+2021.+No.+1+Eierman+defeated+No.+7+Red+by+decision%2C+8-4%2C+and+the+Hawkeyes+defeated+the+Cornhuskers%2C+31-6.

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.

Chris Werner, Sports Reporter


Jaydin Eierman was a three-time All-American at Missouri before taking an Olympic redshirt year and then transferring to Iowa ahead of the 2020-21 season.

In his year away from college wrestling, Eierman honed his freestyle wrestling ability, which is used at the Olympic level. Now, he’s returned to the folkstyle ranks of collegiate wrestling.

Eierman won each of his first two matches as a Hawkeye, defeating Nebraska’s Chad Red – the seventh-ranked 141-pounder nationally – by a four-point margin, and Marco Polanco of Minnesota via major decision – a 13-point victory in which Eierman totaled 22 points.

Prior to last Sunday’s dual with Illinois, the Columbia, Missouri, native had not earned a single fall on the season.

Illinois’ Dylan Duncan was on the wrong side of Eierman’s first fall as a Hawkeye Jan. 31 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Even so, Eierman found himself in jeopardy of surrendering a fall to Duncan early in the match as he was on his back and Duncan was on top of him.

“I know where I’m at in positions,” Eierman said. “I’m not a freshman coming in so I’m always aware of where I’m at. I’m always feeling, if I’m in that position, where my back is, not giving the ref any possibility of calling a defensive fall. I was just staying relaxed. I knew there was [a short amount of time left in the period].”

“There’s no need to freak out,” Eierman said. “If I would’ve freaked out and started panicking, he could’ve gotten the reversal.”

RELATED: Eierman, Hawkeyes overpower Fighting Illini

Instead, the seasoned veteran kept his cool, went into the third period, and used solid fundamentals to pin Duncan with 54 seconds left in the bout.

“What you saw on Sunday was a fundamental response to an offensive hold from his opponent and our fundamental counter was executed pretty smart and hard and it set up his cradle,” head coach Tom Brands said.

Brands and his coaching staff have been stressing the importance of the fundamentals to Eierman since he arrived in Iowa City. Specifically, Brands and company believe “The Riddler” needs to use his legs to help set up positions and tire out his opponents, thus setting up scoring opportunities.

“Getting my legs back really helps set it up,” Eierman said. “Then, the guy’s extended more to where I want him to be and not where he’s pulling my leg in and he’s in really good position. [The coaches] have really been helping me focus on getting my legs back. It wears on guys and then they start making mistakes and that’s when I can capitalize on it.”

Eierman said that his first pin in the Black and Gold singlet is a sign that he is returning to his dominant form in folkstyle wrestling, a good sign for Iowa fans.

“It’s been over two years since I wrestled folkstyle in a competition setting,” Eierman said. “It was kind of just getting that rust off at the beginning. Now I’m starting to get into my zone.”

Eierman will likely face Parker Filius of Purdue and either Anthony Echemendia or Dylan D’Emilio of Ohio State when Iowa travels to West Layfayette this Sunday to take on the Boilermakers and Buckeyes in a triangular meet.

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