Cook will wear Iowa singlet

—Messenger file photo by Britt Kudla Two time Fort Dodge state wrestling champion Sam Cook has decided to step away from the Iowa football team and join the Iowa wrestling team.

IOWA CITY — Sam Cook has never been one to back down from a challenge.

The Fort Dodge Senior High graduate is continuing on that path, stepping away from the University of Iowa football program to join Tom Brands and the Hawkeye wrestling squad.

Cook confirmed his decision with The Messenger late Wednesday night.

A two-time state wrestling champion for the Dodgers, Cook will focus his complete attention on trying to crack the lineup for the Hawkeyes at either 184 or 197 pounds.

After graduating from FDSH, Cook accepted a preferred walk-on role with Iowa to play football for head coach Kirk Ferentz over wrestling scholarships from the University of Oklahoma and Cal Poly University. He also had a preferred walk-on offer with the Ohio State University for football.

However, a year spent in the gridiron with the Hawkeyes led Cook to seek out Brands about making a change. He did not use a year of eligibility, taking a redshirt last year.

Cook went 45-0 his senior season for the Dodgers, earning bonus points in 41 of those matches and securing a Top-70 ranking by Intermat. He lettered four years in wrestling and football, along with two letters each in track and baseball.

Iowa currently has Cash Wilke, Cade Brownlee and Steven Holloway listed on its roster at 184 and 197.

The Hawks went 13-2 last year in duals and placed fourth overall at the NCAA tournament, crowning five All-Americans and a national champion in Cory Clark. Sammy Brooks was one of those All-Americans at 184 last year, but has graduated.