Ben Kueter is taking a break from football at Iowa to focus on wrestling


Ben Kueter, a two-sport athlete from Iowa, is taking a break from the Hawkeye football program to focus on wrestling, he announced on social media Monday. The expectation is that he will be back on the football team for spring football training in 2025.

“First and foremost, I would like to thank Coach (Seth) Wallace and Coach (Kirk) Ferentz for letting me achieve my dream,” Kueter said in a social media post. “Coach Wallace is the reason I chose to play football at Iowa. Secondly, I want to thank my football brothers for making this past year so much fun. I have built a bond with those guys that will last a lifetime. That being said I would like to announce that over the next ten months I will be transitioning to just wrestling to win a world title, an NCAA title and an NCAA team title. Achieving these goals will be my entire next ten months need attention, but this is not the end of my football career. I will start again in spring ball. Thank you to the best fans in the world and GO HAWKS!”

Kueter, a product of Iowa City High, won four consecutive state wrestling titles (160 pounds as a freshman, 195 pounds as a sophomore and 220 pounds in his final two high school seasons). He was also a four-star prospect on the gridiron in the 2023 recruiting class.

During his freshman year of college, Kueter underwent the difficult balancing act of being a part of the Hawkeye football and wrestling programs. Behind a handful of talented linebackers, Kueter did not play for Iowa Football last season. During the wrestling season, he posted a 3-1 record at 285 pounds. He retained his redshirt in football and wrestling, meaning he is still eligible in any season.

Kueter has been busy on the mat lately, taking first place at the U20 World Team Trials. By winning there, he earned the right to represent Team USA in the men’s 125KG freestyle at the World Championships in Pontevedra, Spain in September. That would have directly conflicted with Iowa’s 2024 regular season.

Turning his focus solely to wrestling in the coming months will give him more leeway in his pursuits with Team USA and Iowa wrestling. The plan also works well for football, as playing time would have been steep with Iowa returning standout linebackers Nick Jackson and Jay Higgins.

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