D1CW'S 2012 Team Recruiting Rankings1) Iowa
Top Recruit: (149) #15 Nate Skonieczny-Akron, OH
Recruiting Class: (125/133) #16 Thomas Gilman-Council Bluffs, IA; (184/197) #20 Sam Brooks-Oak Park, IL; (125) #23 Cory Clark-Polk, IA; (174) #41 Alex Meyer-Pleasant Hill, IA; (149) #198 Connor Ryan-Bettendorf, IA; (197) Nathan Burak-Colorado Springs, CO
The Hawkeyes continue to bring in top notch talent, while filling potential holes at the same time. One of either Gilman or Clark should be able to take over at 125 after a redshirt season and the departure of Matt McDonough. Both Brooks and Burak have the potential to fit in at the always difficult to fill, 197lb class. After a redshirt, Nate Skonieczny may finally be the 149lber that Iowa has been looking for since the graduation of Brent Metcalf in 2010. 174lb recruit Alex Meyer had his stock rise as much as anyone nationally over the course of his HS Senior season. Overall, the Hawkeyes coaching staff has put the team in position to continue to contend for a National Championship every year with recruiting classes like this.
Past D1CW Recruiting Rankings: 2011 #20, 2010 #1, 2009 #5, 2008 #6
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2) Cornell
Top Recruit: (141) #6 Alex Cisneros-Selma, CA
Recruiting Class: (133) #7 Mark Grey-Rockaway, NJ; (149) #11 Brian Realbuto-Somers, NY; (184) #53 Steve Congenie-Villa Park, IL; (157) #66 Dylan Palacio-Longwood, NY; (197) #73 Gabe Dean-Lowell, MI; (141) #112 Angelo Silvestro-Aurora, IL
A strong argument can be made for Cornell to take the top spot. They have arguably more top level recruits in Alex Cisneros, Mark Grey and Brian Realbuto. However, with the talent currently on the team it is very unlikely that all of the recruits will be able to compete for a full four years. Cisneros narrowly missed becoming the second 4x California State Champion ever, and Grey was the first 4x Champion at the Beast of the East. Congenie may be a bit underrated. He was an Illinois State Champ as a Junior who missed his Senior season with injuries, yet came back to win a Junior National Folkstyle Title in the postseason. The Big Red faithful can only hope that Gabe Dean turns out as good as their last 197lber from Michigan (Simaz).
Past D1CW Recruiting Rankings: 2011 #5, 2010 #8, 2009 #11, 2008 #12
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3) Lehigh
Top Recruit: (285) #8 Doug Vollaro-Pine Castle, FL
Recruiting Class: (157) #21 Mitch Minotti-Easton, PA; (133) #25 Randy Cruz-Bethlehem, PA; (184) #28 Brandon Griffin-Salem, OR; (165) #78 Brian Brill-Lock Haven, PA; (184) #125 Elliot Riddick-Bethlehem, PA; (157) #181 Ben Haas-Salamanca, NY; (141) #182 Laike Gardner-Biglerville, PA
It is simply amazing the number of recruits that Pat Santoro and company have brought in for their recruiting Class of 2012. The prize of the class is Doug Vollaro, the top heavyweight in the country. Vollaro is the total package, a large athletic big-man who is battle tested competing in almost every big event in the country. Mitch Minotti, Randy Cruz, Brian Bril and Elliot Riddick all won Pennsylvania State Titles at one point in thier careers. 4x Oregon State Champ Brandon Griffin was arguably the top 182lber in the nation and looks like a solid replacement in 2013-14 for Robert Hamlin.
Past D1CW Recruiting Rankings: 2011 #12, 2010 #17, 2009 #19, 2008 NR
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4) Nebraska
Top Recruit: (184) #24 Tim Dudley-Irmo, SC
Recruiting Class: (125) #32 Tim Lambert-Forest Hills, MI; (141) #45 Ben Morgan-Forest Lake, MN; (165) #48 Shaun'Que McMurty-Lockport, IL; (133) #116 Skyler Wood-Platte Co., MO
Transfer: (133/141) Frank Cagnina-Hillsdale, NJ
Nebraska has a top 7 recruiting class for the fourth consecutive season and remains one of the most consistent teams in the nation, on the recruiting front. The prize is late signee Tim Dudley, who orginially had committed to North Carolina. Dudley, who may not be a household name to some because he is from South Carolina, has won titles at the Super 32 and NHSCA Senior's and Junior's. Another late signee Shaun'Que McMurty had a remarkable season winning a title at the Cheesehead Invitational prior to an Illinois State Championship. The Cornhuskers entered this recruiting period with a big need in the lower weights and more than filled it with former Lehigh NCAA Qualifier Frank Cagnina and last summer's Fargo breakout performer Tim Lambert.
Past D1CW Recruiting Rankings: 2011 #2, 2010 #7, 2009 #4, 2008 #15
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5) Oklahoma State
Top Recruit: (184) #4 Jordan Rogers-Mead, WA
Recruiting Class: (174) #14 Kyle Crutchmer-Tulsa, OK; (125/133) #34 Eddie Klimara-New Lenox, IL; (141) #120 Chase Ferman-Broken Arrow, OK; (149) #177 Case Garrison-St. Paris, OH
Transfer: (165) Tyler Caldwell-Wichita, KS
Oklahoma State's recruiting class will provide them with help immediately, as well as down the road. Oklahoma transfer Tyler Caldwell has two more years of eligibility remaining after finishing 5th at the NCAA's as a Freshman and 2nd in 2011 as a Sophomore. Jordan Rogers is also more than capable of starting and winning matches immediatley. If the Cowboys don't get production early at the 184lb weight class, don't be suprised to see Rogers taken out of a redshirt. If he is able to make 125, late, late signee Eddie Klimara would be a huge benefit to OSU. It seems as if all of their current 125's have outgrown the weight class. Last but not least, is 4x Oklahoma State Champ Kyle Crutchmer. He has the toughness to handle the grind of the collegiate season, which was shown in his double All-American performances in Fargo despite injuries that would have sidelined most wrestlers.
Past D1CW Recruiting Rankings: 2011 #6, 2010 #15, 2009 #2, 2008 #5
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6) Illinois
Top Recruit: (184) #9 Nikko Reyes-Clovis, CA
Recruiting Class: (133) #13 Zane Richards-Carbondale, IL; (174) #19 Zac Brunson-Eugene, OR; (149) #121 John Fahy-Pewee Valley, KY
Illinois' class is one that features quality over quantity. Three of D1CW's top 20 recruits will be coming to Champaign (Nikko Reyes, Zane Richards and Zac Brunson). Both Richards and Brunson were Junior National Freestyle Champions last summer in Fargo. If you're not a fan of Richards already check out his post-Finals interview from Fargo, he has about as much intensity as you will find in a high schooler. Reyes is a 2x California State Champion who also won grade level National titles as a Junior and Sophomore. Rutgers transfer Steven Rodrigues was a 2x New York State Champion with four years of eligibility remaining and will possibly be the starter for the Illini at 141 in 2012-13.
Transfer: (141) Steven Rodrigues-Fox Lane, NY
Past D1CW Recruiting Rankings: 2011 #NR, 2010 #16, 2009 NR, 2008 #9
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7) Oklahoma
Top Recruit: (197) #30 Brad Johnson-Lockport, IL
Recruiting Class: (165) #36 Clark Glass-Brandon, FL; (174) #64 Matt Reed-Wichita, KS; (197) #69 Ross Larson-Ankeny, IA; (125/133) #109 Kyle Garcia-Choctaw, OK
Transfer: (165/174) Andrew Howe-Cedar Lake, IN; (184) Travis Rutt-New Prague, MN
At first glance one may wonder why the Sooners aren't higher with the addition of two All-American transfers, Andrew Howe and Travis Rutt. Both Howe and Rutt only have one year of competition remaining so they do not influence the rankings as much as other transfers. As for the high school recruits, the first full recruiting class under Mark Cody, it is a very solid group. The bulk of them are upperweights which is a Cody specialty. Each of the recruits listed above won a State Title in their respective division, while Glass and Reed were both Sr. National Champions. The addition of Howe and Rutt should give Oklahoma the flexibility to redshirt all of their incoming freshman.
Past D1CW Recruiting Rankings: 2011 #22, 2010 #12, 2009 NR, 2008 NR
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8) Wisconsin
Top Recruit: (133/141) #4 2011 Jesse Thielke-Germantown, WI
Recruiting Class: (165) #27 Isaac Jordan-St. Paris, OH; (125) #35 Ryan Taylor-St. Paris, OH; (157) #113 Justin Koethe-Coralville, IA; (149) #127 Rylan Lubeck-Wisconsin Rapids, WI; (125) #146 Phillip Laux-Iowa City, IA; (174) Keegan Gennrich-Hortonville, WI
The good news for Badger fans is that after a brutal 2011-12, help is on the way. Greco Olympic hopeful Jesse Thielke was one of the top wrestlers in the Class of 2011 and will likely find his way into the UW lineup immediately. The Wisconsin/Jordan pipeline continues with the arrival of Isaac Jordan, one of the top 165lb recruits in the country. His high school teammate Ryan Taylor and Iowa State Champion Phillip Laux will compete to be the Badgers 125lber of the future. The only downside for this class is that because of the holes the 2011-12 team, these recruits may get thrown into the fire a bit earlier than they are ready for.
Past D1CW Recruiting Rankings: 2011 #17, 2010 NR, 2009 #20, 2008 #4
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9) Michigan
Top Recruit: (165) #2 Taylor Massa-St. John's, MI
Recruiting Class: (133) #18 Rossi Bruno-Brandon, FL; (174) #51 Jordan Thomas-Greenville, MI
Transfer: (125) Conor Youtsey-Mason, MI
As expected with the two new Assistant Coaches on board (Donny Pritzlaff and Sean Bormet) the Wolverines recruiting has improved. Two huge in-state recruits (Taylor Massa and Jordan Thomas) chose to stay at home, while another from 2011's class (Conor Youtsey) chose to return home. Pritzlaff mixed with the undefeated 4x State Champ Massa is downright scary, as Pritzlaff was very instrumental in the development of Andrew Howe. One of either Massa or Thomas could be pressed into action for Michigan in 2012-13. Another recruit who could see the Wolverine lineup sooner, rather than later is Eric Grajales' high school teammate Rossi Bruno. The Brandon, Florida product should be ready to step in and replace 2012 All-American Zac Stevens.
Past D1CW Recruiting Rankings: 2011 NR, 2010 NR, 2009 #12, 2008 #7
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10) Minnesota
Top Recruit: (285) #22 Michael Kroells-Scott West, MN
Recruiting Class: (157) #37 Brandon Kingsley-Apple Valley, MN; (133) #74 Sam Brancale-Eden Praire, MN; (141) #79 Dakota Trom-Apple Valley, MN; (165) #89 Dylan Reel-Washington, IL; (184) #171 Brent Pfarr-LeSeur-MN; (125) Jordan Bremer-Moville, IA
Minnesota's 2012 recruiting class is one that would make most team jealous, however they are not higher because of the young talent already on the Golden Gopher roster. Top recruit Michael Kroells could be the next in the long line of Minnesota heavyweights, but to do so he will have to burn one year of eligibility behind 2012 NCAA Champion Tony Nelson. Top 100 recruits Sam Brancale and Dakota Trom appear to be stuck behind Sophomore's-to-be Chris and Nick Dardanes. The key pickup could be Brandon Kingsley, if he wrestles at 157. That weight class has been problematic for the Gophers the past few seasons.
Past D1CW Recruiting Rankings: 2011 #15, 2010 #5, 2009 #1, 2008 #1
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11) Iowa State
Top Recruit: (149) #2 2011 Destin McCauley-Burnsville, MN
Recruiting Class: (133/141) #5 John Meeks-Des Moines, IA; (149) #47 Gabe Moreno-Urbandale, IA; (141) #112 Dakota Bauer-Iowa City, IA; (184) #135 Jesse Doyle-Trinity, NC; (133) #173 Kyle Larson-Des Moines, IA
After a couple of down seasons there are two huge reasons to be optimisic in Cycloneland. The first is the #2 overall recruit from last season Destin McCauley, who spent the last year training at the OTC. McCauley dominated the field this Spring en route to a FILA Junior National Freestyle Title pinning 2012 All-American Hunter Stieber and defeating 2012's top recruit Jason Tsirtsis. The second huge recruit for Iowa State is 4x undefeated Iowa HS Champion John Meeks. Gabe Moreno, like Meeks finished 6th last summer at Freestyle in Fargo. The rest of ISU's recruits have the potential to make this a special class if they develop.
Past D1CW Recruiting Rankings: 2011 NR, 2010 #6, 2009 #NR, 2008 #8
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12) Ohio State
Top Recruit: (165/174) #11 2011 Chris Phillips-Monroeville, OH
Recruiting Class: (165/174) #29 Mark Martin-Lakewood, OH; (285) #38 Nick Tavanello-Wadsworth, OH; (125) #43 Nick Roberts-Hooversville, PA
A team that starts seven Freshman, three of which are All-American's can't have many needs can they? Well, Ohio State Head Coach Tom Ryan seemingly filled any of the holes that the Buckeyes appeared to have with this recruiting class. At one time, Chris Phillips was thought to be the #1 recruit in the Class of 2011. Now reunited with his Monroeville HS teammates he has tons of upside potential. Nick Tavanello is the heavyweight prospect the Buckeyes have been looking for the entire Ryan-era. With NCAA Qualifier Johnni DiJulius expected to eventually move up from 125, Pennsylvania Freestyle ace Nick Roberts looks to slide in nicely.
Past D1CW Recruiting Rankings: 2011 #1, 2010 #8, 2009 #11, 2008 #12
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13) Northwestern
Top Recruit: (141) #1 Jason Tsirtsis-Crown Point, IN
Recruiting Class: (125) #39 Dominick Malone-Gramby, CT; (165) #162 Ben Sullivan-Apple Valley, MN; (133) Garrison White-Concord, NC
For the second time in five seasons (Jason Welch;2008) Northwestern has landed the top recruit in the nation. This time it is Jason Tsirtsis a 4x undefeated Indiana State Champ. Tsirtsis has the talent to step into the Wildcat lineup as a true Freshman be a force at 141. Aside from Tsirtsis, Dominick Malone is the other big name for NU. Malone, took on all comers in his days in high school at Wyoming Seminary and is a 2x National Prep Champion that will be Northwestern's 125lber of the future. Without a deep recruiting class like Northwestern had in 2010, how we will judge the impact of the 2012 class hinges on the success of Tsirtsis.
Past D1CW Recruiting Rankings: 2011 NR, 2010 #3, 2009 NR, 2008 #16
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14) North Carolina
Top Recruit: (133) #54 Joey Ward-Cincinnati, OH
Recruiting Class: (125) #63 Nathan Kraisser-Ellicott City, MD; (165) #97 Ryan Harrington-West Morris, NJ; (157) #98 Jacob Crawford-Winchester, VA; (285) #191 Cody Klempay-Canonsburg, PA
After a top 10 recruiting class in 2011, the Tarheels continued to recruit the East Coast strong with good prospects from VA, MD, NJ and PA. However, the most impressive recruit could be 2x Ohio State Champion Joey Ward. Joey had an excellent Senior season placing 8th in Fargo Greco, 3rd at the preseason Super 32 and 5th at the Ironman. Nathan Kraisser is no stranger to UNC assistant Cary Kolat, as he has trained at Kolat's Maryland facility in the past. Kraisser this season won his fourth Maryland State Championship before winning NHSCA Sr. Nationals at 126. Both Ryan Harrington and Jacob Crawford are multiple-time State Champ, Harrington winning two in New Jersey and Crawford with three in Virginia.
Past D1CW Recruiting Rankings: 2011 #10, 2010 NR, 2009 NR, 2008 NR
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15) Stanford
Top Recruit: (285) #42 Josh Marchok-Schaumburg, IL
Recruiting Class: (184) #77 Zach Nevills-Clovis, CA; (174) #104 James Wilson-McNair, CA; (125) #143 Matt Garelli-Fenwick, IL; (133) #147 Max Hvolbek-West Hills, CA
The Cardinal have posted back to back seasons with multiple All-American's in each year and used that momentum to haul in a top 15 recruiting class. Stanford managed to keep three of California's top Senior's in-state with the signing of State Champ Zach Nevills, 3rd placer James Wilson and National Prep 3rd place Max Hvolbek. They also extended their reach into the Midwest getting two Illinois State Champs, Josh Marchok and Matt Garelli. Marchok was a top 220lber who appears to be a promising, athletic new-era "light-heavyweight" type 285lber. Garelli was a National Champ at Fargo (though at 103) who will need to put on some size to be a DI 125lber.
Past D1CW Recruiting Rankings: 2011 NR, 2010 NR, 2009 #15, 2008 NR
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16) Old Dominion
Top Recruit: (165) #55 Micah Barnes-Simley, MN
Recruiting Class: (149) #81 Lenny Richardson-West Orange, NJ; (184) #90 Jack DeChow-Richmond, IL; (174) #153 Kevin Beazley-Novi, MI; (197) #179 Joe Jessen-Winchester, VA
Old Dominion under the lead of Steve Martin continues to haul in great recruiting classes and this year is no different. This season the Monarchs recruiting efforts were focused mainly on the upper weights getting a top 200 recruit at each weight between 165 and 197. Four of ODU's recruits were able to earn All-American honors at postseason tournaments with Kevin Beazley finishing as a Runner-Up at Flo-Nationals and Micah Barnes placing third at the same event. Jack DeChow was third at NHSCA Sr. Nationals while Lenny Richardson won the tournament.
Past D1CW Recruiting Rankings: 2011 #8, 2010 NR, 2009 #7, 2008 #11
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17) Penn State
Top Recruit: (125) #3 Jimmy Gulibon-Derry, PA
Recruiting Class: (174/184) #62 Wes Phipps-Grove City, PA; (141) Zack Beitz-Juniata, PA
It isn't biggest class but Penn State is still getting the top lightweight in the 2012 class (Jimmy Gulibon) and the third overall heavyweight from the 2010 class (Jimmy Lawson). Gulibon joined the rare group of 4x Pennsylvania State Champs this year, and throughout his high school career Jimmy only lost four bouts. He also became just the fourth wrestler to win four Powerade Titles. Lawson comes to State College after playing football for two seasons at Monmouth College. While he may initially be rusty, Lawson has a ton of talent. He was a three-time New Jersey State Champ, all of those titles came at heavyweight. Wes Phipps gives the Nittany Lions depth in the upperweights, but may have to wait his turn to start with Matt Brown and Ed Ruth both entering their Junior seasons. Zack Beitz is very valuable if he can wrestle 141, which was the only weight that PSU did not qualify for Nationals.
Transfer: (285) #22 2010 Jimmy Lawson-Manchester, NJ
Past D1CW Recruiting Rankings: 2011 #4, 2010 #2, 2009 #7, 2008 #11
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18) Northern Iowa
Top Recruit: (125) #76 Dylan Peters-Denver, IA
Recruiting Class: (149) #80 Zach Witte-Cedar Rapids, IA; (174) #94 Cooper Moore-Jackson, MN; (157) #110 Curt Maas-Medford, MN; (197) #167 Jared Bartel-Mason City, IA
Many wrestling observers, myself included, believe that Doug Schwab will lead Northern Iowa back to prominence. If so, this class will play a large role in that rise. Three of the Panthers top recruits are in-state products. Dylan Peters was a 4x Iowa State Champ who might be the starter at 125 from the get-go. Zach Witte, Cooper Moore and Curt Maas all were two-time State Champions. Most of the UNI recruits don't have extensive National level credentials behind them, and if they had maybe they could have moved up a few notches higher in the recruiting rankings.
Past D1CW Recruiting Rankings: 2011 NR, 2010 #20, 2009 NR, 2008 NR
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19) Harvard
Top Recruit: (141) #40 Todd Preston-Hampton, NJ
Recruiting Class: (157) #67 Devon Gobbo-Basking Ridge, NJ; (133) #126 Jeff Ott-Belmont Hill, MA; (285) Nick Gajdzik-Stoney Creek, MI
This marks the first time that Havard has been able to crack D1CW's recruiting rankings and with two top 70 recruits, why not? Todd Preston is a 3x National Prep Champion for Blair Academy and likely become the starter at 141 immediately. His brother Rob was a very good wrestler for the Crimson in the mid 2000's. Devon Gobbo is a wrestler who, based on talent alone, could be severly underranked as a recruit. He is a 2x New Jersey placewinner and Beast of the East Champion that missed his entire Senior season with an injury suffered at the Super 32. Local product Jeff Ott was a 2x National Prep Runner-Up who broke onto the scene nationally last summer with a 3rd place finish in Junior Freestyle at Fargo.
Past D1CW Recruiting Rankings: 2011 NR, 2010 NR, 2009 NR, 2008 NR
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20) Cal Poly
Top Recruit: (157) #26 Max Schneider-Chicago, IL
Recruiting Class: (165) #87 Victor Pereira-Newark, CA; (149) #101 Blake Kastl-Gilroy, CA; (174) #187 Connor King-Poway, CA; (285) JT Goodwin-Bear Creek, CA; (133) Devin Lotito-Bethlehem, PA
With the talent infusion from the Class of 2012 Cal Poly gets at least a solid recruit at almost every spot in the lineup. The headliner is late signee Max Schneider a mutiple-time Illinois State Champ who is also a talented Judo player. If Schneider is able to soley focus on wrestling he could represent a major coup for the Cal Poly program. Blake Kastl comes to San Luis Obispo to join his brother Dom a 2012 Pac-12 Champion as a Freshman. In Victor Periera, the Mustangs pick up one of the best Seniors in the country to have never won a state title. It is also interesting that Cal Poly was able to get a pair of Pennsylvania wrestlers to come cross country, most notably Devin Lotito, a 3rd place finisher.
Past D1CW Recruiting Rankings: 2011 NR, 2010 NR, 2009 NR, 2008 NR
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Other Top Recruiting Classes:
21) Oregon State
Top Recruit: (133) #56 Joey Palmer-Rogers WA
Recruiting Class: (157) #75 Jared Reis-Napolean, ND; (197) #80 2011 Patrick Downey-Glen Burnie, MD; (125) #131 Jack Hathaway-Iowa City, IA; (141) #144 Joey Delgado-Hermiston, OR
Past D1CW Recruiting Rankings: 2011 NR, 2010 NR, 2009 NR, 2008 #18
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22) Drexel
Top Recruit: (197) Gage Harrah-Crystal Lake, IL
Recruiting Class: (149) #114 Matt Cimato-Yardley, PA, (174) #199 Steven Elicegui-Wooster, NV; (125) Kevin DeVoy-Burlington, NJ
Past D1CW Recruiting Rankings: 2011 NR, 2010 NR, 2009 NR, 2008 NR
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23) Ohio
Top Recruit: (197) #58 Chaz Gresham-Goshen, OH
Recruiting Class: (133) #102 Kagan Squire-Wadsworth, OH; (141) #149 Joey Munos-St. Paul, MN; (149) #165 TJ Fox-Field, OH; (125) KeVon Powell-Romeoville, IL
Past D1CW Recruiting Rankings: 2011 NR, 2010 NR, 2009 NR, 2008 #24
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24) Virginia Tech
Top Recruit: (174/184) #49 Huston Evans-St. Paris, OH
Recruiting Class: (285) #111 Ty Walz-Cleveland, OH; (149) #169 Sal Mastriani-Towaco, NJ; (285) #180 Dawson Peck-Chambersburg, PA
Past D1CW Recruiting Rankings: 2011 #9, 2010, #10, 2009 #9, 2008 #21
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25) Wyoming
Top Recruit: (197) #44 Ben Stroh-Chinook, MT
Recruiting Class: (133) #108 Drew Templeman-Orting, WA; (157) #140 Jake Elliott-Oakmont, CA; (141) Cole Mendenhall-Great Falls, MT
Past D1CW Recruiting Rankings: 2011 NR, 2010 NR, 2009 #16, 2008 #13

HUGE thanks to Earl for all his work !!