North Carolina State?
Another Big 5 (which one)
Another Big Ten (which one)
An Ivy (which one)
Other (which one)
North Carolina State?
Gold is an idiot.
(Let me preface this by saying that this is not a brag post. I don't brag about accomplishments, usually rag on myself for things I didn't accomplish actually. I just think I'm qualified to answer the question).
I was in a similar situation my senior year of HS, minus a few things. I hadn't won Fargo the past 2 years, won Cadets and 3rd at Juniors pre-high school weights in Fargo, i.e. about 3 high school weights per weight class. Was Asics First Team, 4x state champ, etc. Had grades/SATs to get into Ivy League schools. Not from a poor family though.
I would have picked Michigan if I had it all to do over again. I really liked McFarland, and the way that their team wrestles, seems to be close-knit, etc. Plus, they have very good academics and a rich athletic tradition. I think that I would have fit in very well there. Instead, I chose to stay close to home like an idiot.
If they were like they are now, I think Cornell would also be up there. They weren't that great when I graduated HS, so I didn't consider them back then. I have talked to Koll (while playing blackjack, he didn't know me from any other wrestler) and I liked him a lot. They have 8 million top notch assistants there, and the academics speak for themselves.
So I answer Michigan or Cornell, with everything else being a significant drop off.
"Now class, I'd like for you to transition from downward dog....straight to FULL BRING!!!"
I agree with Homer. When I was 18, I chose schools within a day's drive of home, as Blue and others have said. But looking back now, I would be a bit more adventurous, but still looking for the best fit in the broader sense, academically, culturally, and environmentally. I might not even take a Division I school (GASP), but a smaller school, depending on how important wrestling at Division I really was to me.
The megaversities (20,000 students plus) have many advantages, but individual academic mentoring can be in short supply there. Personally, I like colleges with under 10-12k students or so. Sadly, many of the most interesting small colleges have dropped wrestling.
Sometimes the highest-rated college should not be the first choice for a particular student. Personal fit is highly underrated. I get irritated that folks take the US News & World Distort rankings as some precise ranking, rather than a general measure (at best.) Wrestling isn't everything, either. (GASP) Duke doesn't have much of a wrestling team right now, but they have a great school (oops, sorry Dusty, NC is good also.). Brown doesn't rank high at the NCAAs, but that's a great school, too. I also have biases that would keep me from considering schools that others love.
The question is, "What life do you see for yourself in ten years?"
Choose wisely, Grasshopper.
As sad as it is for me to say this, Iowa Hawkeyes, Gable is Gable and Iowa is wrestling (for now)
I would be chosing for wrestling itself. Academics were not important to me when I was in college. I regret that they werent but, when I was picking a school, as many other wrestlers, academics carried no weight.
I would chose a school because they have a quality coaching staff, great work out partners, great facilities, and a supposrtive administration so I wouldnt have to look all over again in two years. The programs history, and current relevance would be important as well. I would make sure that I took visits when schools were wresltling their biggest rival. I would want to get a feeling for the atmosphere during a dual.
Then I would sit down with my parents and a paper shredder. The very first offer to go through would be OSU, then Iowa State, a cowboy pennant, Minnesota next, my uncles cowboy hat, tosu and all the rest of the offers until I had two left...Arizona State and Iowa. The girls in Tempe are off the charts. I would think about it for about fifteen seconds and give Tom Brands a call to tell him that I am coming to Iowa and there was never a question as to where I was going.