By: Willie Saylor, Editor - TheOpenMat.com
In the inaugural edition of TOM?s recruiting class rankings, we rank the top 25 teams, and several honorable mention squads, based on the incoming talent they?ve procured in this recruiting cycle. Not the first wrestling recruiting class rankings ever done, but we?re confident the system we have is the best. We incorporate transfers as we feel it?s logical to add them to the list of talent matriculating to college campus this fall. We value quality over quantity; in a sport with just ten starting spots, one stud is more often more promising than multiple projects. Furthermore the efficacy of the number of kids brought to campus in relation to their actual production is more greatly magnified in a sport with fewer scholarships than actual starters.
#21 Old Dominion
Coach Martin continues his annual gig of recruiting extraordinaire. This season he grabbed in-state heavyweight champion, Jack Burbank before reaching out to other states. The biggest prize is Monarch legacy John Nicholson (157), who upset then #1 Derek St. John in the Iowa state tournament. Justin Lavalle (MN, 133) carried 2 state titles and several Fargo medals and Joey Sheridan (174) won two Oklahoma crowns. Also on board is New Jersey runner-up, Eric Dunnet(125).
The Boilermakers will welcome three in-state champs to their squad: Camden Eppert(125) and Cashe Quiroga(133), who turned in fine performances at Junior Freestyle Duals, along with Steve Sanderfer(149). Another in-stater, Willy Mascaro(141) placed twice in Indiana?s single class tournament. Depth will be added to the big uglies, as former state runner-ups, Adam Walls(OH) and Alex White(IN) battle for heavyweight time. The gem of this class, however, came late in the recruiting season when head coach Scott Hinkel wrangled in Kendrick Sanders, who, among other titles, captured Junior Greco-Roman titles the last two years in Fargo. Sanders(157) is a 3x Florida state champion.
We expect big things from Coach Goldman?s ?09 class. First and foremost, Max Ortega, a New Mexico product who won 4 state titles and was a 3x finalist of NHSCA?s national class tournament, is the Hoosier?s future at 149. Ryan LeBlanc (165) won two NYS titles while Tanner Kriss (197) was crowned three times in Kansas. To supplement these standouts are in-state 4x placer Justin Brooks (125) and GA 2xer, Anthony Fretwell.
The Ivy League Lions come in at #21 after Coach Buckley?s impressive haul landed several solid recruits. Robert Dyar(AL, 125) was a double All-American last year in Fargo. Coach Buckley also reach out to two CA talents, Stephen West(174) of powerhouse Clovis was a runner-up while Tyler Sheridan(149) recently place 3rd in Fila Greco. PA?s Jake O?Hara(149) is a three time state placer while his neighbor in New Jersey, and fellow middle weight, Steve Santos(157) saw finals appearances twice in New Jersey?s tough one-class system. At heavyweight, Coach Buckley brings in Blair post-grad Chris Manna.
Dan Wirnsberger brings in 3 guys that should be prominent members of the Bison in the near future. Corey Lear (165) was a PA state champion and fellow Keystoner, Joe McMullen (197), of Wyoming Seminary won two crowns and placed top 3 each of his 4 years at National Preps. Wirnsy also plucked state champion Zack Hancock (141) from Ohio.
Honorable Mention Teams/Notable Recruits
Rutgers: Vinny Dellefava, Cullen Isenberg, Dan Seidenberg, Alex Pagnotta, Carl Bucholz, Braden Turner (PG)
Iowa State: Trent Weatherman, Boaz Beard
Michigan State: Mike McClure, Josh Harper, Dan Osterman
Pittsburgh: Dane Johnson, Anthony Zanetta, PJ Tasser
Harvard: Steven Keith, Paul Ligouri, Tony Buxton, Adam Hogue
Navy: Shane Gentry, Ray Borja, Bobby Barnhisel, Mason Bailey, James Mannier
Central Michigan: Craig Kelliher, Adam Miller, Joe Roth, Scot Mattingly, Cameron
Amaties, Taylor March, Zach Aylor, Jacob Jeske, Dillon Kern, Jeff Beebe, Justin Zimmerman
Maryland: Bryan Osorio, Justin Cash, Jimmy Sheptock, Steven Gamble, Tyler Snook, Dallas Brown
Cal Poly: Brit Longmire, Brandon Rocha, Grant Haschak, Ian Daube, Jake Des Roches, Pearce Swerdfeger