STILLWATER, Okla. ? Oklahoma State wrestling coach John Smith announced the signing of seven student-athletes to National Letters of Intent today. The incoming class of signees is regarded as one of the nation?s top recruiting classes and is heavy on in-state recruits.
The incoming class is highlighted by Chris Perry (Stillwater, Okla./Stillwater), Jon Morrison (Orland Park, Ill./Carl Sandburg), Dallas Bailey (Catoosa, Okla./Catoosa) and Albert White (Lynwood, Ill./Northern Iowa Area Community College), all of whom are considered blue chip national recruits. Both Perry and Morrison are ranked by major national publications as the No. 1 wrestlers in their respective weight classes going into their senior year, with Bailey ranked as the preseason No. 2 prep in the nation in his weight class. White is a 2008 junior college national champion who was 200-4 during his prep career at St. Rita HS in Chicago and has a Fargo national title on his resume.
Perry (No. 3), Bailey (No. 6) and Morrison (No. 9) are all ranked among revwrestling.com?s top 10 recruits in the nation, regardless of weight class. No other school in the country has more than one wrestler from that list signed as part of this year?s class.
This year?s group of prep wrestlers in the state of Oklahoma is considered to be one of the best in recent memory, and the Cowboys succeeded in keeping the homegrown talent in-state, with Perry, Bailey, Blake Rosholt (Ponca City HS), Ladd Rupp (Perry HS) and Zach White (Woodward HS) all signing on to continue their wrestling careers at Oklahoma State.
?History has always told us that without good in-state wrestlers, it?s almost impossible to win a national championship,? Smith said. ?If you look at our championship teams, it has been important that Oklahoma wrestlers are a key part of what happens. It?s nice that we had an in-state group like this and it?s something we should expect and work hard for, not something we should settle for every four or five years.?
Perry, Bailey, Rosholt and Zach White all have family connections to Cowboy wrestling. Perry?s father Mark was a two-time All-American at Oklahoma State in 1984 and 1985 and he is the nephew of John Smith. Bailey?s father was a Cowboy All-American in 1983 and 1986. Rosholt?s oldest brother Jake was a three-time NCAA Champion for OSU and his older brothers Jared and Adam both currently wrestle for the Cowboys. Zach White is the nephew of OSU coach John Smith.
?There are a lot of reasons to be excited about this class,? Smith said. ?There are legacy wrestlers whose dads wrestled here in Chris Perry and Dallas Bailey. I wrestled with their fathers and it is exciting to see their kids coming into the program now. It shows that people believe in the program.?
All tolled, Oklahoma State?s incoming group of recruits have won 15 state championships between them and that number should increase when they wrestle at the state championships at the end of this coming season.
?Overall, this is a very strong class and it comes at a time when we need to have a class like this,? Smith said. ?My staff has worked hard in recruiting and they deserve a lot of credit. Developing a strong room is the start of being able to compete for championships. Each of the wrestlers we are bringing in as part of this class is being brought in on a need basis. We really feel like this class fills slots that will give us strength and more options as we move forward.?
A closer look at the individuals who comprise Oklahoma State?s 2008 wrestling signing class:
Projected Weight Class at OSU: 184/197 pounds
High School: Attends Stillwater HS in Stillwater, Okla., where he is coached by Doug Chesbro ... Ranked as the top wrestler in the nation at 189 pounds heading into his senior year by Amateur Wrestling News and W.I.N. Magazine ... Heads into his senior year with a 97-1 career record that includes 65 consecutive wins ... 2008 Junior Freestyle National Champion beat Ohio?s Brian Roddy by a 2-5, 3-0, 6-0 score in the national title bout ... Honorable mention Asics All-American his junior year ... Outstanding Wrestler at the 2008 Oklahoma State Championships after winning his third state title by technical fall in the title bout ... Owns Oklahoma Class 5A state titles at 160 pounds (2006), 171 pounds (2007) and 189 pounds (2008) ... Also a standout running back for the Pioneers football team.
Personal: Nephew of Oklahoma State wrestling coach John Smith, son of former two-time Oklahoma State All-American Mark Perry and younger brother of two-time NCAA champion and four-time All-American Mark Perry, Jr.
Projected Weight Class at OSU: 125 pounds
Orland Park, Ill./Carl Sandburg
High School: Attends Carl Sandburg HS in Orland Park, Ill., where he was coached by Eric Siebert and Mike Polz ... 2008 Illinois state champion at 119 pounds, capping a perfect 43-0 junior year ... Heads into his senior year with a career record of 133-10 ... Ranked as the No. 1 wrestler in the nation at 119 pounds going into his senior year by W.I.N. Magazine ... Ranked No. 2 nationally at 125 pounds going into his senior year by Amateur Wrestling News ... Runner-up at the 2008 Junior Freestyle National Championships ... Second-team Asics All-American after his junior year ... Held scholarship offers from Michigan, Northwestern, Wisconsin and Nebraska.
Quoting Morrison: ?"The Big 12 and Big 10 are the two best wrestling conferences in the country, so it was a tough decision. I just felt that OSU was the best fit for me on a number of levels, and if I didn't go there, I'd be regretting it for the rest of my life."
Projected Weight Class at OSU: 165 pounds
High School: Attends Catoosa HS in Catoosa, Okla., where he has won three Oklahoma State championships ... Owns a 95-4 career record entering his senior year ... Tabbed as the No. 2 wrestler in the nation at 160 pounds entering his senior year by Amateur Wrestling News and W.I.N. Magazine ... Ranked by intermatwrestle.com as the nation?s No. 22 high school wrestler, regardless of weight class ... Honored by Takedown Radio as the national wrestler of the week in October of 2008 ... Placed fifth at the 2008 Junior Freestyle National Championships ... Owns Oklahoma Class 4A state titles at 135 pounds (2006), 145 pounds (2007) and 171 pounds (2008) ... Catoosa is ranked as the An excellent student with a perfect grade point average, Bailey completed most of his high school academic requirements after his junior year and has already begun earning college credit hours by taking concurrent college courses ... Had scholarship offers from Nebraska and Penn State.
Personal: Bailey?s father, Leo was a two-time All-American for Oklahoma State in 1983 (sixth) and 1986 (fourth)
Projected Weight Class at OSU: 149/157 pounds
Lynwood, Ill./Northern Iowa Area Community College
Junior College: Attends Northern Iowa Area CC in Mason City, Iowa ... 2008 junior college national champion at 149 pounds ... Compiled a 31-3 overall record and led the team with 11 falls and 151 takedowns ... Outstanding Wrestler at the 2007 Kaye Young NIACC Open ... Presented with the Kaye Young NJCAA Champion of Character Award ... Member of the 2008 NIACC Homecoming Court ... Plans on redshirting the 2008-09 season at NIACC so he can wrestle three years at Oklahoma State.
High School: Attended St. Rita HS in Chicago where he won four Illinois state championships ... Compiled a 200-4 record during his prep career that included a 50-0 record his freshman year, a 48-3 mark his sophomore year, a 52-0 mark his junior year and a 50-1 record his senior year ... Fargo junior national freestyle champion at 145 pounds after his junior year ... Runner-up at Fargo as a freshman.
Projected Weight Class at OSU: 125 pounds
High School: Attends Perry HS in Perry, Okla., where he is a three-time state champion ... Compiled a 39-5 record his junior year ... Class 2A state champion at 103 pounds in 2006 and 2007 before moving up to 112 pounds his junior year and winning the state title in that weight class as well ... Won the 112-pound weight class at the 2007 Northern Plains Junior Freestyle Regional Championship in Waterloo, Iowa ... Third-place finisher in the 105-pound weight class at the 2007 Junior National Championships in Fargo, N.D.
Projected Weight Class at OSU: 285 pounds
Ponca City, Okla./Ponca City
High School: Attends Ponca City HS in Ponca City, Okla., where he was runner-up for the 2008 state title at 160 pounds ... Led Ponca City to a second-place finish in the Class 5A team standings.
Personal: Son of Jim and Tracey Rosholt ... Older brothers Jared and Adam are current Oklahoma State wrestlers and oldest brother Jake was a three-time NCAA champion for the Cowboys ... Older sister, Jesyca was a standout soccer player at OSU ... Blake is the youngest of the Rosholt family.
Projected Weight Class at OSU: 197 pounds
High School: Attends Woodward HS in Woodward, Okla., where he won the 2008 Oklahoma Class 3A state title at 160 pounds ... Ranked as the preseason No. 2 wrestler in the state and the top-ranked Class 3A wrestler in the state at 160 pounds by usaokwrestling.com.
Personal: Nephew of Oklahoma State coach John Smith.