InterMat Recruiting Notebook: July - October 2012

The InterMat Recruiting Notebook includes all the latest wrestling recruiting news from across the country.

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    Junior National freestyle champ Mascarenas to SDSU

    Oct. 30, 2012: South Dakota State first-year head coach Chris Bono got a big name verbal commitment on Tuesday in Junior National freestyle champion Paul Mascarenas (Cleveland, N.M.). He is also a three-time state champion with a career record of 130-5, was fifth in the Junior Greco-Roman, and a Preseason Nationals champion. Mascarenas projects as a 125-pound wrestler at the college level.

    Perkins serves as second Top 100 verbal for the Crimson

    Oct. 30, 2012: Two-time state champion Brad Perkins (Oak Park, Mo.) made the decision to attend Harvard next fall on Tuesday evening. Ranked No. 60 overall in the senior class, Perkins is undefeated during his high school career with state titles in his freshman and junior campaigns, and projects as a 125/133 in college. Unable to compete as sophomore due to injury, Perkins has career record of 78-0.

    Perkins also joins No. 21 Eric Morris (Wyoming Seminary, Pa.) as a verbal commitment to Harvard.

    Multi-time state champ Empey chooses Cal Poly

    Oct. 30, 2012: Late Monday evening Spencer Empey (Reed, Nev.) became the first verbal commitment for Cal Poly in the Class of 2013. Ranked No. 81 overall in the senior class, Empey has won state in each of the last two years and finished second at the NHSCA grade-level nationals. In addition, he was third at this year's FloNationals. Empey projects as a heavyweight in college.

    Columbia snares elite upper-weight prospect in No. 76 Ryan

    Oct. 29, 2012: Garrett Ryan (Wyoming Seminary, Pa.) made a verbal commitment this afternoon to Columbia University. Coming off a 53-2 state championship season at 170 pounds in Arizona, Ryan had a significant growth spurt and elevated his performance this off-season at 220 pounds. At the FILA Cadet National championships, he swept the titles in freestyle and Greco-Roman. Then, at the Junior Nationals in Fargo, Ryan was fourth in Greco-Roman and fifth in freestyle.

    With a three-year record of 127-19 in Arizona, including a state title and two fifth place finishes, Ryan made the choice to compete at Wyoming Seminary, Pa. for his senior year. He is ranked No. 76 overall in the Class of 2013, and projects as a 285 at the college level.

    Bison amassing Ream(s) of talent

    Oct. 29, 2012: North Dakota State secured their third Top 100 senior verbal commit for the Class of 2013 this afternoon, as Clayton Ream (Holt, Mo.) is the newest member of this year's recruiting class. Ream, ranked No. 56 overall in the senior class, was 42-3 this past year and a state runner-up. He also won the Junior National folkstyle championship in early April, and is a projected 149/157 at the collegiate level.

    In earlier years, Ream was a FILA Cadet freestyle All-American and a Cadet National freestyle All-American. Joining Ream as Top 100 verbal commits to North Dakota State are No. 20 Mitch Bengtson (St. Cloud Apollo, Minn.) and No. 47 Preston Lehmann (West Fargo, N.D.).

    Another three-time state champ stays home, Sorensen chooses Iowa

    Oct. 25, 2012: Brandon Sorensen (Denver-Tripoli, Iowa) made a verbal commitment to the University of Iowa this evening. The No. 37 overall recruit in the Class of 2013 enters his senior year as a three-time state champion with a career high school record of 147-3.

    Sorensen took sixth place in Junior freestyle this past summer at 145 pounds, and was a Cadet freestyle All-American in both 2009 and 2010. He joins Junior freestyle runner-up Broc Berge (Kasson-Mantorville, Minn.) and fellow three-time state champion Jake Marlin (Creston, Iowa) as Top 100 verbals for Iowa in the Class of 2013.

    Junior National freestyle All-American Parsons chooses Army

    Oct. 25, 2012: National Prep champion Russell Parsons (Blair Academy, N.J.) made his intentions known to attend Army this evening. Ranked No. 34 overall in the Class of 2013, Parsons was a National Prep champion in February, a POWERde Christmas Tournament champion this past December, and took seventh at the Junior National freestyle championships in the 152 pound weight class. He projects as a 165 in college.

    Three-time state champ Ashnault makes it three Top 100 verbals for Rutgers

    Oct. 25, 2012: Seeking to become the state's first-ever four-time undefeated state champion, Anthony Ashnault (South Plainfield, N.J.) removed one distraction prior to the start of his senior wrestling season. This evening, he made a verbal commitment to join the Rutgers University recruiting class of 2013.

    With an 130-0 high school record through three seasons, two Super 32 Challenge championships, and five All-American finishes in Fargo - Ashnault is ranked No. 10 overall in the Class of 2013. This past off-season, he finished third at the FILA Cadet National freestyle championships in the 138.75 weight class, and was fourth at 138 pounds in the Junior National freestyle championships.

    Joining Ashnault as Top 100 verbals to Rutgers are No. 41 Tyson Dippery (Central Dauphin, Pa.) and No. 95 Taylor Jackson (The Villages, Fla.). Ashnault projects as a 141/149 for Rutgers.

    National Prep champion Morris chooses Harvard

    Oct. 25, 2012: Already a three-time National Prep Championships finalist before his seniors season, Eric Morris (Wyoming Seminary, Pa.) made his college choice known this evening. The 2012 National Prep champion, who is ranked No. 21 overall in the Class of 2013, verbally committed to Harvard.

    Morris, projected as a 184 pound wrestler in college, was also a Beast of the East champion in December 2011 and a champion in both styles at the Pan-Am FILA Cadet championships this summer. He is also a two-time FILA Cadet double All-American, and earned three All-American honors at the Cadet Nationals in Fargo - including a Greco-Roman title in 2011.

    Stanford gets verbal from star Kansas heavyweight

    Oct. 24, 2012: After procuring a couple of lower-weight wrestlers last week, Stanford this week picked up the services of an excellent upper-weight in two-time state champion Nathan Butler (Leavenworth, Kan.). The FILA Cadet freestyle champion ranks No. 73 overall in the Class of 2013.

    Three-time state champion Marlin to stay home and become a Hawkeye

    Oct. 24, 2012: Three-time state champion Jake Marlin (Creston, Iowa) made his college commitment earlier this afternoon, making the decision to attend the University of Iowa. Ranked No. 79 overall in the Class of 2013, Marlin enters his seniors year with a career record of 143-5. He also placed fourth at 138 pounds in the Junior Greco-Roman competition this summer.

    Marlin joins No. 25 Broc Berge (Kasson-Mantorville, Minn.) as Top 100 verbal commits to Iowa in the Class of 2013.

    Four-timer Norstrem makes it three Top 25 commits for Hokies

    Oct. 22, 2012: Already with four state titles headed into his senior year of high school, Kevin Norstrem (Brandon, Fla.) made his college decision this evening. The 12th-ranked Class of 2013 prospect will be joining No. 15 Joey Dance (Christiansburg, Va.) and No. 24 Zach Epperly (Christiansburg, Va.) as Virginia Tech Hokies next fall.

    Norstrem has finished the last two seasons with a record of 124-0, while amassing a record of 59-2 as a freshman, to make his three year "high school" record 183-2. However, when combined with a 45-1 eighth grade year competing against high school competition, he is 228-3 in his career.

    Additionally, Norstrem is a three-time double All-American (Juniors in 2010 and 2011, Cadet in 2009) in "Fargo". This includes a Junior National Greco-Roman championship at 130 pounds in 2011. He projects as a 133/141 pound wrestler in college.

    Two-time state champ Torres commits to Oklahoma State

    Oct. 19, 2012: Oklahoma State has landed its third InterMat Top 100 recruit from the Class of 2013: Keilan Torres (Altus, Okla.), the nation's No. 49 recruit.

    Torres is a two-time state champion and Cadet National freestyle runner-up in 2011. He was undefeated at the 2012 Junior National Duals in freestyle.

    He projects at 157 pounds.

    Cardinal get verbals from two lightweights

    Oct. 17, 2012: Three-time state finalist, and 2010 state champion, Connor Schram (Canon-McMillan, Pa.) verbally committed to Stanford earlier this afternoon. Ranked No. 31 in the Class of 2013 overall, Schram has a career high school record of 114-8, and was fourth at 126 pounds in freestyle at the Junior Nationals this summer. He projects to be a collegiate 125 pound wrestler.

    Joining Schram as a verbal commit for the Cardinal today was Tommy Pawleski (Montini Catholic, Ill.), who also projects as a collegiate 125 pound wrestler. Pawleski was a state champion this past year at 106 pounds, and is a two-time Junior National runner-up; this past summer in Greco-Roman at 106 pounds, and in the summer of 2011 in freestyle at 98 pounds.

    Junior National freestyle runner-up Berge to become a Hawkeye

    Oct. 17, 2012: Broc Berge (Kasson-Mantorville, Minn.), ranked No. 25 overall in the senior class, made a verbal commitment to the University of Iowa this morning. An undefeated state champion at 48-0 at 195 pounds during his junior season, Berge followed that up with a Junior National freestyle runner-up finish this summer.

    Already a two-time state champion, and fourth at state as a freshman, Berge has amassed a career record of 126-6, including an 88-1 mark over the last two years. During both of those seasons, he was a champion of the Minnesota Christmas Tournament as well. Berge is the initial verbal commitment to the Hawkeyes in the Class of 2013.

    Lavallee makes it four-pack of Top 100 commits for Mizzou

    Oct. 16, 2012: Three-time state champion Joey Lavallee (Reno, Nev.) makes it a fourth commitment to Missouri from the InterMat Class of 2013 Top 100. Ranked No. 61 in the senior class, Lavallee was fifth in the 2011 Junior National freestyle competition, a FILA Cadet National freestyle champion in the spring of 2011, and fifth at the FloNationals this past spring.

    Lavallee is joined by No. 6 J'den Cox (Hickman, Mo.), No. 71 Parker Vonegidy (Piedmont, N.C.), and No. 99 Nick Kee (Scotland, N.C.) as Top 100 seniors to verbal to Missouri prior to the early signing period.

    Wyoming lands three-time Oklahoma state champion Beard

    Oct. 15, 2012: Three-time Oklahoma state champion Zach Beard (Tuttle, Okla.) gave his verbal commitment to Wyoming. Ranked No. 32 in the Class of 2013, Beard carries a career record of 122-9. He was a Cadet National freestyle champion at 160 pounds in 2011, and a FILA Cadet freestyle runner-up at 167.5 pounds this past spring. Beard projects as a 165/174 at the college level.

    Wiercioch stays close to home, gives Pitt third Top 100 commit

    Oct. 15, 2012: Ranked No. 9 overall in the Class of 2013, Cody Wiercioch (Canon McMillan, Pa.) verbally committed to Pittsburgh this evening. Already a two-time POWERade Christmas Wrestling Tournament and Pennsylvania state champion, Wiercioch enters his senior year with a 123-4 career record.

    Also a 2010 Super 32 Challenge champion, he projects as a 174/184 pound wrestler in college. Joining Wiercioch as Pitt verbals in this class are No. 18 Edgar Bright (St. Edward, Ohio) and No. 33 Ryan Solomon (Milton, Pa.).

    Junior freestyle runner-up Eads makes it Top 100 trifecta for ODU

    Oct. 15, 2012: Three-time state placer Austin Eads (Blue Springs South, Mo.) made a verbal commitment this evening to Old Dominion. Having finished fourth, second, and third in the state, Eads has a career record of 144-14. Coming off of a runner-up finish at 145 pounds in the Junior National freestyle championships this summer, he ranks No. 65 overall in the Class of 2013.

    Eads, who projects collegiately as a 157/165 pound wrestler, is the third InterMat Top 100 recruit to verbally commit to Old Dominion prior to the early signing period. He is joined by No. 17 Brandon Jeske (Cox, Va.) and No. 84 Jake Velarde (North Kitsap, Wash.) in the Monarchs' Class of 2013.

    Two-time Junior freestyle champ chooses Scarlet and Gray

    Oct. 11, 2012: Nathan Tomasello (CVCA, Ohio) made it a second top 25 prospect to choose Ohio State in the Class of 2013. Ranked No. 23 overall in the senior class, Tomasello has won 112 consecutive high school matches, has a career record of 127-5, and is a three-time state champion.

    He also is a two-time Walsh Ironman champion, two-time Junior National freestyle champion, and a two-time Super 32 Challenge runner-up. Tomasello joins Bo Jordan (St. Paris Graham, Ohio), the nation's number one senior, as Buckeye commits in the Class of 2013.

    Jackson makes it two Top 100s for Rutgers this week

    Oct. 10, 2012: Taylor Jackson (The Villages, Fla.), ranked No. 95 in the Class of 2013, made a verbal commitment to attend Rutgers University this evening. Jackson, a two-time state champion and gold medalist at this summer's AAU Disney Duals, joins No. 41 Tyson Dippery (Central Dauphin, Pa.) as a member of the Scarlet Knights prospective recruiting class for this year.

    Bison snare Lehmann bros.

    Oct. 10, 2012: Preston and Tyler Lehmann (West Fargo, N.D.) both chose North Dakota State as their next destination for collegiate wrestling. Preston is ranked No. 47 in the Class of 2013, as a three-time state finalist with a career record of 125-11. State champion the last two years, Preston was also a Cadet freestyle All-American in 2010.

    Tyler graduated from high school in 2010, winning state titles during his sophomore and junior years at Apple Valley, Minn. He returned home to West Fargo for his senior year where he won a third state title. In the interim, Tyler has spent time at the United States Olympic Training Center, including winning gold medals in both freestyle and Greco-Roman at the 2011 FILA Junior Pan-Am Championships.

    Bright makes it pair of Top 100 commits for Pitt

    Oct. 10, 2012: Two-time state runner-up Edgar Bright (St. Edward, Ohio)verbally committed to Pitt on Wednesday. Placing sixth as a freshman and second at state each of the last two years, Bright has a career record of 96-15 heading into his senior year.

    The 2011 Cadet National freestyle runner-up was also a runner-up at the Walsh Ironman last December with a key victory in the semifinal round over three-time California state champion, and two-time Super 32 Challenge champion, Alex Cisneros. Bright is ranked No. 18 in the Class of 2013, and projects as a 141/149 in college. He is the third verbal commit to Pitt for this class, and joins No. 33 Ryan Solomon as a Top 100 recruit in the Panthers' stable.

    New York standout Grimaldi commits to Harvard

    Oct. 9, 2012: Tyler Grimaldi (Half Hollow Hills West, N.Y), one of New York's top senior wrestlers, committed to Harvard on Tuesday. He projects at 157/165 pounds. Grimaldi earned All-American honors in the NHSCA Junior National competition in Virginia Beach and the Junior National freestyle competition in Fargo. He was a state runner-up as a junior. Read Matt Diano's feature on

    No. 84 Velarde a second Top 100 commitment for ODU

    Oct. 9, 2012: Three-time state champion and two-time Junior National Greco-Roman All-American Jake Velarde (North Kitsap, Wash.) gave his verbal commitment to Old Dominion this morning. Velarde finished eighth this summer at 138 pounds, after finishing second at 130 this summer before in Junior Greco-Roman. He joins No. 17 Brandon Jeske (Cox, Va.) and Jordan Marshall (Troy Christian, Ohio) as early commitments to the Monarch wrestling program.

    Rutgers snares No. 41 Dippery

    Oct. 8, 2012: NHSCA Junior and Sophomore Nationals champion Tyson Dippery (Central Dauphin, Pa.) verballed to Rutgers University on Monday afternoon. The two-time PIAA Class AAA state placer (third and second the last two years) has a career record of 136-12, and is ranked No. 41 in the Class of 2013.

    This summer Dippery finished as the runner-up at 132 pounds in the Junior National Greco-Roman Championships. He has also finished in third place at the Beast of the East each of the last three years, and is a three-time top three finisher at the POWERade Christmas Tournament, including a championship at 103 pounds during his freshman season.

    Talented upperweight Hayden to Michigan

    Oct. 6, 2012: The University of Michigan added to an already strong recruiting class with the addition of talented upperweight Payne Hayden (St. Johns, Mich.), who announced his commitment to the Wolverines on Saturday. He projects at 184/197 pounds in college. His commitment comes two days after Michigan received a commitment from No. 20 senior Domenic Abounader (St. Edward, Ohio).

    Hayden (St. Johns, Mich.) is a three-time state placewinner, finishing runner-up last season and third in each of the previous two seasons. Last season he was runner-up at the Grappler Fall Classic and placed fourth at the Super 32 Challenge. Hayden has been an All-American at the Cadet and FILA Cadet levels.

    So far Michigan's Class of 2013 recruiting class includes four top 20 recruits -- No. 2 Adam Coon (Fowlerville, Mich.), No. 4 Ben Whitford (St. Johns, Mich.), No. 11 Brian Murphy (Glenbard North, Ill.), No. 20 Abounader -- plus Hayden.

    Abounader makes it four top 20 commits for Michigan

    Oct. 5, 2012: Two-time state champion Domenic Abounader (St. Edward, Ohio) has verbally committed to the University of Michigan. Ranked No. 20 in the Class of 2013, the projected 184/197 has been a champion at the NHSCA grade level nationals in each of the last three years.

    Abounader enters his senior season with a career record of 99-8; but first he'll be playing safety and serving as captain of a football team that is 6-0 and nationally ranked headed into this weekend's play.

    He joins Adam Coon, Ben Whitford, and Brian Murphy as top 20 verbal commits for the Wolverines from the Class of 2013.

    Northwestern gets commitment from No. 36 Sliga

    Oct. 2, 2012: For the second time in two days Northwestern received a commitment from an InterMat Top 100 recruit. On Tuesday, Mitch Sliga (Fishers, Ind.), the nation's No. 36 recruit, informed InterMat that he has committed to the Wildcats. He projects at 184/197 pounds in college. Sliga joins No. 74 Jacob Schmitt (St. Johns, Mich.), who committed to Northwestern on Monday.

    Sliga is a state champion and three-time state placewinner in Indiana. He has resume filled with national and even world credentials in the international styles. He earned a spot on this year's Cadet World Team this year after winning FILA Cadet Nationals in freestyle. He placed fifth at the FILA Cadet World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan at 85 kilos. Sliga is a two-time Cadet National double champion, and 2010 Cadet National Triple Crown winner.

    No. 28 Matthews chooses Clarion

    Oct. 1, 2012: Austin Matthews (Reynolds, Pa.), a two-time state runner-up who has been highly productive at major national events, has chosen to stay close to home and attend Clarion. During the 2011-12 season, Matthews was runner-up at the Super 32 Challenge, Walsh Ironman, Pennsylvania Class AA state tournament, and NHSCA Junior Nationals.

    Ranked No. 28 in the Class of 2013, Matthews in prior years placed eighth at the Super 32 Challenge in 2010, as well as being a NHSCA freshman and sophomore national champion. Placing eighth, second, and second in three state tournaments, he has a high school career record of 135-16 to date.

    No. 40 Climmons commits to the Air Force Academy

    Oct. 1, 2012: Coming off a runner-up finish in the Junior National Freestyle Championships this summer at 182 pounds, Brooks Climmons (Pope, Ga.) has verbally committed to the Air Force Academy. Ranked No. 40 in the Class of 2013, he was also a state champion in 2011 and a Super 32 Challenge runner-up later that year.

    No. 74 Schmitt commits to Northwestern

    Oct. 1, 2012: Three-time state finalist, and two-time state champion, Jacob Schmitt (St. Johns, Mich.) has verbally committed to attend Northwestern University. Ranked No. 74 in the Class of 2013, Schmitt has a career record of 148-5.

    Additionally, Schmitt is a five-time All-American in Fargo, doubling in both appearances as a Cadet and placing eighth in Greco-Roman as a Junior in 2011. He also placed second at the FILA Cadet Nationals in freestyle in both 2010 and 2011, while placing eighth at the FILA Junior Nationals in freestyle this past year. At the Super 32 Challenge, Schmitt placed fifth in 2010 at 112 pounds.

    No. 99 Kee is third Top 100 commitment for Mizzou

    Sept. 30, 2012: Two-time state champion Nick Kee (Scotland, N.C.) has decided to join fellow North Carolinian Parker Vonegidy (Piedmont) and J'Den Cox (Hickman, Mo.) as top 100 Class of 2013 prospects to verbally commit to Missouri in the early period.

    During the 2011-12 season, Kee finished as runner-up in the Super 32 Challenge at 152 pounds and runner-up at the NHSCA Junior Nationals at 160, while winning a second state title at 170. Ranked 99th in the senior class, he projects as a 165/174 at the collegiate level.

    No. 59 Hammond will stay home, become a Roadrunner

    Sept. 29, 2012: Coleman Hammond (Bakersfield, Calif.), a two-time state placer and two-time NHSCA grade-level champion (three-time placer) verbally committed to stay home and compete for the Roadrunners of Cal-State Bakersfield. Hammond placed third at both the state tournament and NHSCA Junior Nationals this past year at 152 pounds.

    Ranked No. 59 in the Class of 2013, Hammond pojects as a 149/157 pound wrestler in college, also finished fourth place in freestyle at the 2011 Junior National championships.

    No. 38 recruit Molloy commits to Indiana

    Sept. 27, 2012: Neal Molloy (Danville, Ind.), a 2011 high school state champion, and fifth in the Junior National freestyle competition at 138 pounds this past summer, has verbally committed to Indiana University. Projected to wrestle 149 for the Hoosiers in college, he is their initial Class of 2013 commitment.

    For his high school career, Molloy has an overall record of 135-4; and also placed fifth in this past year's state tournament, losing his only match of the season in the state tournament quarterfinal round.

    Pitt Panthers land No. 33 recruit Solomon

    Sept. 26, 2012: Ryan Solomon (Milton, Pa.), champion in Greco-Roman at the Junior Nationals this summer, has verbally committed to Pittsburgh. He is the second commitment for the Panthers from the Class of 2013.

    State champion this past year, Solomon is a three-time Class AA state placer (sixth, second, and first) in Pennsylvania with a career record of 102-14. In each of the last three summers, he has earned All-American honors in both freestyle and Greco-Roman during the Cadet and Junior National Championships in Fargo, N.D.

    A projected 197 in college, he was also 35-1 in his junior campaign and a Silver Medalist at the AAU Scholastic Duals this summer.

    Cornell lands No. 50 recruit Taylor

    Sept. 23, 2012: Jake Taylor (Bald Eagle Area, Pa.), the nation's 50th-ranked senior recruit, committed to Cornell University. He becomes the Big Red's first recruit from the Class of 2013.

    Taylor is coming off a season in which he went 38-2 and finished third at 170 pounds in the PIAA Class AAA Championships. He was FloNationals champion this past spring at 170 pounds.

    He projects 174/184 pounds in college.

    No. 3 recruit Martinez commits to Illinois

    Isaiah Martinez in Fargo (Photo/John Sachs)
    Sept. 22, 2012: Last year Illinois signed two of California's top high school wrestlers in recent years, Jesse Delgado (Gilroy), a transfer from Cal Poly, and Nikko Reyes (Clovis West), a multiple-time national champion.

    On Saturday, Illinois landed yet another top prospect from California: Isaiah Martinez (Lemoore, Calif.), the nation's No. 3 senior recruit.

    Martinez is a two-time California state champion and three-time state placewinner. He has compiled a record of 95-1 over the past two season, with his only blemish coming to No. 1 senior recruit Bo Jordan (St. Paris Graham, Ohio) last December at the Walsh Ironman. Martinez has won numerous national events throughout his career, including Junior Nationals (freestyle) this past summer in Fargo. He finished his junior season ranked No. 2 nationally at 152 pounds.

    He projects as a 157-pounder in college.

    No. 17 recruit Jeske to Old Dominion

    Brandon Jeske
    Sept. 22, 2012: Brandon Jeske (Cox, Va.), the nation's No. 17 senior recruit, announced on Saturday that he will be staying in his home state of Virginia for college and wrestling at Old Dominion University for head coach Steve Martin. Jeske's wrestling resume is littered with national titles and placements in national events.

    He projects as a 125-pounder for the Monarchs.

    Missouri lands Top 100 recruit VonEgidy

    Sept. 22, 2012: Missouri has landed InterMat Top 100 recruit Parker VonEgidy (Piedmont, N.C.). VonEgidy is a two-time state champion who has compiled a record of 119-2 over the past two seasons. He was a Cadet National freestyle runner-up in 2011. He projects at 174 pounds. VonEgidy joins J'den Cox (Hickman, Mo.) and B.J. Toal (Troy Christian, Ohio) as early commits to Missouri.

    Three-time placer Pennell commits to Bucknell

    Josh Pennell
    Sept. 18, 2012: Josh Pennell (St. Johns, Mich.), one of Michigan's top senior wrestlers, gave a verbal commitment to Bucknell University. Pennell is a three-time state placewinner with a career record of 159-8. He has been an All-American at the Cadet, FILA Cadet, and Junior levels. He also placed at last year's Super 32 Challenge.

    No. 93 recruit Kelley commits to Binghamton

    Nick Kelley
    Aug. 31, 2012: Nick Kelley (Shenendehowa, N.Y.) announced that he will be staying in his home state of New York and attending Binghamton to wrestle for Matt Dernlan. Kelley, the nation's No. 93 recruit, becomes the latest InterMat Top 100 recruit to commit to a college.

    Kelley earned All-American honors this summer in Fargo, finishing fourth in the Junior National freestyle competition at 132 pounds. He was a state third-place finisher this past season.

    He projects as a 141-pounder for the Bearcats.

    No. 55 senior recruit Cruz to join older brother at Lehigh

    Darian Cruz is a two-time Beast of the East champion (Photo/Rob Preston)

    Aug. 24, 2012: Darian Cruz (Bethlehem Catholic, Pa.), the nation's No. 55 senior recruit, will be joining older brother Randy at Lehigh University. Cruz is a two-time Beast of the champion, two-time Cadet National double All-American, Super 32 Challenge champion, and two-time state placewinner, winning a state title this past season at 106 pounds.

    Five-time state placewinner Woiwor commits to ISU

    Daniel Woiwor with ISU coach Kevin Jackson (right) and his father

    Aug. 19, 2012: Iowa State has landed its first recruit from the Class of 2013: Daniel Woiwor (Apple Valley, Minn.).

    Woiwor is ranked as the nation's No. 51 overall senior recruit. He projects as a 157/165-pounder for Iowa State.

    Woiwor cited the "brotherhood-type environment" and "possibility of starting four years" as factors in his decision to wrestle for Iowa State. He also has complete faith in his future coach, Kevin Jackson, an Olympic gold medalist and two-time World champion.

    "Kevin Jackson is not only a great coach but also a great man," said Woiwor, whose goal is to be a four-time All-American. "He is someone I would trust with my future."

    Woiwor is a five-time state placewinner, winning a state title as a freshman.

    Zupan discusses commitment to Binghamton

    By Betsy Veysman, New York Wrestling News

    Aug. 12, 2012: Zack Zupan celebrated his commitment to Binghamton this weekend by getting some much needed, and rare, time off.

    "One of my buddies has a camp up North with a big fishing area," he said. "We went up there and hung out a little bit. It's nice to go away and do some relaxing activities because my schedule has been pretty jam-packed."

    It would be fair to say that Zupan has been busy. Five days a week this summer, he's been doing speed sessions and weight training for five hours, beginning at 8 o'clock in the morning, under the guidance of Todd Cutrie. When he's finished, he heads to work on a nearby farm for several hours before either teaching pee wee wrestling or participating in football practice in the evening.

    The work he's put in has been obvious on the mat throughout his high school career, as he has made his presence felt both in New York and on the national scene. His accolades include a national title at the NHSCA Freshman tournament in 2010 at 160 pounds and two other All-America finishes at national events. He also placed at the New York states on three occasions, including a championship at 170 pounds in 2012, which he believes had a lot to do with the training he put in with Cutrie.

    While Zupan was happy to get his first New York crown in February, his performance in the title bout against Nick Mitchell of Frewsburg [a 3-2 decision] left him less than totally satisfied.

    "I was a little disappointed with my finals match," Zupan said. "I didn't wrestle the entire six minutes like I could have. I definitely hesitated on some opportunities and could have scored more points than I did. I'm looking to put on a better show next year."

    Before he takes the mat for Canastota, however, he has some business to take care of on the gridiron. He is excited to begin double sessions with the football squad shortly, as he hopes to reach some milestones this fall. He said if things go as planned, he believes he can break the state record for tackles and go over 5,000 yards rushing in his last days wearing his helmet and shoulder pads.

    "I've played football for a long time and it's not easy knowing I won't be able to play anymore," he said. "I know it's hard to get recruited in New York as a 5-10, 200 pounder. But you have to realize what you were given and commit to the amazing opportunities you have and make the most of them."

    That's what Zupan plans to do. He expects to compete at 182 pounds on the mat as a senior, wrestling for his father Nick (also a Section 3 champion), his coach who has taught him so much in the sport.

    "My father went about it the right way," he said. "He didn't force me to wrestle. He was busy coaching high school and getting back late on Saturdays from tournaments. He told me if I really wanted to wrestle, I should set an alarm and wake him up on Sundays. That way, it was my choice. I always set the alarm. We traveled all over the country and he coached me all the way through."

    So, do father and son still go toe-to-toe in the room?

    "I wrestled with him a lot when I was younger, but he knows what's good for him now," Zack Zupan said. "He knew when the day would come and he retired when he was undefeated against me."

    When he goes off to college, Zupan feels he will be surrounded by familiar instruction. In fact, similarities between his father's Canastota staff and the Bearcat coaches contributed heavily to Zupan's commitment.

    "I think the coaching staff at Binghamton has the same philosophy," Zupan said. "They believe in training smarter, not harder. I think I'll have a nice adjustment to college with the staff they have in place."

    Head coach Matt Dernlan took the reins of the program a few months ago and Zupan takes pride in being the first recruit of the Dernlan era.

    "It's absolutely significant to me," he said. "I feel like I'm going to help start a great thing. I get to be one of the first stepping stones in where this program wants to go. The coaches believe there is so much talent in New York and they want to keep the best in state and win national titles that way. I'm excited to be part of that."

    Zupan added that he chose the Bearcats over schools like Cornell, Virginia, North Carolina State and Lehigh for other reasons as well.

    "I took an unofficial visit and liked that it's not huge," he said. "I mean, 16,000 people is a lot to me it's more people than are in my town. But it's on the smaller side for college and I feel like I'll be taken care of there and I'll be one of their main guys and I really appreciate that. I don't think I'll be just another piece of meat which sometimes happens in Division I wrestling."

    He also is excited to follow the path of Section 3 alum Justin Lister, an All-American for Binghamton.

    "I watched [Lister] a lot growing up," he said. "He was coming out of high school when I was coming in. I just liked the way he wrestled. What I always remembered about him was that he was a really mean kid on the mat. Off the mat, he was polite and nice. But when it came to wrestling, he wasn't shy. He was a Section 3 All-American and I think it will be cool wrestling at the same school as him."

    But first things first. Before he tackles the college scene, Zupan has a few more wrestling honors in mind.

    "I want to be a dominant state champion and then win FloNationals," he said. "Then, I can't wait to go to college. I'm really looking forward to working toward a national title at Binghamton."

    This story was originally published on

    NDSU lands three-time state champion Bengtson

    Mitch Bengtson was a Junior National runner-up in Greco-Roman (Photo/Jeff Beshey, The Guillotine)

    July 31, 2012: Mitch Bengtson (St. Cloud Apollo, Minn.), a three-time state champion and the No. 20 overall senior recruit verbally committed to North Dakota State on Tuesday. Before his state finals loss this past year, 2-1 against University of Minnesota bound Sam Brancale, Bengtson had not lost since the opening tournament of his eighth grade year. That winning streak of over 170 matches is part of a 221-6 career record heading into his senior year.

    Bengtson was fourth and second the last two summers in the Junior National Greco-Roman competition, and third at the FILA Junior Nationals in Greco-Roman this spring as well. Additionally, he was a Cadet All-American in both styles during the summer of 2010.

    Simley's Wanzek joins teammate Short as Gopher recruit

    Nick Wanzek, a two-time state champion, is the nation's No. 33 overall senior recruit (Photo/The Guillotine)
    July 16, 2012: Nick Wanzek (Simley, Minn.), a two-time state champion, Junior National folkstyle state champion, and Cadet National folkstyle champion, has given a verbal commitment to the University of Minnesota. He is ranked as the nation's No. 33 overall senior recruit.

    "Minnesota could offer me everything," said Wanzek, who also considered Cornell, North Dakota State, and Stanford. "It's a top-notch program in wrestling. It's a great academic school. And it's close to home, which is always a plus. It was just the right fit for me. I've always wanted to go there."

    Wanzek becomes the second Simley wrestler to commit to the Gophers in the last week, joining teammate Jake Short.

    "I'm excited to wrestle with him in college," Wanzek said of Short. "He's a great teammate. We've grown up together, drilled, and wrestled together. So it will be nice having him with me in college."

    Wanzek will wrestle in the Junior National freestyle competition in Fargo later this week, and has his sights set on winning the title at 160 pounds.

    He has team and individual goals for his senior season at Simley.

    "I definitely want to help my Simley team win our sixth straight championship," said Wanzek, who projects as a 165/174-pounder in college. "I've been on the team since seventh grade, and we won it that year and have won it ever since. So I want to finish up my career with a team championship and then win an individual championship."

    Listen to Scott Casber's interview with Nick Wanzek.

    Fellow Super 32 Challenge champ Diehl to Maryland

    July 13, 2012: A day or so after releasing their 2012 recruiting class, the University of Maryland got an initial verbal commitment for the Class of 2013 from three-time state champion Ryan Diehl (Trinity, Pa.). Ranked No. 30 overall in the class, Diehl won his first two state titles competing at Berkeley Springs H.S. in West Virginia, where he went 93-2 overall, including a 50-0 mark his sophomore year.

    Diehl was fourth at the 2010 Super 32 in the 103-pound weight class, and placed third at the 2011 FloNationals at 103, before winning the 120-pound title at the 2011 Super 32 Challenge. That victory came over George DiCamillo, who would end the year as the No. 1 wrestler in the country at 120 pounds. This past high school season, he was an undefeated 41-0, including a 6-4 victory in the semis over defending state champion Jason Nolf -- who had been undefeated in high school prior to that match.

    Super 32 Challenge champ McCutcheon to Penn State

    Matt McCutcheon
    July 13, 2012: Two-time defending national champion Penn State landed one of the nation's top upperweights from the Class of 2013, Matt McCutcheon (Kiski Area, Pa.), the nation's No. 39 overall senior recruit.

    McCutcheon compiled a 41-1 record this past season en route to winning a PIAA state championship at 182 pounds in Class AAA. He became the first wrestler from his school to win a state wrestling title. McCutcheon has a career record of 121-12. He claimed a Super 32 Challenge title in the fall.

    McCutcheon projects as a 184-pounder in college ...

    Listen to Scott Casber's interview with Matt McCutcheon.

    No. 7 senior recruit Short commits to Minnesota

    Jake Short is a three-time state champion for Simley (Photo/Mark Beshey, The Guillotine)

    July 11, 2012: Jake Short (Simley, Minn.), a three-time state champion, gave a verbal commitment to the University of Minnesota.

    Short is ranked as the nation's No. 7 senior by InterMat. He has been a Cadet and Junior National folkstyle champion. He has also won a Cadet National freestyle title, and was runner-up in the Junior National freestyle competition last summer.

    His father Will and uncle Chris were All-American wrestlers for the Gophers.

    InterMat caught up with Short and talked to him about his decision to commit to Minnesota and more.

    Why did you feel that Minnesota was the best fit for you?

    Short: The guys there. They felt like family. The coaches made me feel at home. It was close to home. I've been working out with those guys, like the Dardanes brothers. They're just great guys. I just knew that was the right place.

    Your father and uncles wrestled at Minnesota. How much did that factor into your decision?

    Short: Actually, to be honest, that didn't have anything to do with it. I talked to coaches. I gave everybody a shot. I look at what was best. It just so happens that Minnesota was the right fit for me.

    Jake Short pinned Tim Ostby in the state championship match at 145 pounds in Class AA (Photo/Mary Christen)
    What other schools did you consider?

    Short: I looked at Iowa and Nebraska as well. I got it down to three pretty early.

    The early signing period is in November. Why did you want to make your decision so soon?

    Short: It just relieved all the pressure. Even just telling them that I was verbally committing, everything was relieved. I think I'll go out and have a great Fargo tournament because of it. I've just been wrestling nonstop with those guys. All the pressure is relieved. I don't have to worry about it. That's my college. That's my team.

    What was the hardest part about the recruiting process?

    Short: Just having to listen to guys who wanted you real bad. It was hard because this is a life decision. I had to think about it and really consider all the information the coaches were giving me and then decide. I'm just happy I found the right place this early.

    Where do you see yourself weight-class wise in college?

    Short: I think I'm going to be a 149-pounder.

    You also play running back on the Simley football team. How does your interest in football compare to your interest in wrestling?

    Short: I've always loved wrestling. Football was just another sport that I've enjoyed playing. I've been playing football just as long as I've been wrestling, but it hasn't been the same. Football is more just a game to me. I'm a tennis player too. Both those sports are fun ... and they're a little relief from wrestling. But wrestling is what I've always wanted to do.

    How would you describe your wrestling style?

    Short: What I've been working on to keep coming and scoring. That's what I've been talking to (Brandon) Eggum about. Instead of just winning matches by one, getting to the point where I'm beating guys by four or five. I think I'm strong. I'm well balanced. I keep great position. I'm heavy with my hands.

    Jake Short is coached by grandfather Jim (left), who serves as an assistant coach at Simley, and father Will (right), who serves as head coach (Photo/Jeff Beshey, The Guillotine)
    Do you see any similarities between the way you wrestle and the way your father wrestled?

    Short: With my dad and me, it's interesting. He was a little bit lengthier than I was. We both kind of have that quick and kind of flashy look to some of our shots. He actually says that he looked more like my cousin Mack, and that I look more like my uncle John. We do have some similarities, but there are definitely differences in our wrestling styles.

    Are there any wrestlers you looked up to besides your father and uncles growing up?

    Short: Yeah, I've always looked up to Cael Sanderson. I have posters of Cael in my room. Just the way he went undefeated in his college career, got it done at the Olympics ... I've always looked up to him.

    You were a Fargo champion in the Cadet freestyle competition in 2011. You were runner-up in Junior freestyle last summer. How important is it to you to get that Fargo title this summer?

    Short: It's what I've wanted so bad. Last year I got so close. Usually I wrestle my best under pressure when it's the finals. But I feel like I tensed up a little bit. I missed open opportunities last year when I had an open shot on (Jason) Tsirtsis when we were going back and forth. I let it go to the flip. I think that was the wrong decision. I didn't go after it. I just tried to hold position. I was nervous. I've actually never felt like that before in a match. This year I'm going to be pressure-free and I'm coming hard at these guys. If I'm winning, I'm going to try to win big ... and I'm going to make sure no one thinks they're even close with me this year.

    What weight will you be wrestling in Fargo?

    Short: 145

    Jake Short was a Junior National freestyle runner-up last summer in Fargo (Photo/Jeff Beshey, The Guillotine)
    Are there any wrestlers specifically you hope to face in Fargo?

    Short: I'm hoping to see Ben Whitford. I think we would have a good match. I don't know if he's going, or if he's going my weight. But I would love to see Whitford in the finals. He's a good wrestler. He's fast, strong, and flashy. I think he would be fun to wrestle.

    You have been a national champion in both freestyle and folkstyle. Do you favor one style over another?

    Short: I think I'm a little bit better at freestyle as of now. But I think over time I will get better at folkstyle. But right now I'm pretty explosive and I think I have a pretty mean gut wrench on top, so right now I think I favor freestyle a little bit ... but soon it might be folkstyle.

    The high school wrestling season is still a few months away from starting, but what are you most looking forward to your senior season of high school wrestling?

    Short: Being with the guys, being with my friend Nick Wanzek, who I'm hoping also ends up at the U with me. Just enjoying my senior year with my cousin and the guys. I want to get it done ... That will be our sixth team title in a row and I want to get my fourth individual
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