Looking more narrowly, 19 out of 80 (almost one-quarter) were within the top 10 of their respective graduating class; while more broadly, three quarters of the All-Americans (60) were ranked within the top 100. Of the remaining 20, seven were weight class ranked, while the others were not ranked at all.
With that premise laid out there, one can see the importance for programs to land elite talent in recruiting, while it goes without saying that recognizing which have the true goods in all aspects to perform in college as well as developing said talent once on campus is also vital. The importance of elite talent is made abundantly clear when looking at the lineups that Penn State and Ohio State put on the mat during this past season.
All five of Penn State's NCAA champions were can't-miss recruits coming out of high school, the lowest ranking for any in their graduating class was a pair in the No. 7 position, Jason Nolf and Vincenzo Joseph. When looking at Penn State's nine national qualifiers, all were top 100 recruits, while injury to a 10th top 100 recruit (Jered Cortez) left a hole in the lineup at 133 pounds (the lone weight class not to qualify for the national tournament).
From an Ohio State perspective, Olympic, World and NCAA champion Kyle Snyder was the No. 1 recruit in his graduating class. Also No. 1 in his graduating class was third-place finisher Bo Jordan, fellow third-place finishers Nathan Tomasello and Kollin Moore were ranked 15th and 32nd respectively; while additional All-Americans Micah Jordan and Myles Martin were ranked fourth and sixth. Two of Ohio State's three other qualifiers were top 100 recruits as well, Jose Rodriguez and Luke Pletcher.
Below is a listing with commentary of the top 25 recruiting class for 2017, as well as the recruits that encompass each class.
Spencer Lee is the prized recruit in Iowa's top-ranked recruiting class (Photo/Tom Elling)
Top 100 recruits: No. 1 Spencer Lee (Franklin Regional, Pa.), No. 7 Jacob Warner (Washington, Ill.), No. 30 Max Murin (Central Cambria, Pa.), and No. 75 Aaron Costello (Western Dubuque, Iowa)
Other ranked recruit: Myles Wilson (Glenwood Springs, Colo.)
Additional notables: Zach Axmear (North English, Iowa)
Commentary: Since Iowa last won the national title in 2010, they have finished second just once (2015), third twice (2011/2012), fourth three times (2013/2014/2017), and outside the trophies once (fifth-2016). For almost every other program, this would be exceptional, but the standard at Iowa is different. It should be noted that the last No. 1 recruiting class for Iowa was fifth-year seniors this past season. The Hawkeyes had three recruiting classes outside the top 10 between 2012 and the fourth rated class in 2016. There is an obvious injection of impact talent in this class, most notable in the form of super-studs Lee and Warner; while Murin is a very solid talent as a lower-to-middle weight with Costello a more than solid heavyweight.
Top 100 recruits: No. 2 Yianni Diakomihalis (Hilton, N.Y.), No. 3 Vitali Arujau (Syosset, N.Y.), and No. 58 Jake Brindley (Lake Highland Prep, Fla.)
Other ranked recruits: Andrew Berreyesa (Reno, Nev.), Brendan Furman (Canon-McMillan, Pa.), and Seth Janney (Malvern Prep, Pa.)
Additional notables: Sammy Cokeley (St. James Academy, Kansas), Dom LaJoie (Gaylord, Mich.), and Hunter Richard (Holland Patent, N.Y.)
Commentary: 2017 marked a 10th straight top-10 finish at the national tournament for the Big Red, while the quartet of All-Americans made it 15 consecutive seasons with three-plus on the podium. Three of those All-Americans graduate, which means it's time for kind of a reboot, and that's coming with in-state stars Diakomihalis and Arujau who were each four-time state champions; Diakomihalis was a three-time Super 32 champion and two-time Cadet World champion, while Arujau was a Cadet World silver medalist and a Super 32 champion this past fall. It's also a very deep class when looking at the plethora of proven wrestlers that have produced in national level competitions.
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2017 InterMat Recruiting Class Rankings
4. Virginia Tech
5. Penn State
7. Ohio State
8. Arizona State
10. North Carolina
11. Oklahoma State
15. Iowa State
20. Fresno State
21. Army West Point
23. West Virginia
25: South Dakota State
Honorable Mention: Lehigh, Minnesota, North Dakota State, Northern Illinois, Pittsburgh