Jimmy GulibonSo the shy, unassuming 17-year-old who attends Derry Area High School (Pa.) got his college decision out of the way early. Four days after the early contact period began, Gulibon gave a verbal commitment to Penn State. He becomes the highest-ranked recruit from the Class of 2012 to commit thus far.
"I don't really like to tell coaches that I don't want to go to their school," said Gulibon, a three-time state champion. "I'm too nice. I just needed to get the decision out of the way."
So what sold Gulibon on Penn State?
"The awesome coaches," said Gulibon, who has gone 111-3 in his high school wrestling career. "I checked out the facility and it was really nice. One of my buddies will be going to school there. There are a lot of really good kids on the team. And also they're No. 1 in the country."
Gulibon says that he did not seriously consider any other school besides Penn State.
"There are a lot of great schools, but I was just looking forward to going to Penn State," said Gulibon, who has not yet chosen a field of study.
Gulibon, who won his most recent state title at 119 pounds, will enter a wrestling room at Penn State filled with credentialed wrestlers, and many around his weight. Two-time All-American Andrew Long will have one year of eligibility remaining when Gulibon arrives on campus. His friend and Young Guns Wrestling Club training partner Nico Megaludis, who defeated Gulibon this past season, will be entering his second year at Penn State. Another one of Gulibon's former training partners, Frank Martellotti, is also on the Penn State team and close in weight.
Gulibon is uncertain whether the coaches will want him to redshirt or contribute right away as a true freshman.
"Whatever the coaches want me to do, I'll do," said Gulibon, who projects as a 125/133-pounder. "But I'm thinking that I might want to step in right away and wrestle."
Jimmy GulibonGulibon lives an hour and a half drive away from the Penn State campus. He says he became a Penn State wrestling fan as soon as Cael Sanderson became head coach in 2009. Gulibon is excited about the fact that his future coach is competing again.
"I think it's awesome," said Gulibon. "If he can win a World title and an Olympic title, that would be incredible.
I watched the Herbert match a couple weeks ago. He was just on him the entire time."
In addition to winning three Pennsylvania state titles, Gulibon has won titles at many of the nation's most prestigious high school wrestling events, including POWERade (three times), Walsh Ironman, and FloNationals. Still, he feels like he has things he needs to accomplish before he arrives at Penn State.
"I just want to do my best and hopefully win all the tournaments I go to," said Gulibon. " I want to improve on top ... actually, improve on everything."
Gulibon has high goals and believes that Penn State has what he needs to accomplish those goals.
"I would love to be an All-American and hopefully I can become an NCAA champion," said Gulibon. "I think with the coaches at Penn State, I possibly can."