COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Ohio State wrestling team continued building towards the future when they received their third verbal commitment from the Class of 2012, Nick Roberts. A three-time state placewinner for North Star High School. Roberts won individual Pennsylvania state titles as a freshman and junior and 103 and 112 pounds. Nick is currently ranked no. 30 in the InterMat Top 100 and he finished last year ranked fifth nationally at 112.
"It is a great feeling to be an Ohio State Buckeye," stated Roberts when asked about his commitment. 'I really don't know what to say other than I am really excited and happy to see what is ahead in the years to come."
A nationally respected wrestler, Roberts jumped on the OSU recruiting radar this summer after he competed at the 2011 Junior World Championships in Bucharest, Romania and roomed with current Ohio State sophomore Logan Stieber.
"I was looking at several colleges before I went overseas with Logan to the Worlds. We talked about a lot of things and I got a chance to pick his brains about the wrestling in college, going to school at OSU, training and competing internationally, and a lot of different things," said Nick when asked about his recruitment.
"When we got back I reached out to the coaches and started to build a relationship, I got to come in for a football game and got a chance to see a lot of stuff, and I think I made a great decision in choosing to wrestle at Ohio State."
Roberts selected the Buckeyes over Penn State, Iowa, and Michigan.
"Growing up I knew that I wanted to wrestle in college and I knew I wanted to compete in the Big Ten," offered Nick when asked about his decision. "There wasn't anything wrong with the other schools; it just seemed that for me, everything was right about Ohio State from the school, to the team and the coaches, to the opportunity to train with the Ohio RTC."
Wrestling since he was three years old, Roberts has fourteen years of experience and a track record of success. A two-time state champion for the Cougars, Nick has built a 103-9 career record in high school going 32-6 as freshman and 39-1 as a sophomore at 103 pounds, and 31-2 as a junior at 112 while placing first, third, first at state. He is planning on moving up to 120 or 126 pounds as a senior.
A year-round wrestler, Roberts has also excelled in the international styles as a four-time national champion. Nick was a 2009 Cadet double national champion in freestyle and Greco-Roman, a 2010 and 2011 FILA Junior national champion in freestyle, and he placed fifth at the 2010 Junior World Championships.
"The focus this year is to win state, to make it back on the Junior World Team again, and to bring a medal back to the United States," stated Roberts.
"Being a year-round wrestler definitely helps because the skills transfer from one season to the other. Whether it is on your feet or on the mat, wrestling is wrestling. The more you do the better, the harder you work, the more you learn, the better you are going get," explained Nick when asked about making the transitions from folkstyle to the Olympic styles and back.
"One of the benefits of going to school at Ohio State is being able to work with the Ohio Regional Training Center and continue wrestling freestyle in the offseason without having to go anywhere else."
The Ohio RTC currently has four internationally ranked wrestlers training in Columbus: 2008 Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo, four-time college All-American and 2008 NCAA champion Angel Escobedo, NCAA finalist and 2009 World Team member Shawn Bunch, and NCAA finalist and 2011 World Team member Reece Humphrey.
"Competition makes you stronger whether you are at practice or on the mat in an actual match, it is the same things with freestyle, Greco or folkstyle and I know that I am going to be challenged all year round at Ohio State," said Roberts when speaking of his long term goals. "It takes a lot of hard work if you want to be NCAA champion or a World champion."
Nick is expected to sign his National Letter of Intent in November; he plans on moving to Columbus next summer to get an early start, and anticipates redshirting his first-year on campus. Roberts projects as a career 125 for the Buckeyes, but he could move up to 133 as an upperclassman. Nick is planning on majoring in Sports Medicine and would like to eventually get into physical therapy or work as a trainer.
"I am really excited about being a Buckeye and I hope I can accomplish all of my goals in Columbus, Ohio," expressed the Pennsylvania native. "I do want to thank my parents, coach Jody Strittmatter, and my coaches Tim Rosa and Pat Berzonski."
The addition of Roberts to the 2012 Ohio State recruiting class gives head coach Tom Ryan a trio of nationally ranked wrestlers that are expected to sign their National Letters of Intent during the early signing period. Nick joins seniors Mark Martin, no. 52 overall and no. 19 at 152 in 2011, and heavyweight prospect Nick Tavanello, No. 28 overall and No. 7 at 215 in 2011 as future Buckeyes.
InterMat was granted permission to republish this article from BuckeyeWrestling.com.