NC State recruit Vincent Robinson (photo courtesy of Tony Rotundo; WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
We are just a few days away from the first whistle blowing at the FargoDome as the Junior/16U National Championships will occur. The event returned in 2021, after it was canceled in 2020, and had an incredibly deep field. This year's group looks even better.
Over the next couple of days, we'll go conference-by-conference to preview recruits from each school and their chances for success. We have only included recruits that have been tabbed to participate in one of the tournaments. We started with the Pac-12, now we're going across the country with the ACC.
Little by little, over the past decade (maybe more) the ACC has turned into a recruiting power. Even with only six teams, the conference is generally well-represented in yearly recruiting rankings. 2022 was no different as three of the league's schools were recognized in the top ten (NC State, Virginia Tech, Virginia) and two more were amongst the top 16 (Pittsburgh, North Carolina). Across the board, most of the key recruits from the Class of 2022 will not make the trek to Fargo for the 16U and Junior National Championships. That's alright because these schools recruit well and have more in the pipeline. NC State boasts the largest number of the ACC schools, but North Carolina, Virginia, and Virginia Tech all have recruits that are capable of claiming All-American honors. All four schools have at least one returning All-American ready to scrap.
Below are the future ACC stars to watch during the upcoming week in North Dakota.
Koy Buesgens, Minnesota (145) - Class of 2023
Jeremiah Price, North Carolina (138) - Class of 2023
Vincent Robinson, Illinois (132) - Class of 2023
Cheaney Schoeff, Indiana (138) - Class of 2023
There are no members of NC State's #3 ranked recruiting class schedule to take the mat, but that's alright, because the Wolfpack already has a large contingent committed from 2023 and four are slated to compete. Vincent Robinson was fifth in Junior freestyle last year and continued to impress at high-level tournaments. Robinson won the Ironman and was top-five at the Super 32 and Powerade. The other top-50 recruit for NC State and ready for action is Koy Buesgens, a runner-up at the 2021 Super 32. Buesgens has a pair of past top-eight finishes to his name in Fargo. He was sixth at 138 last year in Junior Greco and eighth in 16U freestyle in 2019. The other two recruits for NC State will be competing in the 138 lb bracket this year. Two-time Indiana runner-up, Cheaney Schoeff is a top-100 wrestler that could have an impact. The other 138 lber is Jeremiah Price, an in-state product who has won three NC titles.
Sabino Portella, New Jersey (170) - Class of 2023
Marco Tocci, Pennsylvania (113) - Class of 2023
The North Carolina contingent will consist of a pair of wrestlers from their Class of 2023 with Sabino Portella and Marco Tocci. Portella is back at the 170 lb weight class where he took seventh in Junior freestyle last year. Not a bad feat for an upperweight heading into his junior year of high school. A New Jersey runner-up in 2021, Portella went on to claim fourth last season. Tocci was seventh in Junior Greco-Roman last year at 113 lbs. He ended up qualifying for the Pennsylvania state tournament for the first time in 2022.
Dylan Evans, Pennsylvania (152) - Class of 2023
From right in their backyard the Panthers have a legit title contender at 152 lbs with Dylan Evans. Evans was third in both styles last year at the 16U level. This year he's already finished seventh at UWW Cadet in freestyle. The Pennsylvania AAA state champ is definitely one to watch!
Gable Porter, Iowa (132) - Class of 2023
The Cavaliers had their best recruiting haul in quite some time, resulting in the #9 class in the nation in 2022. The 2023 Class got off to a bang with a verbal from three-time Iowa state finalist and two-time champion Gable Porter. Porter's best national-level results have come on the Greco front. Last summer, he was a finalist at the Junior level, after making the UWW Cadet finals, as well. While he's expected to be in the mix for a title in that style, also expect an impact in freestyle, too.
Parker Ferrell, Virginia (285) - Class of 2024
Logan Frazier, Indiana (126) - Class of 2023
Aiden Lacoma, Virginia (285)
Last summer, the Hokies saw two eventual Hokie recruits capture stop signs at the Junior freestyle division with Caleb Henson and TJ Stewart. This year they'll be well-represented at heavyweight with current high school teammates Aiden Lacoma and Parker Ferrell. Lacoma won a state title at 285 for Christiansburg (VA), while Ferrell won at 220. Lacoma was sixth in Junior Greco last year and placed at the Super 32, Ironman, and Beast during the high school season. Ferrell was a double 16U AA last year, taking third in freestyle and fifth in Greco. Recently, Ferrell was third at UWW Cadet in freestyle at 110 kg. The Class of 2023 is represented by Indiana state champion Logan Frazier. Through each year of high school, Frazier has increased his state placement by one, so he could continue to improve and contend for a spot in the top eight here.