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  • Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Photo: Tony Rotundo

    A Look at the State of Ivy League Recruiting

    Columbia head coach Zach Tanelli (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)

    On Friday afternoon, the Penn Quakers received a verbal commitment from Jude Swisher, the #95 overall prospect in the Class of 2022. Swisher's commitment gave Penn five top-100 recruits for this year's high school seniors. While the Quakers are putting together a remarkable class, this is also representative of the uptick in recruiting for the entire Ivy League.

    For almost 20 years, Cornell has been the class of the EIWA and, more specifically, the Ivies. On the mat and the recruiting trail. Within the last five years, Princeton has been able to penetrate the recruiting market and it even paid off in 2020 as the Tigers knocked off Cornell for the first time since 1986 and stopped the Big Red's 92-match winning streak.

    Lately, Cornell and Princeton have been getting a run for their money by Ivy League rivals Columbia and Penn. While Cornell was featured prominently in InterMat's Class of 2021 recruiting rankings (at third), Penn slipped in at #23 and Columbia rounded out the top-25. For Penn, they have put together a strong three (going on four) year stretch of impressive recruiting. Columbia should make it back-to-back years in the top-25 with the 2022 crop.

    Not only have Columbia and Penn been able to lock in vast groups of commits, but they have also been able to nab some of the best prospects in the nation. The Quakers recent run of recruiting started in 2018 when they brought in two-time Junior National freestyle champion Anthony Artalona (#26 in the class). A year later, they added #19 Michael Colaiocco. Their 2022 class is led by another blue-chipper, #23 Martin Cosgrove, a New Jersey state champion as a sophomore.

    Columbia also has a highly sought-after recruit as the cornerstone of their 2022 class in #25 Jack Wehmeyer. Jack is likely the top-ranked wrestler to commit to Columbia since Matt Palmer, who did so 20 years ago. Recruiting rankings are sketchy-to-non-existent during those years, but considering Palmer was an NHSCA Senior National Champion and a two-time National Prep champ for Blair Academy and finished the year on the Asics First-Team, he would probably have fallen within the top-25. Aside from Palmer, the top recruit for the Lions over the last 20 years would have to be Eren Civan, who was #55 in the Class of 2007.

    With the resurgence of Penn and the emergence of Columbia as a national player on the recruiting trail, it has not diminished the caliber of kids coming into Cornell. The Big Red brought in 9 of the top 300 wrestlers in the nation last year and already have commitments from two of the top-70 in the country. #46 Daniel Cardenas is a past 16U national freestyle champion, while #67 Erik Gibson was a double Junior placewinner this year in Fargo. That bodes well for a couple years down the line, as Gibson's younger brother, Mason, is currently the top wrestler in the Class of 2024.

    Without Rob Koll at the helm in Ithaca, the recruiting situation bears monitoring going forward; however, his trusty lieutenant, Mike Grey, is now the head coach. I'd expect Cornell to continue its excellent recruiting under Grey, especially considering his close work with Kyle Dake and Yianni Diakomihalis.

    The school with the highest-ranked recruit from the Class of 2022 under verbal commitment is Princeton, which claims #18 Ty Whalen. An excellent performance at the 2020 Super 32 led to a breakout season for Whalen that culminated in a New Jersey state title. Princeton continues to keep some of the top New Jersey talent at home, which is a recipe for success. Keep an eye on this, as Penn has infiltrated New Jersey in a big way, especially with the Class of 2022.

    Even though we've mentioned the foursome from NJ/NY/PA, the New England Ivies have been solid on the recruiting trail themselves. Harvard brought in a sneaky-good 2021 class that featured one top-100 recruit (Diego Sotelo) and two others on the Big Board. The same can be said for Brown, who was able to land five of the top-300 recruits. None were in the top-100, but #112 AJ Corrado, a two-time Pennsylvania finalist (one-time champ), was knocking on the door. Another one of Brown's top recruits from 2021, Drew Clearie, was won in a recruiting battle with Princeton.

    Below you'll find the list of wrestlers from the top-200 of the Class of 2022 that have committed to Ivy League institutions. Overall, 69 of the top 100 wrestlers have committed to DI schools. Ten of those 69 wrestlers are headed towards the Ivy League.

    That number (10) is identical to the number of top-100 wrestlers that inked with the Ivies in 2021. That figure was higher until recently when Dean Peterson switched his commitment from Princeton to Rutgers. Over the weekend, Nico Provo decided to follow Rob Koll to Stanford.


    Columbia

    #25 Jack Wehmeyer (Malvern Prep, PA)

    #109 Richard Fedalen (McDonogh, MD)

    #142 Evan Frost (Dowling Catholic, IA)

    #175 Yianni Vines (Thompson, AL)

    #193 Jacob Frost (Dowling Catholic, IA)


    Cornell

    #46 Daniel Cardenas (Pomona, CO)

    #67 Erik Gibson (Bishop McCort, PA)


    Harvard

    #117 Joe Cangro (Bergen Catholic, NJ)


    Penn

    #23 Martin Cosgrove (Camden Catholic, NJ)

    #73 Evan Mougalian (Kinnelon, NJ)

    #75 Andrew Troczynski (Delbarton, NJ)

    #77 Alex Almeyda (St. Joe's Regional, NJ)

    #95 Jude Swisher (Bellefonte, PA)

    #113 Jackson Polo (Cold Spring Harbor, NY)

    #131 Andrew Connelly (Malvern Prep, PA)


    Princeton

    #18 Ty Whalen (Clearview Regional, NJ)

    #82 Kole Mulhauser (Central Square, NY)


    Now that you've seen the wrestlers from the Class of 2022 committed to Ivy League schools, here are the top-100 recruits from 2021 that landed in the Ivy League.


    Columbia

    #79 Jack McGill (Spring-Ford, PA)

    #87 Aaron Ayzerov (Paramus, NJ)


    Cornell

    #26 Brett Ungar (Notre Dame-Green Pond, PA)

    #46 Ryan Sokol (Simley, MN)

    #50 Vince Cornella (Monarch, CO)

    #61 Cooper Kropman (Penfield, NY)


    Harvard

    #98 Diego Sotelo (Montini Catholic, IL)


    Penn

    #84 Nico Nardone (Delbarton, NJ)

    #85 Cole Spencer (Pine-Richland, PA)

    #96 Kyle Hauserman (Council Rock North, PA)


    Overall from the Class of 2021: #3 Cornell (9 Big Boarders); #23 Penn (5 Big Boarders); #25 Columbia (6 Big Boarders); NR Brown (5 Big Boarders) NR Harvard (3 Big Boarders); NR Princeton (3 Big Boarders)

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