This afternoon, the #2 heavyweight in the nation Dillan Johnson (Joliet Catholic, IL) announced that he was flipping his collegiate commitment from Northwestern to Wisconsin. Johnson is currently ranked #11 overall in the Class of 2024.
Johnson is projected to play two sports at the collegiate level, as he is also deemed a three-star recruit for football. Recent developments in the football landscape likely drove this decision. Just a day ago, Northwestern fired head football coach Pat Fitzgerald amid a hazing scandal. Initially, the school suspended Fitzgerald for two weeks; however, they changed course four days later. Fitzgerald is the winningest coach in school history and plenty of transfers and decommitments were expected after his firing.
On the mat, Johnson has won a pair of Illinois 2A state championships at 285 lbs. Last year, Johnson went to Fargo and ended up in second place at the Junior freestyle tournament. At the beginning of his senior year, Johnson captured a title at the Walsh Ironman with very little resistance. On his way to the finals, Johnson notched two falls, a major and a 7-1 decision. For the title, he downed incoming Nebraska freshman Matthew Moore (Mesa Ridge, CO), 7-3.
Johnson is the latest in a run of elite heavyweights that will attempt to play football and wrestle. The Class of 2023 had a pair of top-15 recruits (Ben Kueter - Iowa and Jim Mullen - Virginia Tech) that intend on playing football and wrestling. The Wisconsin Class of 2023 features a transfer, Isaac Klarkowski, who played DI football at Rice University and will be available at heavyweight.
With Johnson’s verbal, Wisconsin now has commitments from three 2024 Big Boarder’s, two of which have come within the last week. #86 Colin Kelly, also of Illinois, verballed last week to join a class that includes #138 Wyatt Ingham (WI) and Carson Exferd (ID). Chris Bono’s squad has the makings of another top-25 recruiting class. They’ve made InterMat’s rankings in each of the last three seasons (25/2023; 14/2022; 14/2021).
Johnson should see at least one familiar face in the Badger room as two-time All-American Dean Hamiti Jr. also attended Joliet Catholic.
For more on the Badger recruiting class; check InterMat’s commitment page.