Jesse Mendez at 2021 UWW Junior's (Photo/Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)
Today, the top recruit in the Class of 2022, Jesse Mendez (Crown Point, IN), announced his college decision on FloWrestling's FRL. Mendez will head east to wrestle for Tom Ryan's Ohio State University squad.
Mendez is a three-time Indiana state champion who heads into his senior season with a 114-1 career record. Earlier this year, Mendez went to Ufa, Russia, to compete in the Junior World Championships. He would finish eighth in the 61 kg weight class. It was not Mendez's first trip to a world-level event, as he was a Cadet World Team member in 2019. To make the 2021 team, Mendez defeated current Oklahoma State freshman Carter Young in two straight bouts. He also scored wins over current collegiate wrestlers Julian Chlebove (Arizona State) and Dominick Serrano (Nebraska) to make the best-of-three finals opposite Young.
Domestically, Mendez has been a part of the last three â€œWho's #1â€ events. In 2020, he downed Jordan Williams (Oklahoma) and Joel Vandervere (Illinois) to cement his status as the top wrestler in the nation at 138 lbs. This year he fell in a 7-6 shootout to Iowa State recruit Casey Swiderski (Michigan); however, his body of work keeps him in the top spot in the Class of 2022. Other national placements of note include fifth-place at the 2019 Super 32 and third at FloNationals in 2018.
Ohio State now has commitments from the top-three wrestlers in the Class of 2022. Mendez will join #2 Nic Bouzakis (Wyoming Seminary, PA) and #3 Nick Feldman (Malvern Prep, PA).
Mendez will be the second consecutive #1 overall to ink with the Buckeyes as Paddy Gallagher joined Ohio State in 2021.