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  • Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Ohio State's Track Record With Blue Chip Recruits Under Tom Ryan

    4x NCAA All-American and 2015 national champion Nathan Tomasello (Photo/Tony Rotundo; WrestlersAreWarriors.com)

    On Monday morning, the second overall recruit in the high school Class of 2022, Nic Bouzakis, announced his intentions to attend Ohio State. His commitment gave the Buckeyes verbals from two of the top three wrestlers in the nation. A frequent fixture near the top of recruiting rankings, just the star-power along from these two will rocket Ohio State up the ranks next spring.

    There are many ways a program can achieve a high recruiting ranking. Some schools get “quantity over quality.” Having nine top-150 recruits looks amazing on paper, but it lessens the potential impact when six of those recruits are ranked between 125-150. Ohio State typically takes the opposite approach. More often than not, the Buckeyes sign some two or three of the most coveted kids in the country, but don't have nine and ten ranked kids at a time.

    In recruiting, the term “blue-chip” gets thrown around pretty frequently. Probably too often. What is a blue-chipper? In the wrestling world, they are a select group of recruits that could step in and push for All-American honors in year one, regardless of the program they attend. On a year-to-year basis, the number of kids that wear that label could vary. For the intents and purposes of this article, we'll say it's a safe bet that the top ten overall kids in a particular year are blue-chippers or the elite of the elite.

    With Bouzakis' commitment and assuming he and #3 Nick Feldman sign, Ohio State will have brought in 21 top-ten overall recruits since Tom Ryan took over in the spring of 2006. We are not including Lance Palmer, from the Class of 2006, since he originally signed with previous head coach Russ Hellickson.

    Here are those 21 wrestlers and a brief summation of how their careers in Columbus played out. Based on the possible volatility of recruiting, it looks like an excellent track record to me!

    2022

    #2 Nic Bouzakis (Wyoming Seminary, PA)

    #3 Nicholas Feldman (Malvern Prep, PA)


    2021

    #1 Paddy Gallagher (St. Edward, OH)


    2019

    #1 Greg Kerkvliet (Simley, MN) - Did not compete for Ohio State; Transferred to Penn State during his initial semester in Columbus.

    #4 Carson Kharchla (Olentangy Liberty, OH) - During his redshirt season, Kharchla went 18-0 with wins over 2021 All-Americans Bernie Truax (Cal Poly) and Cam Amine (Michigan). He suffered an injury before the 2021 season and did not officially compete for Ohio State.

    #5 Jordan Decatur (CVCA, OH) - Decatur was pulled from redshirt during his first year with the Buckeyes. Through two years of competition, Decatur is 20-14 and has not qualified for the NCAA Championships in either season.


    2018

    #4 Sammy Sasso (Nazareth, PA) - It only took until late January of Sammy Sasso's freshman year for him to ascend to the number one ranking in the nation. He later finished as a 2020 Big Ten Runner-Up and was the second seed at nationals. In 2021, Sasso won the Big Ten Championship and brought an undefeated mark into the NCAA Tournament. He later dropped an incredibly close bout to Austin O'Connor (North Carolina) in the NCAA finals.

    #10 Gavin Hoffman (Montoursville, PA) - Through two years of competition, Gavin Hoffman has amassed a 33-17 record. Most of those wins have come in open competition as he was not the primary starter in 2019-20. Last year, Hoffman was 2-5 in dual action and did not qualify for nationals.


    2017

    #10 Chase Singletary (Blair Academy, NJ) - Chase Singletary was the Buckeyes primary starter at 285 lbs as a redshirt freshman. That year he tallied a 21-9 record and earned the #16 seed at nationals. Singletary picked up two wins before his elimination. The following year he was injured at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational and missed the remainder of the season. In 2021, Tate Orndorff transferred in and assumed the starting role at 285 lbs.

    2016

    #9 Luke Pletcher (Greater Latrobe, PA) - Pletcher finished his career at Ohio State as a two-time NCAA All-American and a 1st team NWCA All-American after the Covid cancelation in 2020. After spending his first three years at 133 lbs, Pletcher went up to 141 and became a favorite as a senior. He was slated to be the top seed at the 2020 NCAA Championships after racking up a 26-1 record. Pletcher's only loss that year came to Nick Lee (Penn State) and he avenged it in the Big Ten finals.


    2015

    #5 Myles Martin (McDonogh, MD) - In 2016, as a true freshman, Myles Martin claimed an NCAA championship despite entering the tournament as the 11th seed. Martin earned All-American honors in each of his four years with the Buckeyes going 1st, 5th, 2nd, 3rd. He made three Big Ten finals appearances winning as a senior and earning the top seed at the 2019 NCAA Championships. His final record for Ohio State was 121-19.


    2014

    #1 Kyle Snyder (Good Counsel, MD) - Kyle Snyder lived up to his top-billing in the Class of 2014...and much more. A few months after losing in the 2015 NCAA finals, Snyder won a Senior World title at 97 kg. A year later, after winning his first national title, Snyder became the youngest American to win Olympic gold. He would go on to become the first heavyweight to win three DI national titles since Carlton Haselrig (Pitt-Johnstown) in 1987-89. Snyder also won three Big Ten titles and completed his sophomore and junior years unbeaten.

    #8 Micah Jordan (St. Paris Graham, OH) - Competing at three different weights for the Buckeyes, Micah Jordan was never seeded lower than seventh at the NCAA Championships and got onto the podium in each of his final three seasons. Those years he also made the Big Ten finals. As a senior, Jordan also made the NCAA finals, losing to conference foe Anthony Ashnault. Jordan went 115-21 in an Ohio State singlet.

    #10 Thomas Haines (Solanco, PA) - A four-time Pennsylvania state champion, Thomas Haines went to Ohio State and redshirted during the 2014-15 season. Once Kyle Snyder moved up to heavyweight, he took Haines' potential spot. That led to a transfer to Lock Haven, where Haines qualified for nationals in each of his final three seasons.


    2013

    #1 Bo Jordan (St. Paris Graham, OH) - From day one in the Buckeye lineup, Bo Jordan was a perennial NCAA title threat. He finished in the top-three at the NCAA Tournament in his first three years in the lineup. During those years, Jordan also made the Big Ten finals, claiming one in 2017. He battled injuries during the tail end of his career but still managed to take third in the conference and fifth in the country.

    #6 Nathan Tomasello (CVCA, OH) - Nathan Tomasello won a national title in 2015 as a true freshman for the national champion Buckeyes. He did so after grabbing the first of his four Big Ten championships. Tomasello ended up finishing third in each of his final three years in Columbus. As a sophomore and junior, he entered the NCAA Tournament unbeaten. For his career, Tomasello went an impressive 100-8.


    2011

    #6 Andrew Campolattano (Bound Brook, NJ) - The rare four-time New Jersey state champion, Anthony Campolattano, enrolled at Ohio State and competed right away at 197 lbs. He took fourth in the Big Ten and was unseeded at nationals, but still finished a match shy of earning All-American honors. In 2012-13, Campolattano made the NCAA Tournament again. Shortly afterward, he left the school due to off-the-mat issues. Campolattano resurfaced at Rutgers but never qualified for nationals and left the program in 2015.

    #7 Hunter Stieber (Monroeville, OH) - A year after his brother arrived in Columbus, Hunter Stieber was one of the cornerstones of a massive recruiting class that was among the best in the nation. Right off the bat, Hunter took sixth in the country without redshirting. In 2013, Stieber was the undefeated top-seed at the NCAA Championships. He would lose in the semis and end up third. From that point on, Hunter dealt with severe injuries that limited his effectiveness. He was able to qualify for nationals during the Buckeyes 2015 team title run.


    2010

    #1 Logan Stieber (Monroesville, OH)

    The first number one overall prospect to ink with Ryan's Bucks was Logan Stieber. Logan went on to have an “all-time great” type of career. He became the first Ohio State wrestler to win four straight Big Ten titles. More notably, Stieber became only the fourth DI wrestler to win four national championships. To date, he is the only Big Ten wrestler to achieve the feat. After his senior season, Logan was awarded the Hodge Trophy. He is still the only Buckeye to receive the honor.


    2009

    #6 Collin Palmer (St. Edward, OH)

    Palmer's career at Ohio State never got off the ground due to injuries suffered early in his tenure in Columbus.


    2007

    #4 Sean Nemec (St. Edward, OH)

    The three-time Ohio state champion was a starter for the Buckeyes at 157 lbs multiple times in the postseason, but could never break through and qualify for the NCAA Championships.

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