2020 CIF State Runner-up Joey Cruz (Photo courtesy of Tony Rotundo; WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
The Oklahoma Sooners received a huge verbal commitment Tuesday evening as the top-ranked 120 lber in the nation, Joey Cruz (Bullard, CA), pledged to head coach Lou Rosselli's team. Cruz is ranked #13 overall in the Class of 2020 by MatScouts. OWrestle and Seth Duckworth first broke the news. Cruz has twice placed in the top-three at the single class California state tournament. He was third as a freshman and a runner-up in 2020 at 113 lbs. California did not host a state championship during the 2020-21 school year, so Cruz did not get to add to his in-state credentials.
Even though Cruz wasn't able to compete officially in high school last season, he still was able to make an impact. He earned a championship in the 2020 Grappler Fall Classic while competing at 119 lbs. A month later, Cruz was a finalist at USA Wrestling's Preseason Nationals.
As a sophomore, Cruz made the finals of the Doc Buchanan and won a title at the Reno Tournament of Champions. Later that year, Cruz finished third at the 2019 Cadet World Team Trials in freestyle.
Cruz is now the third member of the Class of 2022 to commit to Oklahoma. He's is the second top-20 recruit, joining #20 John Wiley (Mustang, OK). The other Sooner recruit, already in the fold, is Christian Forbes (Broken Arrow, OK), who also projects at 125 lbs. That weight class appears to be a need as senior Joey Prata, a Virginia Tech transfer, is set to handle duties there in 2021-22.
Though Oklahoma doesn't have a long history recruiting out of California, there are some notable current Sooners that hail from the state. NCAA qualifiers Justin Thomas and Anthony Mantanona are from California.
Check out Intermat's commitment page for all the Class of 2022 commitments.