The NC State Wolfpack got some great news on the recruiting front on Thanksgiving Eve. Daniel Zepeda (Gilroy, CA), the #9 overall recruit in the Class of 2025 has given Pat Popolizio’s team a verbal commitment this afternoon.
Zepeda is currently ranked second in the country at 138 lbs. He rose up to that position after making the Fargo finals in Junior freestyle this summer. Zepeda did so prior to his junior year of high school and was only defeated by a graduated senior. The Daniel Cormier-trained Zepeda is well-rounded having placed eighth in Junior Greco-Roman in each of the last two summers.
During the high school season, Zepeda finished as a runner-up at the Doc Buchanan Invitational. Later in the year, he’d win his first California state title at 132 lbs.
Zepeda projects as a 149 lber at the next level. That could work out well as the Wolfpack’s current starter, Jackson Arrington, just started his sophomore year. By the time Zepeda’s on campus in Raleigh, he could redshirt for a year while Arrington finishes up. The Wolfpack do have a 2024 signee, Gavin Linsman (Liberty, MO), that appears to be a 149 lber.
With Zepeda in the fold, NC State now has verbals from four wrestlers in the Class of 2025. He’s the second top-100 recruit in the bunch, joining #85 Brogan Tucker (Graham, OH). Should Zepeda maintain or improve upon his current Big Board rankings, he’d join Dylan Fishback (#6 in the Class of 2022) as top-ten recruits for NC State in the last seven years.