Last week, InterMat released its 2023 Recruiting Class Rankings. Competition for a spot in the top-25 was very tough, evidenced by a tie for the #25 slot. Additionally, other recruiting classes will be extremely helpful to their respective coaching staff, that might not receive a place in the top-26. That’s why we’re here today.
Here are five programs (in alphabetical order) that were named honorable mentions for their recruiting classes.
Recruits: #145 Max Acciardi (Westwood, NJ - 285 lbs), #157 Mitch Neiner (Port Orchard, WA - 133 lbs), #192 Carter Schubert (Wyoming Seminary, PA - 165 lbs), Tyler Brown (Mission Hills, CA - 157 lbs), Mason Espinoza (Buchanan, CA - 165 lbs), Erik McCown (Palm Desert, CA - 165 lbs), Mahkyi Smith (Lone Peak, UT - 197/285 lbs), Colton Silva (Oakdale, CA - 149 lbs), Kaiser Simpson (Cushing, OK - 141/149 lbs), Keanu Trelles (Buchanan, CA - 197 lbs)
Transfers: Darren Green (Wyoming), Dayne Morton (Nebraska), Drayden Morton (Gopher WC), Justin Phillips (Virginia), Eli Sheeran (Buffalo)
California Baptist starts its second year of postseason eligibility in 2023-24 and Derek Moore’s team should be in good position to improve upon their 3-12 record and push through their first DI national qualifiers. This freshman class, along with transfers, should aid in that effort. Transfers Darren Green, Dayne Morton, Justin Phillips, and Eli Sheeran all have significant starting experience and will provide stability for the Lancers.
Moore and his staff searched far and wide for the Class of 2023 as they nabbed two Big Boarder’s from the East Coast along with another from Washington. California power Buchanan was represented with the tandem of Mason Espinoza and Keanu Trelles. It’s always a good idea to make inroads with a nationally relevant program in your home state.
The top prospect in this class is Max Acciardi, who was a Fargo Junior freestyle All-American and an NHSCA Junior National champion. Acciardi has finished in the top-three of the single-class New Jersey state tournament three times, each time at 285 lbs.
Recruits: #59 Sam Goin (Crown Point, IN - 157 lbs), #151 Bryce Lowery (Roncalli, IN - 165 lbs), #165 Cheaney Schoeff (Avon, IN - 149 lbs), Anthony Bahl (Crown Point, IN - 149 lbs), Joey Buttler (Whiteland, IN - 133/141 lbs), Aiden Torres (Chester, IN - 149 lbs)
Transfer: Roman Rogotzke (South Dakota State)
The Hoosiers have quietly been making the right moves to help them rise up the Big Ten under Angel Escobedo. This class is yet another example. The Indiana staff obviously prioritized keeping in-state talent at home and ended up with three Big Boarder’s from within their borders.
Sam Goin is coming off an excellent senior season where he claimed his second state title and took fourth at the Super 32, then fifth at the Walsh Ironman. Along with Goin, Bryce Lowery, Joey Buttler, and Aiden Torres, all were 2023 champions in Indiana’s single-class state tournament.
Transfer Roman Rogotzke will help at the upperweights. He amassed a 21-8 record for South Dakota State in 2022-23, as a redshirt freshman, primarily competing unattached.
In 2022-23, Indiana posted their first winning record since the 2016-17 campaign. With help from this recruiting class, they could continue to improve their standing in the conference and nationally. Maybe not immediately, but in the years to come.
Recruits: #58 Sam Cartella (Western Reserve, OH - 149 lbs), #97 Jake Bostelman (Ponderosa, CO - 157 lbs), #191 Dedrick Navarro (Nampa, ID - 125 lbs), Luis Bazan (Bolingbrook, IL - 133/141 lbs), Kolby McClain (Liberty, MO - 149/157 lbs), Dirk Morley (Regis Jesuit, CO - 285 lbs), Massey Odiotti (Loyola Academy, IL - 125 lbs)
Transfer: Patrick Adams (Buffalo)
Graduation and graduate transfers hit Northwestern hard this offseason, so an infusion of talent was a necessity for Wildcat head coach Matt Storniolo. This group may not necessarily replace the three All-Americans from day one, but they’ll be very useful in the future.
This class got a late boost as Sam Cartella flipped from Army West Point to Northwestern in May. During his final year of high school, Cartella made the Ironman and National Prep finals, along with a seventh-place showing at the Super 32. The second top-100 recruit is Colorado state champion Jake Bostelman. The Wildcats have some excellent recent history with a middleweight from Colorado, so that’s interesting.
The unexpected departures of All-Americans at 125, 133, and 285 have left Northwestern with some potential holes for the 2023-24 season. Freshmen Dedrick Navarro, Massey Odiotti, or transfer Patrick Adams could be thrust into the lineup immediately because of this. The same can be said for NHSCA Senior National fourth-place finisher Dirk Morley.
These additions certainly addressed some pressing needs for Northwestern, which is a big part of recruiting. Under Storniolo, Northwestern has done an excellent job of developing talented, blue-chip or not, and producing despite heavy odds. They’ll need to continue that trend going forward; however, this recruiting class is a nice start.
Recruits: #144 Santino Robinson (Mascoutah, IL - 141 lbs), #167 Braxton Strick (Ozark, MO - 149/157 lbs), #169 Brock Woodcock (St. Clair, MO - 157/165 lbs), Gavin Alexander (Hillsboro, MO - 125/133 lbs), Toby Billerman (Perry Meridian, IN - 125 lbs), Aaron Cramer (Grayslake Central, IL - 184/197 lbs), Deion Johnson (Homewood-Flossmoor, IL - 125 lbs), Dom Lopez (New London, IA - 157/165 lbs), Danny Martinez (SW Miami, FL - 133/141 lbs), Nick Nosler (Unity, IL - 197/285 lbs), Hayden Whidden (Lake Gibson, FL - 141/149 lbs)
Transfer: Nathan Wemstrom (Nebraska)
In MatScouts’ recruiting rankings, Willie Saylor proposed that this could be SIU Edwardsville’s best class ever. It’s hard to argue with that notion. Head coach Jeremy Spates and recruiting ace Daryl Thomas did an excellent job signing three Big Boarder’s along with a handful of others who can be productive wrestlers for the Cougars.
The class largely consists of talent from Illinois and Missouri, but also has some neighboring states and Florida sprinkled in. Top recruit, Santino Robinson, along with Nick Nosler were Illinois state champions in 2023. Aaron Cramer and Deion Johnson were both Illinois runner’s-up this season. Johnson was a Fargo Junior freestyle finalist last summer. He and Toby Billerman could be long-term answers at the hard-to-fill 125 lb weight class.
The other two Big Boarder’s, Braxton Strick and Brock Woodcock, both have national credentials to their names. Woodcock was a Missouri state champion as a senior, while Strick was third.
SIU Edwardsville competes in a MAC conference that could be wide open next year. Two returning qualifiers, along with this group, could make for a formidable squad for MAC opponents.
South Dakota State
Recruits: #77 Tommy Dineen (Hancock, MN - 285 lbs), #81 Colin Dupill (Greeneville, TN - 149 lbs), Avery Allen (Bozeman, MT - 149 lbs), Riggin Bogger (South Summit, UT - 165 lbs), Marcus Espinoza-Owens (Viewmont, UT - 174 lbs), Moses Espinoza-Owens (Viewmont, UT - 165 lbs), Parker Janssen (St. Michael-Albertville, MN - 141 lbs), Brady Roark (Seneca, MO - 133 lbs), Jared Thiry (Don Bosco, IA - 174/184 lbs)
South Dakota State has established themselves as a recruiting power with a #12 ranking in 2021 and another honorable mention last year. This group includes a pair of top-100 recruits and three others who were on the Big Board at one point during their high school careers (Avery Allen, Marcus Espinoza-Owens, and Moses Espinoza-Owens). SDSU’s recruits shined in their respective postseasons, as all but Parker Janssen and Jared Thiry were state champions in 2023.
In addition to winning three Minnesota A state titles, Tommy Dineen was also an NHSCA Junior National champion in 2022. The other top-100 recruit, Colin Dupill, placed twice at both the Walsh Ironman and the Beast of the East.
Under Damion Hahn, SDSU has proven to be a program that recruits, develops, and retains talent. With that in mind, there isn’t an obvious hole in the Jackrabbits 2023-24 lineup, which means this group should have the opportunity to redshirt, provided there are no major injuries or these recruits knock off an incumbent starter. It’s always good gaining more talent, when you don’t necessarily “have” to have it immediately.