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  • Photo: Marc Billett/Tony Rotundo

    Photo: Marc Billett/Tony Rotundo

    Re-Ranking Recruits from the Class of 2019

    Carter Starocci high school pic courtesy of Marc Billett; PAPowerWrestling/College pic courtesy of Tony Rotundo; WrestlersAreWarriors.com

    One of the longstanding traditions at InterMat is the re-ranking of high school recruiting classes five years after the wrestlers enrolled in college. During normal circumstances, this would encompass nearly all of the wrestlers in the high school Class of 2019. But we still aren’t in a typical stretch of wrestling seasons. Due to the extra year of eligibility for wrestlers active in 2021, due to COVID, nearly everyone in this recruiting class has another year of eligibility remaining, should they choose to use it. With another season’s worth of accomplishments, there could be some more shuffling on this list were it to be revisited a year from now. 

    The Class of 2019 was a solid one. As of 2024, four wrestlers from this class have captured NCAA titles, which is a bit low for most classes. While the distinction is definitely in play for other wrestlers, only one has earned multiple national titles. At the same time, 31 wrestlers have earned NCAA All-American honors, which is actually a low number for most recruiting classes; especially in a COVID-era.

    Looking back at the top-ten from 2019, six of the ten wrestlers have earned NCAA All-American honors. A seventh has been about as good as you can be without getting on the national podium. That number drops a bit from the 2018 class, which had nine of ten earn All-American honors. The natural instinct is to blame the extra year of eligibility from COVID, for that number being inflated; however, upon second look, seven of the ten were multiple-time AA’s. 

    In the coming weeks, we’ll have features where it’s easier to compare past recruiting classes against each other, but for now, we’ll label the 2019 class as above average, but not an all-time great group (as a whole). 

    After perusing the original top-50 list, compiled by our own Willie Saylor, it’s not hard to figure out who comes in at number one. Carter Starocci just won his fourth NCAA title and has an opportunity to become the first five-timer. He was originally ranked ninth overall in the class. 

    Another legacy of this group is that it contributed to one of the deepest and most talented heavyweight eras in our sport. Three heavyweights from this class finished in the top-three at nationals and each has an age-group world title to their name. And that doesn’t even include Gable Steveson and Mason Parris, who were in the previous class. 

    So, let’s get down to it! Below are the top-50 wrestlers from the Class of 2019, re-ranked after considering their collegiate accomplishments. They are listed along with the schools they attended, along with their original high school class ranking. 

    After the top-50 is a list of the top-50 from 2019. On that list, wrestlers are noted by the schools they initially signed with. 

    1. Carter Starocci (Erie, PA) - Penn State (High School Rank: #9)

    4x NCAA Champion, 4x NCAA All-American, 2x Big Ten Champion

    2. Parker Keckeisen (Glendale, WI) - Northern Iowa (High School Rank: #14)

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