Recruiting class rankings released, Ohio State No. 1

The point cannot be mentioned enough, but in an individualized team sport such as wrestling, talent matters. While there are clearly factors such as attrition, development, and culture that play integral roles in the success of teams and individuals at the college level -- there is a strong tie between ability level and success.

When looking at the All-Americans from the last three NCAA tournaments, here is the ratio of All-Americans based on top recruiting rankings:

Top 10: (2017) 19/80 (2018) 23/80 (2019) 25/80
Top 20: (2017) 33/80 (2018) 32/80 (2019) 35/80
Top 30: (2107) 40/80 (2018) 38/80 (2019) 45/80
Top 100: (2017) 60/80 (2018) 63/80 (2019) 67/80

The two programs that have finished first and second at the national tournament each of the last three years, Penn State and Ohio State, have also been dominant within the recruiting landscape -- and also have been very successful in turning those recruits into successful starting lineup participants.

The nine NCAA qualifiers for Penn State were ranked as follows coming out of high school:

133: Roman Bravo-Young -- 15th in Class of 2018
141: Nick Lee -- 5th in Class of 2017
149: Brady Berge -- 8th in Class of 2017
157: Jason Nolf -- 7th in Class of 2014
165: Vincenzo Joseph -- 7th in Class of 2015
174: Mark Hall -- 1st in Class of 2016
184: Shakur Rasheed -- 56th in Class of 2014
197: Bo Nickal -- 5th in Class of 2014
285: Anthony Cassar -- WC in Class of 2014

The 10 NCAA qualifiers for Ohio State were ranked as follows coming out of high school:

125: Malik Heinselman -- 48th in Class of 2018
133: Luke Pletcher -- 8th in Class of 2016
141: Joey McKenna -- 8th in Class of 2014
149: Micah Jordan -- 6th in Class of 2014
157: Ke-Shawn Hayes -- 13th in Class of 2015
165: Te'shan Campbell -- 65th in Class of 2015
174: Ethan Smith -- 53rd in Class of 2017
184: Myles Martin -- 4th in Class of 2015
197: Kollin Moore -- 32nd in Class of 2015
285: Chase Singletary -- 6th in Class of 2017

Below is a breakdown of this year's top 25 recruiting classes.

Ohio State's recruiting class is headlined by Greg Kerkvliet, the nation's No. 1 recruit (Photo/Mary Christen, The Guillotine)

1. Ohio State

Top 100 recruits: No. 1 Greg Kerkvliet (Simley, Minn.), No. 3 Carson Kharchla (Olentangy Liberty, Ohio), No. 6 Jordan Decatur (CVCA, Ohio), No. 18 Dylan D'Emilio (Genoa, Ohio), No. 66 Isaac Wilcox (Olympus, Utah), and No. 100 Jacob Decatur (CVCA, Ohio)

Other notable recruits: Nick Oldham (West Des Moines Valley, Iowa) and Tyler Stein (Canfield, Ohio)

Recruiting class rankings (2015-2018): 6th-10th-7th-2nd

NCAA finishes: 2nd-2nd-2nd

Final dual meet rankings: 6th-2nd-6th

Commentary: This is a second straight absolutely loaded class for the Buckeyes, which is needed with the losses to graduation the Buckeyes have taken in 2018 (Tomasello, Bo Jordan, and Snyder) and 2019 (McKenna, Micah Jordan, and Martin). Kerkvliet, Jordan Decatur, and Kharchla ended the 2018-19 season ranked No. 1 nationally in their respective weight classes. The 2018 class started positively -- among that group, Heinselman qualified for the NCAA tournament as a true freshman, while Sasso and Gavin Hoffman had superlative redshirt seasons.

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2019 InterMat Recruiting Class Rankings

1. Ohio State
2. Arizona State
3. Cornell
4. Wisconsin
5. Virginia Tech
6. Nebraska
7. Oklahoma
8. Oklahoma State
9. Iowa State
10. Illinois
11. Michigan
12. Rutgers
13. Fresno State
14. Lehigh
15. Minnesota
16. NC State
17. Penn
18. Northern Colorado
19. Northern Iowa
20. Iowa
21. Stanford
22. Penn State
23. Indiana
24. Northwestern
25. Wyoming

Honorable mention: Old Dominion, South Dakota State, Missouri, and Michigan State


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Leon (1) about 4 years ago
Is PSU's run over? That's a huge drop. I get they are absolutely loaded at some weights and it may be hard to break the starting lineup even if you're a top recruit but #22 is abysmal.
engineerlehigh (1) about 4 years ago
PSU does not have the scholarship money this year. What they did have landed Starocci from Erie Cathedral Prep, another NCAA Champion caliber wrestler.

125 Teske (4x IA State Champ)
133 Bravo-Young AA Caliber
141 Lee AA Caliber
149 Verkleerin AA caliber
157 Berg AA caliber
165 Joseph NCAA Champion contender
174 Hall NCAA Champion contender
184 Manville AA caliber
197 Starocci AA caliber
285 Hoopes or a transfer. Only weak spot in lineup.

PSU likely to have 8 or 9 All-Americans and 2 finalists next year. Other teams will be on their heels. Cael will elevate them all.
dhenry5k (1) about 4 years ago
Penn State has a number of recruits from last year's class coming in after taking a grayshirt season. Michael Beard, Aaron Brooks, Joe Lee, and Seth Nevills are All-American talents. Although members of last year's graduating high school class, haven't started their collegiate careers yet.

If including those four in the rankings for this season, PSU would probably rank as #1 or #2 overall.

Follow @DHenry5k on Twitter
dhenry5k (1) about 4 years ago

125 Teske RS FR
133 Bravo-Young SO
141 N Lee JR
149 Verkleeren RS SO
157 Berge RS SO
165 Joseph RS SR
*174 Hall SR
*184 Rasheed RS SR
*197 Conel RS SR
*285 Cassar RS SR

*Starocci wrestled at 170 and will likely RS behind Mark Hall this year at 174.
*184 will be Shakur Rasheed if he can get another year of eligibility due to injuries. If Shakur can't get another year at Penn State, incoming True Freshman, Aaron Brooks will likely be the starter.
*Mason Manville, despite having wrestled in duals at 184 for PSU, had been making weight at 165. He's probably more of a 165 or 174 while he continues to compete at Greco Roman.
*197 could be Kyle Conel who is looking to transfer to PSU and get another year of eligibility due to injury, OR True Freshman, Michael Beard.
*National Champion, Anthony Cassar might come back for another year of eligibility due to injuries, so might All-American, Nick Nevills. Younger brother, Seth Nevills will start if neither Cassar nor Nick Nevills are able to rejoin the team.

**While this lineup lacks the star-power of Nolf & Nickal, it could still have 2 to 3 former national champions in it, more than any other team.

Follow @DHenry5k on Twitter.
johnmac47 (1) about 4 years ago
Wow all the comments are about Penn State! I guess that is why Penn State has the best wrestling fans of any University. Amazing, just amazing (ps - I am a Penn State graduate) Believe me Penn State will come through this coming season just like they have in the past - WE ARE!
JacobLaw (1) about 3 years ago
Help at