Zack Ryder at the 2022 U17 World Team Trials (photo courtesy of Tony Rotundo; WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
With most of the very top-level recruits from the Class of 2023 already spoken for, it's time for most schools to focus their attention on the current high school juniors. That was the case for Penn State, which received a verbal commitment from one of the top overall wrestlers in the Class of 2024, Zack Ryder (Minisink Valley, NY). Today, Ryder announced his choice via social media.
Ryder is currently the fourth overall wrestler in the junior class and the second-ranked 182 lber in the nation. Last week, Ryder competed at Who's #1 and fell to Illinois' Brayden Thompson, 4-3. Earlier this summer, Ryder picked up some hardware at the U17 World Championships, when he grabbed the bronze medal at 80 kg. To make the team, Ryder downed Wisconsin's Connor Mirasola in two-straight matches at the U17 Trials.
There are other notable placements from Ryder that make him one of the most sought-after recruits in the nation. At the beginning of his sophomore year, Ryder finished third at 157 lbs at the Walsh Ironman. A few months earlier, he was fifth at the Super 32. Last summer, Ryder brought home a stop sign from Fargo when he won the 16U bracket in freestyle at 152 lbs.
Ryder already has a pair of New York state titles under his belt, heading into his junior year.
At the next level, Ryder projects as a 184 lber for the Nittany Lions. Penn State has Michigan's Josh Barr in the mix in the Class of 2023, who could go 174/184 for them in the future. Aside from Barr, there isn't a clear-cut 184 lber waiting in the wings for the Nittany Lions, at least once Ryder is slated to step foot on campus.
While PSU has a verbal from the Class of 2025, this is their first verbal from the Class of 2024.
For more on the recruiting front, check out InterMat's Commitment Page.