Today marked an important day on the recruiting calendar. It is the first time that collegiate coaches can contact wrestlers from the Class of 2022 (rising juniors). This is a crucial time for the future of these wrestling programs in a recruiting game that continues to trend younger and younger. For instance, only three of the top 10 wrestlers from the Class of 2021 and six of the top 25 are currently uncommitted. Collegiate commitments will start flying soon for these rising juniors. Hence, coaches have to develop a relationship early with the juniors or risk missing out, especially on the upper echelon of recruits.
With today being the unofficial start to a new recruiting cycle, it was the right time to check out the needs for some of the nation’s elite programs. We’ve combed through the rosters, projected starting lineups, and verbal commitments for the teams that finished in the top-15 of TOM’s dual rankings and tried to highlight needs of all 15 squads.
The Hawkeyes are coming off of a tremendous recruiting class (ranked #5) in 2020 and already have a strong crew penciled in for 2021. While 2020-21 will see Tom Brands’ team look to replace six starters, there is plenty of talented already in the pipeline to Iowa State. Particularly at the lightweights. Jesse Ybarra and Cullan Schriever will be true freshmen in 2020-21 and Gavin Teasdale has three more years of eligibility. Now, throw in top 2021 recruit Drake Ayala into the mix, 125-141 will be strong for the foreseeable future. You may be able to throw Wyatt Henson (’21) into the mix, too. Henson competed last year at the 138 lb weight class. Provided there are no injuries, the upperweights are in good shape, as well. The real area of focus for the Iowa staff should be around 157, though word out of Iowa is that Caleb Rathjen (’21) has gotten much bigger than his 2020 weight of 138 may indicate. If that’s the case, Iowa can just continue to build upon its current strengths.
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