photo courtesy of Brian O’Mahoney/Daily Southtown
Tuesday was one of the biggest days in recruiting in recent memory. There were five wrestlers ranked in the top ten of their respective weight classes that committed to DI school. Three of those five wrestlers ranked among the top 100 wrestlers in the Class of 2019. Finally, there was another Cadet world team member that gave a verbal, as well. Below are the star wrestlers that committed yesterday and how they will fit in with their future teams.
The Open Mat’s 24th ranked wrestler in the Class of 2019 Travis Ford-Melton (Marian, IL) announced that he will be continuing his collegiate career wrestling for Purdue. Getting the third-ranked 126 lber Ford-Melton is a massive coup for Boilermakers Head Coach Tony Ersland. After winning an Illinois state title as a freshman, Travis has taken second and then third the past two seasons. His weight class in 2017-18 was one of the toughest in the nation featuring Anthony Molton (Lockport, Il), Joey Melendez (Montini Catholic, IL) and others. Last fall Travis was a Super 32 runner-up and had twice been a finalist in Fargo at Cadet freestyle. Ford-Melton projects as a 133 lber for Purdue, which is definitely a need as projected starter Ben Thornton will be a senior this season. His commitment now gives the Boilermakers two top 75 recruits, joining heavyweight Eli Pokorney. Although Ersland’s staff only has two verbals at this point in time, they are very high quality and could be the beginning of a recruiting class that exceeds 2018’s top 20 ranking.
While it seemed like on paper Cameron Amine (Detroit Central Catholic, MI) to Michigan was a mere formality, given the Amine family history at the program, Cameron stated earlier in the summer that he would explore all of his options. Ultimately Amine chose the familiar Wolverines, where his uncle Mike was an NCAA finalist and his cousins Malik and Myles are currently on the team. Now, the younger Amine is ranked third in the nation at 152 lbs and 30th overall in the Class of 2019. This summer Cameron was sixth in Junior Freestyle at Fargo, though he was banged up in his semifinal bout and defaulted through the remainder of the tournament. Collegiately will likely wrestle 165 for Michigan, which fits in well. He could redshirt his first year while Logan Massa finishes up.
The final top 100 recruit that has committed in the past 48 hours is #83 Luke Baughman (Wadsworth, OH) who will wrestle at Indiana. Baughman was an Ohio state runner-up in 2017-18 at 138 lbs, after losing to eventual Fargo champ Bryce Andonian. He was fourth in the state as a sophomore, as well. Last year Baughman was fourth at the Walsh Ironman. Luke is the second top 100 recruit to commit to Indiana, joining Matt Ortiz (Montini Catholic, IL), this year. In past years the Hoosiers have struggled to compete with the rest of the Big Ten in recruits, so this has been an excellent start for first-year head coach Angel Escobedo. Luke projects as a 149 lber for Indiana.
The latest wrestler to join an imposing recruiting class for North Dakota State is Corey Gamet (Western, MI). Currently, Gamet is ranked ninth in the country at 120 lbs after a fifth-place finish at Junior freestyle nationals in Fargo. Two years ago he won Cadet freestyle. Corey will be going for his third Michigan state title this school year. Bison Head Coach Roger Kish is a Michigan native and was a legendary high school wrestler in the state, so you have to believe his roots in the state helped land, Gamet. The North Dakota State has hit the recruiting trail hard this year, and they now have their second wrestler ranked in the top ten of his respective weight class joining tenth-ranked 182 lber Gary Wokojance (Barberton, OH). Gamet projects as a 125 lber for the Bison. Although their current starter Brent Fleetwood will graduate in 2019, they do have Paul Bianchi in the mix, as well, so 125 isn’t a huge need, but it always helps to sign a wrestler with Gamet’s pedigree.
Oklahoma will keep one of their state’s best Senior’s at home with the commitment of Josh Heindselman (Piedmont, OK). Josh, an Oklahoma 5A state champion, is currently ranked tenth in the nation at 220 lbs. Over the high school offseason, Heindselman placed fifth at both the UWW Cadet World Team Trials in freestyle and at Junior freestyle nationals in Fargo. He also was seventh in Junior Greco, as well. Josh could wrestle at either 197 or 285 for the Sooners. Both of those weight classes have a freshman as projected starters, so it’s unclear where this will fill a need. It is clear that Oklahoma has needed to win some of the battles for in-state recruits, so getting a commitment from Heindselman is big for Head Coach Lou Rosselli and his staff. Their 2019 recruiting class is starting to round into a formidable group, as Heindselman will join Sam Dover (St. Edward, OH) and Jake Stiles (Montini Catholic, IL).
Finally, NC State added to their impressive class with the commitment from Hunter Lewis (Stoughton, WI). The summer Lewis made the Cadet world team in Greco-Roman and competed in Zagreb, Croatia. Hunter is a two-time state finalist and 2018 Wisconsin state champion for Stoughton High School. Lewis joins 2019 recruits, Sammy Alvarez, as possible 125 lbers of the future for the Wolfpack. At this point in September NC State already has seven wrestlers from the Class of 2019 that have given them verbals.
For all of the college commitments, check out TOM’s college commitments page.