Recruiting, recruiting, everyone loves to talk recruiting! Every year since I’ve been at TOM, I’ve released a “Recruiting Rewind,” which focuses on a specific year and how its recruits developed (or didn’t) during their collegiate careers. That article is always well-received and puts college wrestling into perspective for some. Building on that, let’s look team-by-team at how some of the country’s top programs have fared on the recruiting trail and pick out some of the strengths and tendencies.
We’ll move on to an NC State team that has emerged as a consistent national power on the mat and on the recruiting trail. The Wolfpack had six straight top-20 finishes at the NCAA Tournament from 2014-19 and seemed poised for number seven before the cancelation of the 2020 Championships. Coach Pat Popolizio’s team finished the 2019-20 season 15-0 and had four of its national qualifiers seeded in the top-ten. During the NCAA Championships in 2018, NC State tied for fourth in the country and brought home a team trophy for the first time in program history. The team competes in an ACC conference that is ever-improving, but has managed to stand out from the rest of the pack (no pun intended). They captured a title at the ACC Championships for the second consecutive year, a feat the school hasn’t accomplished since 2001-02, and for the third time in five years.
Here are NC State’s top recruits from the high school classes of 2014-2020. While there were obviously more signings during each year, these were the ones with the most pre-college credentials and expectations. The numbers next to each name denote their final, overall ranking in their respective class. Classes from 2018-20 are via TOM, while the years before that are from my old D1CW site. We’ve also noted some key transfers that were added, too.