Army West Point
Coach Kevin Ward and staff have been busy recruiting the best athletes from all over the country to bring back to New York and compete with the best in Division I. In a span of just one week, the Black Knights have recruited two athletes from the Midwest, Gunnar Larson of Indiana and Corey Shie of Ohio. Their latest recruit is two-time Indiana state place winner, Bradley Laughlin of Yorktown High. Laughlin is coming off winning the prestigious Hoosier Open in dominant style. He has advanced to the state tournament every year since his freshman season and has accumulated an overall prep record of 129-17. McLaughlin is projected to compete in the 165 lb weight class.
Two-time PIAA state qualifier Gavin Pack has decided to continue his collegiate career near home, choosing Clarion University. The senior from Brookville High, placed seventh in the state tournament last season in the 113-pound weight division and has won two consecutive District 9 and North West Region titles. Pack has compiled a prep record of 83-20. He is projected to compete in 125 lb. weight class for the Golden Eagles.
The Vikings of Cleveland State landed a huge recruit in Ohio’s Division II state champion Georgio Poullas of Canfield High. With 2016 Eastern Wrestling League fifth place finisher Nathan Wynkoop (165 lbs.) being a senior this upcoming season, Poullas could emerge as the starter for the Vikings in his first season of collegiate wrestling. Poullas is a three-time state place winner, two-time Alliance District champion and has accumulated an overall prep career of 134-14. Last season Poullas was successful in winning the prestigious Brecksville Invitational Holiday Tournament. He is projected to compete in the 165lb. weight class for the Vikings.
University of Minnesota
With the major recent news surrounding the Minnesota wrestling program and the termination of J Robinson, one would think major recruits would think twice about committing to the Gophers. However, that is not the case as the Gophers are still attracting the best recruits from around the country. Their most recent commit is three-time Minnesota Class AAA state champion Brent Jones of Shakopee High. Jones is one of those rare wrestlers that excels in folkstyle and in international styles, Greco-Roman, and freestyle, as he has been a seven-time USAW Fargo All-American. Also, as well as being a three-time state champion, Jones has won the Section 2 AAA tournament three times and has amassed an overall record of 134-4. Jones is projected to compete at either 133 lbs. or 141 lbs. for the Gophers.
The Huskies landed another solid recruit in Illinois, Class A state champion Nolan Baker of Byron High, to add to the arsenal of great wrestlers in the 141lb. weight class. Besides being a state champion in the Land of Lincoln, Baker has garnered USAW Fargo Greco-Roman All-American honors three times. Nolan is on track in becoming Byron’s second two-time state champion. His older brother Nelson, now a student-athlete at Wisconsin-LaCrosse, became the first wrestler to do so, in the rich wrestling history of Byron High, in 2014. In his three years as a varsity wrestler for the Tigers, Baker has accumulated an overall record of 130-12.
Ohio State University
No matter which division a wrestler wins a state title in within Ohio, Head Coach Tom Ryan knows they are all talented enough to be part of Big 10 power, the Ohio State University. With that being said, Coach Ryan searched deep in the state to recruit Division III state champion Zach Steiner of Norwayne High. Steiner has qualified for the state tournament three times and has placed twice at 152 and 170 pounds. Steiner has also won three Garfield Heights District titles and owns a prep record of 142-15. He is expected to challenge for a spot in the 174 or 184-pound weight class in the near future.
University of Pittsburgh
PIAA state place winner Dallas Bulsak, of South Park High, has decided to follow in the footsteps of his club coach Tyler Nauman and compete for the Panthers at the University of Pittsburgh. Bulsak picked Pitt over other PA schools such as Clarion and Lock Haven as well as schools outside the state such as Kent State. Bulsak has advanced to the state tournament twice; the first time was when he was a freshman (106 lbs.) and last year as a junior in the 138 weight class. As a sophomore, an elbow injury prevented him from competing in wrestling most of the year. He owns a career record of 78-25 and he is projected to compete in either the 141 or 149-pound weight class for the Panthers.
The Purdue University coaching staff will be acquiring the services of the No. 13 ranked wrestler in the nation at 138 pounds in Parker Filius of Havre High. Filius is considered by many of his peers as the best wrestler in the state of Montana for this upcoming season. Besides being a three-time Montana Class A state champion, Filius has also earned All-American honors in the always tough USAW Fargo Nationals. Filius is projected to compete in at 141 or 149 pounds for the Boilermakers.
The third-ranked 132 in the country, Mitch Moore out of St. Paris Graham (OH), will join his brother Brent in Blacksburg. The two-time Ohio state champion is also the 12th ranked junior overall. As a class of 2018 prospect, Moore will be part of the next wave of Hokie wrestlers that replace the current crop of standouts such as Solomon Chisko, David McFadden and Zach Zavatsky who are all sophomores this season.