American University (EIWA)
Last week, via Twitter, 2016 PIAA state medalist Niko Camacho of Bethlehem Catholic High announced his decision to continue his academic and athletic career at American University. Camacho had a great 2015-2016 season that saw him win the King of the Mountain tournament and place third at the Beast of the East tournament. Camacho will be one of the favorites next season to become the 21st wrestler for the Golden Hawks to gain an individual PIAA state title. Camacho is projected to compete in the 285-pound weight division for the Eagles.
Air Force (Big 12)
Illinois Class 2A state champion Lenny Petersen, of Crystal Lake Central, will continue his education and wrestling career in the Air Force. Petersen has advanced to the state tournament each season since his freshman year and has placed twice (6th and 1st). Petersen has accumulated a prep record of 116-29 and he is expected to compete in the 141-pound weight division for the Falcons.
Brown University (EIWA)
Coach Todd Beckerman and staff will be acquiring the services of two-time Indiana state medalist Evan Ellis, of Eastern High, to give much-needed support to the 285-pound weight class. Besides being a two-time state medalist, Ellis has earned All-American Honors at USAW Folkstyle Nationals three times (2nd, 4th, and 2nd). He is a two-time Semi-State, Regional, and Section champion, while assembling a 109-13 career record.
Bucknell University (EIWA)
Illinois Class 2A third-place state medalist Jack Mulay, of Mt. Carmel High, has decided to continue his career at Bucknell University. Mulay had a great 2015-2016 season that saw him win medals at such prestigious events as the Al Dvorak Memorial and Cheesehead Invitational. Mulay has accumulated an overall prep record of 94-43 competing for the Golden Aces. Mulay is projected to compete in the 157-pound weight class for the Bison.
Fresno State (TBD)
Coach Troy Steiner is getting Fresno State ready to compete with the best in the nation once they open competition. Steiner got a huge commitment this past week when 2016 NJCAA finalist Chris Garcia of Clackamas College decided to bring his talents to the Fresno area. Prior to competing at Clackamas College, Garcia was a three-time California state medalist for Clovis West High. Garcia is projected to compete in the 149-pound weight class for the Bulldogs.
Every wrestling fan knows that wrestlers from St. Edward High in Ohio are tough and many have gone on to be great collegiate wrestlers. That’s one of the reasons why Coach Joel Sharratt decided to recruit Ohio state medalist Tyler Stepic. Stepic had a great 2015-2016 season that saw him place at the tough Walsh Ironman and Cheesehead tournaments. Other colleges that were interested were Buffalo, Clarion, and Ashland. Stepic is projected to compete in the 184-pound weight class for the Midshipmen.
North Carolina State (ACC)
North Carolina State is fast becoming a place where the best wrestlers from across the country feel they can become part of a new collegiate dynasty. Two-time Indiana state qualifier Jarod Swank, of Penn High, wants to be part of that dynasty and hence the reason he committed to the Wolfpack. Swank is a three-time Regional and Sectional finalist and has amassed an overall prep record of 94-18. Swank is projected to compete in the 157/165 weight class for the Wolfpack.
University of Missouri (MAC)
Coach Brian Smith got huge news last week as two-time USAW Fargo Junior Greco-Roman champion Dack Punke, of Washington High, announced his decision to compete for the Missouri Tigers. Dack, who is ranked #15 in the nation in the 113-pound weight class, will be a perfect replacement for the Tigers after NCAA national qualifier Barlow McGhee (125lbs.) graduates in 2018. Dack is not only a great Greco-Roman athlete but also an excellent folkstyle wrestler as well. He has medaled three times in the Illinois state tournament (3rd, 2nd, and 1st) and placed seventh in the toughest tournament in the country, the Walsh Ironman.
University of Oklahoma (Big12)
Three-time Ohio state champion Kyle Lawson, of Olentangy Liberty, has had a change of heart as he de-committed from the University of Wisconsin to attend the University of Oklahoma. Lawson is already four-time state medalist, he was the 2013 Kentucky state runner-up as an eighth grader for Woodford County High, and has placed twice in the always tough Walsh Ironman tournament. He has compiled an overall prep record of 169-12 and he is ranked fifth in the nation in the 170-pound weight class. Lawson is projected to compete at 165/174 for the Sooners.
2016 Georgia Class 5A state runner-up Davion Fairley of Union Grove High, will stay in the South as he has verbally committed to compete for SoCon power Chattanooga. Fairley has advanced to the Georgia state tournament each season since his freshman year and has medaled twice (3rd and 2nd). Fairley is projected to compete in the 125/133 pound weight class for the Mocs.
Virginia Military Institute (SoCon)
Two-time National Prep qualifier Brady Biller, of Benedictine College Prep, will be staying local and competing for former Division I All-American Chris Skretkowicz at VMI. Seeded ninth entering the 2016 National Prep tournament, Biller had the misfortune of not medaling in the tournament as he fell in the blood round. This was the second successive year he finished in the round of 12. Biller is a two-time Virginia Independent Schools state finalist and will be looking to gain his second state title this upcoming season. Biller is projected to compete in the 125/133 pound weight class for the Keydets.
Virginia Tech (ACC)
One of the top recruits out of the Garden State, Mekhi Lewis, announced last week his decision to compete for ACC power Virginia Tech. A versatile athlete, Lewis has placed three-times in the New Jersey state tournament (7th, 3rd, and 2nd) and has also won the Region V tournament all three years of his high school career. Last year he was victorious against Cadet World Champion Jared Verkleeren, who is ranked # 2 in the nation at 145-pounds, to advance to the finals of the Powerade Tournament. Lewis owns a 118-12 prep record and he is projected to compete in the 157/165 weight class for the Hokies.
Lindenwood University (Super II Region)
Two-time Illinois state qualifier and three-time Fargo All-American Blake Zalapi, of Hononegah High, has verbally committed to attend Lindenwood and compete for Coach Jimmy Rollins. Zalapi is not your typical upper weight wrestler as he has great mat awareness and wrestles like a light weight. Last season, he placed third in the always tough Al Dvorak Memorial Invitational and won the InterMat J.J. Classic with ease. Zalapi owns a 98-31 prep record and is projected to compete in the 285-pound weight class for the Lions.
Grand View University (Central Region)
Five-time NAIA champions Grand View University is thrilled to be acquiring the services of 2016 Iowa Class 3A runner-up Adam Brown of Southeast Polk High. Brown, who is one of the front-runners to claim an individual state championship next season, is a three-time state medalist (5th, 8th, and 2nd) and also a three-time District Champion. As a three-year starter for the Rams, Brown has accumulated an 83-31 prep record, and is projected to compete in the 133-pound weight class for the Vikings.