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TOM’s Class of 2020 DI Recruiting Rankings (Part One)

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photo courtesy of Richard Immel

The Open Mat’s Class of 2020 recruiting class rankings have been released. We have looked at the recruiting classes for every school in the country to evaluate who did the best job of signing talent and addressing needs. Assessing recruiting classes is not an exact science and can differ based on what you value, large 15-man classes, or two to three highly ranked signees. 

A team’s current roster, as well as the impact that the recruit or recruiting class will have on the program, is also considered. For instance, the potential impact a recruit would have on Davidson or VMI’s team, would be much more significant than that same recruit would have at Iowa or Penn State. 

This year, in addition to background information on signees, we have also added a section for each team labeled “Filling Needs.” There we explain how this crop of incoming freshmen will fit in with each school’s existing roster. In some cases, teams have shifted up or down in the rankings based on how we project future lineups. For example, if a team signs three high-quality freshmen that project as 285 lbers, and they already have an NCAA qualifier returning at the weight who is a junior or younger, that would negatively affect their ranking. Even with highly ranked recruits, there’s only so much mat-time to go around.

The 2020 recruiting rankings have been too big to be isolated to just one article. Today we will release the teams ranked 11-25, while tomorrow, the top ten teams will be announced. Below are teams ranked 11-25 and their recruits. TOM has reached out to each school to try and get the most accurate and recent list of recruits. If there is a recruit that is not listed, please let me know at esmith@theopenmat.com

25) Army West Point

#78 Dalton Harkins (Malvern Prep, PA)  157

 #179 Kenny Kiser (Saegertown, PA)  141

Nic Botello (Wyoming Seminary, PA)  133

Kade Carlson (Corner Canyon, UT)  285

Thomas Deck (Madison County, KY)  133

Clayton Fielden (Garrett, IN)  174

Cameron Johnson (Aurora Christian, IL)  141

Zach Keal (Mill Valley, KS)  125

Nathan Lukez (Pine Richland, PA)  149

Preston Maucere (Wyoming Seminary, PA)  141

Joe Metz (Pinecrest, GA)  157

Jake Staud (University, WV)  133

Walker Stephenson (Hillcrest, SC)  184

Kyle Swartz (Northern York, PA)  197

Matthew Williams (Cuyahoga Valley CA, OH)  133

2019 Recruiting Rank: NR; 2018: #18; 2017: #23

Army has a colossal Class of 2020. At this time, it’s uncertain if any of these recruits will go to their prep school or enroll directly. For the intents and purposes of these rankings, we won’t include wrestlers who were at the prep school in 2020-21. Head Coach Kevin Ward’s class is led by Dalton Harkins, one of the breakout stars from the high school season. Harkins finally made it past the National Prep semi’s after falling in that round in the previous three seasons. He went on to grab the title, as he also did at the Walsh Ironman and Beast of the East. The other top-200 recruit in this group is two-time PA state finalist Kenny Kiser, also a three-time placer at the Powerade. Don’t forget about Kyle Swartz, who was a Pennsylvania state champion in 2019, but was injured and did not compete as a senior. Also missing his state meet was Cameron Johnson, a two-time Illinois state champ and three-time finalist. Just outside of the top-200 was two-time Utah champion Kade Carlson, also a two-time Doc Buchanan placer and Walker Stephenson, who twice made the top-eight at the NHSCA grade-level championships.

Filling Needs: With such a large recruiting class, virtually every weight for Ward’s crew received a boost. Their two biggest recruits come at weights that aren’t significant needs, but they will either push for a starting role or strengthen their teammates. 

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