Each week more recruits make their college choices known, This week was no exception with one of the top 100 wrestlers in the Class of 2019 committing to a DI school. Also, one of the years best recruiting classes got a bit stronger.
The University of Virginia has gotten on the recruiting board in a big way. Head Coach Steve Garland’s crew received a verbal commitment from James Whitaker (St. John’s, MI), who won his first Michigan state title in 2017-18. After the high school season, James won the 138 lb weight class at FloNationals, which helped propel him to a 61st overall ranking in the Class of 2019. Last fall Whitaker placed fifth at the Super 32 and won Michigan’s Grappler Fall Classic. James projects to be a 149 lber, which is a good fit for the Cavaliers. Their current starter Sam Krivus is a junior so he could finish up his career while Whitaker redshirts in 2019-20.
Whitaker wasn’t the only wrestler this week to commit to the Cavaliers, Nick Coy (Penn Trafford, PA) did so, as well. Coy was a state placewinner last season in Pennsylvania largest division, taking fifth at 132 lbs. Nick will join his older brother Cam at the University of Virginia. Cam was a top recruit that redshirted for UVA in 2018-19. The younger Coy looks like he could wrestle at either 133 or 141 in college.
Little Rock got their second verbal from a wrestler in the Class of 2018. Of course, the school will not compete until 2019-20 but that isn’t stopping Head Coach Neil Erisman from getting a few wrestlers on campus this season to begin training and competing in open tournaments. The recent verbal came from Zach Lee (Kaukauna, WI) a two-time Wisconsin state placer. Lee was second in 2018 as a senior, losing by a point in the finals to 13th ranked Josh Otto. Erisman’s first verbal came from another wrestler from the Class of 2018, Connor Ward of Mill Valley, Kansas. Ward was a four-time Kansas state finalist who broke through to capture his first state title during his senior season at 145 lbs.
Penn continues to add to an already impressive recruiting class. In early August TOM ranked the top recruiting classes for the Class of 2019, and the Quakers were fifth. Their latest commitment comes from Jake Stefanowicz (Wyoming Seminary, PA). Recently Stefanowicz placed in both styles (eighth in freestyle at 160 and sixth in Greco at 170) in the Junior division at Fargo. During the high school season, Jake was fourth at the National Prep Championships. He will man either 165 or 174 for Penn.
Nebraska has once again crossed into Iowa to sign a state champion after doing so last season with Alex Thomsen and the year before with Wyatt Wriedt. This time around its two-time state champion John Henrich (Akron-Westfield, IA). John won both of his state titles at 160 lbs. As a freshman and middle schooler, Henrich lived in South Dakota and placed third at their state tournament, twice.
For a list of all commitments from 2019 and beyond, check out TOM’s College Commitments