Gabe Hixenbaugh photo courtesy of Bob Gathany; AL.com
Though we just passed through Labor Day Weekend, a break from recruiting was the last thing on most coaches minds. In fact, it was a time to ramp up their recruiting efforts. September 1st marked the first day that college coaches could have contact with high school juniors, so it was a crucial time in the recruiting process. With so much happening on the recruiting front, it was inevitable that we would have some notable verbals to report, so here are some of the recruiting results from the weekend.
We have already got into the biggest recruiting news of the weekend, with Ryan Anderson (Bethlehem Catholic, PA) the top-ranked 145 lber in the nation committing to Iowa State. However, that was not the only new verbal Head Coach Kevin Dresser’s staff received. They also picked up an in-state commitment from rising junior Cody Fisher (Woodward-Granger, IA). Cody is a two-time Iowa state runner-up at 195 lbs in the 2A level. In the summer of 2017, after his freshman year, Fisher was a Cadet All-American in Fargo, placing seventh in freestyle and eighth in Greco-Roman. He is the first wrestler from the Class of 2020 to commit to the Cyclones.
One of the top wrestlers from the Class of 2020 gave a verbal commitment, though his choice should come as no surprise. Greg Diakomihalis (Hilton, NY), the second-ranked 113 lber in the nation, has given a verbal commitment to wrestle at Cornell. Of course, Greg’s older brother Yianni was an NCAA Champion as a freshman for the Big Red, so getting Greg aboard is pretty standard. The most recent notable tournament that Greg attended was the UWW Cadet Freestyle WTT’s where he took third-place at 51 kg. Diakomihalis’ only loss was a one-point decision to the eventual Cadet World Champion Matt Ramos (Lockport, IL) 4-3. In the consolations, Greg pinned this year’s Junior National Champ in Fargo Cullan Schriever (Mason City, IA). Last summer Diakomihalis went to Fargo and was third in Cadet Freestyle at 106 lbs. In the TOM’s August update, Cornell was leading the recruiting rankings for the Class of 2019, so with Greg already committed for next year, the Class of 2020 is already off to a big start.
Another notable rising junior has decided to stay in-state, and that is Connor O’Neil (DePaul Catholic, NJ), who has committed to Rutgers. Connor’s stock has risen after a tremendous spring and summer. He was a finalist at both NHSCA Sophomore Nationals (152 lbs) and Cadet Freestyle Nationals in Fargo (160 lbs). During high school competition, O’Neil has qualified twice for the New Jersey State Championships but has yet to make the podium. He experienced a huge growth spurt in between his freshman and sophomore year, going from 120 lbs to 152. He is the first wrestler to commit to the Scarlet Knights from the Class of 2020.
Now moving back into the Class of 2019, Campbell picked up a commitment from the 18th-ranked 132 lber in the nation Gabe Hixenbaugh (Thompson, AL). Heading into his senior year, Gabe already is a four-time Alabama state champion, who was a Cadet Freestyle All-American in 2017 when he finished fifth at 126 lbs. During the high school season, Hixenbaugh was second at the Cheesehead, scoring a victory of 2018 Fargo Champ Keegan O’Toole (Arrowhead, WI). He joins Jason Kraisser (Centennial, MD) as ranked wrestlers that have committed to Head Coach Cary Kolat thus far from the Class of 2019.
Columbia has added to what already looks like a solid recruiting class for the upcoming season. Their latest commitment comes from Kyle Mosher (South Side, NY), who has placed fifth and fourth at the state tournament in each of the past two seasons. This spring at NHSCA Junior Nationals, Mosher came in fourth at 145 lbs. He is already the third senior to give a verbal to the Lions.
For all of these recruits and more, check out TOM’s college commitment page.