Cleveland Belton photo courtesy of Tony Rotundo; WrestlersAreWarriors.com
Friday capped off a busy week of recruiting news. Over the past few days, TOM has reported on Iowa getting verbals from a pair of top Juniors. Now we have three more top 100 seniors that have made their college commitments known.
Maryland picked up a second verbal commitment from an Ohio high schooler from Wadsworth’s Michael North. In the past two years, North has placed fourth and third at the Ohio state tournament. His fourth-place finish came in one of the most challenging brackets in the country. The three wrestlers that finished ahead of him are all currently ranked in the top-eight in the nation at either 145 or 152 lbs. After the high school season this spring, North won a title in the 145 lb class at FloNationals. At that event, he defeated UWW Cadet World Team Trials finalist Joshua Otto (Arrowhead, WI) and graduating seniors Peter Enos (Francis Howell, MO) and Kolby Ho (Dubois, PA). Michael kicked off his high school season with a fourth-place finish at the Walsh Ironman. North projects as either a 149 or 157 lber for the Terps, either of which will need help in the near future. The other Ohio native that has given a verbal to Head Coach Kerry McCoy’s crew is seventh-ranked 120 lber Lucas Byrd (LaSalle, OH) He is currently the 73rd ranked wrestler among the Class of 2019.
Arizona State continues to put together an impressive recruiting class, and now they have their third top-100 recruit in Cleveland Belton (St. John Bosco, CA). Cleveland is currently ranked 78th overall in the Class of 2019 and 11th at 132 lbs. Belton will be shooting for his third California state championships in 2018-19, which is an incredible feat in their one-class system. Like North, Belton also competed at FloNationals where he placed fourth at 120 lbs. During the high school regular season, Cleveland won titles at the Battle for the Belt and the Doc Buchanan Invitational. After winning 2017’s preseason Journeyman Fall Classic, Belton did not place at the Super 32 and then the Walsh Ironman. He will wrestle at either 133 or 141 lbs for the Sun Devils. ASU already has a verbal from highly touted Nick Raimo (Hanover Park, NJ) who could wrestle at either weight, as well.
Under the direction of Angel Escobedo, the Indiana Hoosiers have put together a strong 2019 recruiting class. Their latest commitment comes from Asa Garcia (Avon, IN), a 2018 Indiana state champion. Garcia is the 90th overall recruit in the Class of 2019. Keeping such a highly regarded recruit such as Asa in-state is a massive win for Escobedo. He was also third at FloNationals and seventh at the 2017 Super 32 while competing at 126 lbs. He projects to be a future 133 lber for the Hoosiers.
The Golden Gophers of Minnesota had a hectic and productive recruiting week. They received four verbals from members of the Class of 2019. Baylor Fernandes (Lockport, IL) will join high school teammate Matt Ramos who has already given a verbal to Head Coach Brandon Eggum’s squad. Fernandes is currently ranked 19th at the 145 lb weight class. Baylor was fourth in the Illinois 3A state tournament in 2017-18. This summer he went 3-2 in Fargo at the Junior National Freestyle tournament and 6-1 at Junior Freestyle Duals. One of those wins at the duals came over fellow Gopher commit Cael Carlson (Willmar, MN). Cael was a Minnesota state champion last year at 138 lbs. In Fargo, Cael won a Junior Greco-Roman National Champion at 145 pounds. Another Minnesota recruit with a connection to Carlson is Sebas Swiggum (Apple Valley, MN), who fell in the 2018 state finals to Carlson’s cousin Clay. Swiggum won his first four matches in Fargo’s Junior Freestyle this summer before dropping his next two and missed out on AA’ing. The final recruit to commit to Minnesota this week is Rowan Morgan (Mounds View, MN). He was fifth this past year at 184 lbs at the Minnesota AAA State Tournament.
Finally, Penn continued to add to their 2019 recruiting class, which was already named fifth in the nation in August’s early recruiting rankings for the Class of 2019, by getting a commit from Gabe Miller (Pequea Valley, PA), a two-time Pennsylvania state placewinner. As a sophomore Miller only lost one bout the entire season and took third place, while he finished sixth in Pennsylvania’s AA division the next season. In 2017, Gabe was a Fargo All-American taking sixth in Junior Freestyle. He was also seventh at last year’s preseason Journeyman Fall Classic.
For all of the college, commitments check out TOM’s College Commitment page.