photo courtesy of Chris Mora; TechFall.com
Last night one of the biggest remaining recruits from the Class of 2019 made his college decision public when Brevin Balmeceda (South Dade, FL) gave a verbal commitment to the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Within the last calendar year, Balmeceda has won the 152 lb bracket at both the Super 32 and NHSCA Junior Nationals. At the Super 32, he defeated California state champ Joshua Kim, West Virginia state champ Josh Humphreys, and New Jersey state champ Cole Corrigan in his final three matches. During those three matches, all against seniors from the Class of 2018, he only surrendered one point combined. Part of the reason for the lack of scoring from his competition is Brevin’s suffocating top game. He is the best wrestler in the Class of 2019 from the top position. Balmeceda is ranked 10th overall in the Class of 2019, first at 160 lbs, and was one of only two top ten wrestlers that were uncommitted. He should fit in perfectly for the Cowboys, as all of their top options at 157 lbs will be seniors in 2018-19.
Monday night also saw one of the juniors in the nation commit to a college when #46 overall Kai Bele (Lake Highland Prep, FL) pledged to NC State. Bele was a Florida state champion at 160 lbs as a sophomore. In 2017-18 he also placed top-six at the Walsh Ironman, the Beast of the East, and the Powerade. Currently, Kai is ranked 18th in the country at 170 lbs. At this point Bele project to be a 174 lber for the Wolfpack. That weight class doesn’t appear to be a huge need with projected starter Thomas Bullard in his sophomore season and blue-chip recruit Trent Hidlay in his freshman season, but a lot can change in two years. Bele wasn’t the only junior that has committed to Pat Popolizio’s squad, local product Donald Cates (Northern Durham, NC) has also given NC State a verbal commitment. Cates had a breakout tournament in Fargo this summer taking third at Cadet Freestyle while wrestling at 152 lbs. This was after failing to place as a sophomore at the North Carolina state tournament. NC State could be getting in early on a diamond in the rough with Cates.
Arizona State was able to pick up their second top-100 recruit from California in the past week. Over the weekend #78 Cleveland Belton (St. John Bosco, CA), committed to the Sun Devils, now it is #86 Trey Munoz (Trabuco Hills, CA). Munoz was a California state runner-up at 152 lbs during his junior season. He was also a champion at the Five Counties and runner-up at the Doc Buchanan. After the high school season, Munoz was third at Junior Folkstyle Nationals and then injured at the UWW Cadet World Team Trials. Trey projects at either 157 or 165 lbs for the Sun Devils which will be needed after the current class of juniors graduates. He is the son of 2001 NCAA Champion Mark Munoz, who is probably now more known for his time in the UFC.
For all of the college commitments, check out TOM’s college commitment page.