photo courtesy of Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com
The top recruit in the HS Class of 2021 is officially off the board as Shayne Van Ness has verbally committed to wrestle for Penn State. Shayne was supposed to be in action at FloWrestling’s Who’s #1 in early October, but he has already pulled out with an injury. At WNO, he was in a four-man mini-tournament alongside Jesse Mendez, Jordan Williams, and Joel Vandevere. It was at that same event, in 2019, that Van Ness solidified his top ranking at 132 lbs and made his case for the top pound-for-pound wrestler in the Class of 2021. There he defeated Mendez in the finals after downing Nebraska-signee Dominick Serrano earlier in the evening. Van Ness has competed at the National Prep Championships twice, earning runner-up honors as a sophomore, before winning a title in 2020.
Cael Sanderson’s Nittany Lions are putting together a star-studded Class of 2021 as Van Ness will join #3 Alex Facundo as seniors that have verbally pledged to Penn State. Van Ness certainly could fill a need for Penn State who will be losing Nick Lee after the 2020-21 season (provided he doesn’t redshirt). Even if he did, it would give Van Ness a year to redshirt himself. There was some thought that Shayne may stay home in New Jersey, as his father Rodney was a standout at Rutgers. Cornell and Ohio State were also in the final group for Shayne.
Once he signs, Van Ness will be the fourth #1 overall recruit to sign with the Nittany Lions under Cael Sanderson, joining Mark Hall (‘16), Morgan McIntosh (‘11), and David Taylor (‘09).
For all of the latest collegiate commitments, check out TOM’s College Commitment Page.