Last week we unveiled our “Decade of Pennsylvania High School Recruiting,” which was received warmly by the fans of PA wrestling. We started with Pennsylvania because it consistently churns out DI competition that can only be matched by a few other states. One of those states is New Jersey.
At the 2019 NCAA Championships, four New Jersey natives brought home national titles. They, along with PA, were the only states with more that one individual champion. Of those four champions, two (Nick Suriano and Anthony Ashnault) did so for Rutgers, becoming the programs first NCAA title winners, and two ventured out-of-state (Mekhi Lewis - Virginia Tech; Anthony Cassar - Penn State). As the numbers below will confirm, since the arrival of Scott Goodale at Rutgers, before the 2007-08 season, the Scarlet Knights have been a recruiting force. Before Goodale, most of the Garden State’s best went beyond its state borders. Along with Rutgers’ improvement, Princeton has put together one of the best turnarounds in college athletics. While the school’s academic side has always spoken for itself, Chris Ayres’ team’s success has sparked new interest on the recruiting trail. They have been able to retain their share of top talent, as well. The state’s third DI program Rider has remained consistent and managed to grab some blue-chippers, while also developing some diamonds in the rough.
Not only does the state of New Jersey have some of the best high schoolers in the nation, but they also have a state tournament that features only one class. Just about anyone who gets on the podium in New Jersey is battle-tested and capable of handling the rigors of DI wrestling. If that isn’t enough, the most consistent force in high school wrestling, Blair Academy, is in New Jersey. Blair competes at the National Prep level and features some of the state’s best wrestlers, along with others from around the country.
Below you will find an alphabetical listing of all DI teams that have signed a top-150 recruit from New Jersey in the last decade (2011-20). In parentheses, you’ll find their high school, followed by their ranking in their respective recruiting class. The rankings are courtesy of TOM from 2017-20 and before that, they are from my old D1CW site. Also, to credit schools that have developed talent once they made it to the wrestling room, I’ve also included non-ranked wrestlers that ended up either earning All-American honors or receiving a top-16 seed at the NCAA Tournament.
Wrestlers that are from out-of-state but went to Blair Academy have been counted. Those from New Jersey that wrestled at an out-of-state school such as Wyoming Seminary were not factored in. We also only factored in wrestlers that signed with a college initially. Transfers were not included/updated.
John Boyle (Rutherford) Class of 2012/NR
Nick Raimo (Hanover Park) #23 Class of 2019
Army West Point
Russ Parsons (Blair Academy) #28 Class of 2013
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