Lee/Retherford photos courtesy of Cam Kramer; Wood photo courtesy of Benjamin Wang; BrownandWhite.com
Over the weekend, Lehigh received a huge verbal commitment from Ryan Crookham, the number-two overall recruit in the Class of 2022. Crookham would be the highest-ranked recruit to sign with the Mountain Hawks since #1 David Craig in 2006 and the first top-ten get since Mason Beckman in the Class of 2011. Ryan also happens to go to high school less than ten miles away from Lehigh’s Bethlehem, Pennsylvania campus. That led to the question, which schools do the best in signing talent from Pennsylvania. Why Pennsylvania? Year-in and year-out, the Keystone State is home to the best collection of high school wrestlers in the nation and, by extension, sends the most wrestlers to the NCAA Tournament at the DI level. In 2019-20, 48 Pennsylvania natives punched their tickets to the national tournament. At the 2019 national tournament, 16 of the 80 DI All-Americans were from PA. Pennsylvania has produced at least one NCAA champion in eight of the last nine years (20 during that span).
Suffice to say, being able to recruit in PA can be critical to a winning program. A Penn State team that won eight of the last nine national titles has featured a roster littered with in-state studs. Even the Iowa Hawkeyes that seemed poised to win the championship in 2020 had half of their lineup consisting of Pennsylvania wrestlers.
Below you will find an alphabetical listing of all DI teams that have signed a top-150 recruit from Pennsylvania 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 Wyoming Seminary have been counted. Those from Pennsylvania that wrestled at an out-of-state school such as Blair Academy were not factored in. We also only factored in wrestlers that signed with a college initially. Transfers were not included/updated.
Gage Curry (North Hills) #111 Class of 2016
Jeric Kasunic (Benton) Class of 2014/NR
Julian Chlebove (Northampton) #12 Class of 2019
Josh Shields (Franklin Regional) #13 Class of 2015
Josh Maruca (Franklin Regional) #55 Class of 2015
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