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Jimmy Belleville announced he will sign with Wyoming.

Belleville made his oral commitment to Wyoming in early October after first speaking with officials in the program in April.

“I really like their coach,” Belleville said. “The program is up and coming. They’re underdogs right now. But I have a lot of friends on the team.”

Belleville became the first 2008-09 commitment for Wyoming and for first-year head coach Mark Branch, who was a two-time national champion in the 167-pound weight class at Oklahoma State.

Currently on the Cowboys’ roster are six Washington wrestlers, including Eric Jones, a two-time state champion from Auburn Riverside; Shane Onufer, a two-time state champion from Auburn; and Chase Smith, a state champion from Enumclaw.

Belleville said part of his decision to choose Wyoming was because he knows all six of the Washingtonians on Wyoming’s roster.

“I like to hang out with them,” Belleville said. “I’ve known Eric (Jones) for four or five years.”

Belleville looks to earn his fourth state title this season. He plans to wrestle at 160 pounds after winning titles at 103, 125 and 145 pounds during his first three seasons.

He said he plans to stay with his decision on Wyoming, even though some Big 12 schools will be in touch with him next week. He said Oklahoma, which has Aberdeen’s Erich Schmidtke on its roster, and Iowa plan to call.

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