Oklahoma wrestling Head Coach Lou Rosselli during the 2021 Big 12 Championships on March 6, at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Photo by
The uncertainty surrounding the future of Big 12 wrestling and its member institutions certainly doesn’t seem to be negatively impacting Oklahoma Sooners head coach, the 2021 Big 12 Coach of the Year, Lou Rosselli, on the recruiting front.
— Oklahoma Wrestling (@OU_Wrestling) March 8, 2021
Earlier this week, Rosselli and Co. secured verbal pledges from a pair of Class of 2023 grapplers in AJ Heeg (Edmond, OK) and KJ Evans (Oklahoma City, OK).
“Proud to announce I’ll be continuing my academic and athletic career at the University Of Oklahoma! Thanks to my coaches and family for helping me get here!” Heeg said via Twitter.
Proud to announce I’ll be continuing my academic and athletic career at the University Of Oklahoma! Thanks to my coaches and family for helping me get here! @LouRosselli @TheDarkhorse197 @Mike_Lightner34 @SamTheHaze @OU_Wrestling @FloWrestling @MatScoutWillie @o__wrestle pic.twitter.com/xOs9HfCyOd— AJ Heeg (@AJ_Heeg) September 27, 2021
“Blessed and proud to say I’ll be continuing my athletic and academic career at the university of Oklahoma. OU has been a school I’ve wanted to go to since I was a child and to be offered an opportunity to do what I love their is a huge blessing. From the people on the team to the coaches and facilities I love the school. I really think ou is the place that can take me to the next level I wanna be at. I’d like to thank all my friends family and coaches who got me here couldn’t have done it without u. #boomersooner,” Evans said via Instagram.
Heeg made waves last season after knocking off top-rated Angelo Ferrari (Stillwater, OK) to win a 6A Oklahoma state title at 152. This offseason, though, the Edmond Memorial high schooler has bulked up and spent the summer scrapping at 195 in freestyle at Fargo.
Still just a junior, it will be interesting to see has how his body develops by the end of his high school career. He likely projects as a 197-pounder or heavyweight if he has another bulk-up before he arrives in Norman.
In Evans’ case, he stormed to a 152-pound crown of his own in 2021 for Heritage Hall and an appearance Cadet Fargo final this summer.
KJ is just a high school junior, so there’s a lot of time before Evans is wrestling for Oklahoma, but he’s a 157-pounder or a 165-pounder.
Incoming freshmen Tate Picklo (Oklahoma) and Alejandro Herrera-Rondon (Pennsylvania) were named finalists for the USA Today and National Wrestling Hall of Fame’s National Wrestlers of the Year for 2021. Both will be in the conversation at these weights in the years to come as well.
Plus, the coaching staff added Olympian Sam Hazewinkel to its staff as a volunteer assistant coach.
Should these three commitments hold, Oklahoma is off to a phenomenal start on both the coaching and recruiting trails, just one season removed from its 2021 Big 12 team title.
The 2021-22 Oklahoma Sooners’ Wrestling Schedule