photo courtesy of Times Observer; TimesObserver.com
About a week and a half ago, Ethan Finch (Sheffield, PA) announced himself to the high school wrestling world with a fourth-place showing at the Super 32. Today, he has committed to wrestling at the University of Pittsburgh. It’s quite a jump for a wrestler that was sixth at Pennsylvania’s AA State Championships in 2020 at 182 lbs. Ethan also qualified, but did not place in 2019. Finch’s surprising run through the Super 32 saw him major Illinois recruit Joey Braunagel (Althoff Catholic, IL) 11-2 to secure a spot in the quarterfinals. After a loss, Finch knocked off Oregon State recruit Isaiah Anderson (Chiawana, WA) and Campbell recruit Conor Maslanak (Pelham, NH) to wrestle for third place. Panthers head coach Keith Gavin has now secured six recruits from the Class of 2021. Finch likely projects at 197 lbs, which isn’t a pressing need as Nino Bonaccorsi is heading into his junior year and the Panthers have a handful of freshmen in that range.
Nebraska kept the state’s top junior at home with the commitment of Antrell Taylor (Millard South, NE). Antrell was ranked #45 overall in the Class of 2022 . Nebraska doesn’t typically produce top-50 recruits every year, so keeping Taylor at home is a massive coup for the Cornhuskers. Taylor was a 16U freestyle national finalist last summer in Fargo. Antrell has also made the Nebraska Class A state finals on two occasions. He won the 145 lb weight class in 2020. In the offseason, Taylor has undergone a big growth spurt. He competed at 160 lbs for the Ironman Duals and is expected at 170 lbs for the regular season. Ideally, Antrell would slide in for All-American Mike Labriola at 174 lbs after his eligibility runs out.
Taylor wasn’t the only top junior to commit to the Huskers this week. Mark Manning’s team also received a verbal from Harley Andrews (Tuttle, OK). Harley was an Oklahoma 4A state champion at 195 lbs in 2020 and is currently ranked 17th in the nation at 220 lbs. Like Taylor, Andrews was also a 16U freestyle AA last summer in Fargo. He took fifth at the 182 lb weight class. After Fargo, Harley captured a title at 2019 Preseason Nationals, in the 9th/10th grade division, and at Mid-American Nationals, before taking third at the KC Stampede. Andrews was ranked #117 amongst the Class of 2022 in April’s update. There are no locks in the long term at 285 lbs, so Harley’s commitment is much-needed for Nebraska.
NC State received a verbal commitment from one of the state’s top seniors, James Joplin (NW Guilford, NC). Joplin is a three-time state medalist who claimed his first state championship in 2020. In the Southeast Regional Rankings, released in the spring, Joplin came in third at the 120 lb weight class. James was also an NHSCA Sophomore National finalist in 2019, while wrestling at 113 lbs. In Raleigh, Joplin projects as a 133 lber. He’ll join a talented, young crop of lightweights that includes 133 lb starter Jarrett Trombley and redshirt freshman Kai Orine. James’ addition gives Pat Popolizio’s team seven verbals from the Class of 2021 (along with three from 2022).
Cal Poly has gotten on the recruiting board with a trio of new additions. From the California ranks, Jon Sioredas’ team has picked up Jed Campos (Del Oro) and Luis Ortiz (Calvary Chapel). Campos was fifth at the 152 lbs in 2020, while Ortiz took eight at 113. Also slated to join the Mustangs is Abraham Hinrichsen (Washington, IL). Abraham is a two-time Illinois 2A state fourth-place finisher. He has had plenty of success in Fargo, as well. Hinrichsen placed fourth in both styles at the 16U division in 2018. A year later, he was eighth in 16U freestyle. Both Hinrichsen and Ortiz project as 125 lbers, while Campos should be a 165.
For all of the recruiting updates, check out TOM’s College Commitment Page.