photo courtesy of Richard Immel
It was a busy couple of days on the recruiting front. Several high school juniors made their collegiate intentions known, and none was bigger than #44 Brett Ungar (Notre Dame-Green Pond, PA) choosing Cornell. Ungar was third in Pennsylvania’s AA classification this season, while competing at 113 lbs. That weight class was one of the most difficult in the nation and Brett finished the year ranked fifth nationally. This was his first year wrestling in PA, as he was a New Jersey state champion in 2019 at 106 lbs. He was also sixth as a freshman. This season, Ungar was a finalist at both the Walsh Ironman and the Beast of the East. He’ll join a Cornell set of lowerweights that is already loaded with talent. Among others, 2019 All-American Vito Arujau has three more years of eligibility and Class of 2020 top-recruit Greg Diakomihalis should start his career at 125. Brett is the fourth top-100 recruit from the Class of 2021 to verbal to Rob Koll’s Big Red. He’ll be joined by #19 Ryan Sokol, #73 Vince Cornella, and #99 Nico Provo (who also projects at 125).
North Carolina is fresh off a recruiting class that was ranked third in the nation by TOM. Coleman Scott’s team is well on their way to another strong group with the Class of 2021 after he received a verbal from Isaias Estrada (Jefferson, CO). Isaias capped off a strong junior campaign with a Colorado state title at 152 lbs, where he downed Utah Valley-signee Jax Garoutte. The two battled three times last season with Estrada winning two of those matches. Though he just missed the top-150 in the Class of 2021, Estrada was ranked #3 in the Rocky Mountain Region. He even owns a win over the top wrestler in the region Cam Lucero, a junior that has verballed to Iowa. One of Isaias’ best regular-season performances came in December when he won the Jimmy John’s/NCCT, the most difficult tournament in Colorado. Estrada could probably compete at 165 in college, which will be a need next year after Kennedy Monday finishes up. Isaias joins #48 Caden McCrary (Woodland, GA) in the Tar Heels Class of 2021.
Now looking back to the Class of 2020, the team that topped our recruiting rankings, Oklahoma State, continues to add to their highly-touted class. The Cowboys signed George Marsh (New Braunfels, TX), an undefeated Texas state champion in 2020. Not only was George unbeaten, all of his 37 matches ended in falls. Marsh is a stout, heavyweight that will not need time to grow into the weight like a Derek White or Austin Harris, but does move like a lighter weight. Marsh finished the year ranked second at 285 lbs in the Deep South.
Another talented big man from the Class of 2020 that found a home is Chris Island (Vacaville, CA). Island will stay in-state to wrestle for Cal Baptist. Chris was fifth in the state at 285 lbs this year and a San Joaquin sectional champion. In 2018, Chris was a double Cadet All-American in Fargo, taking second in freestyle and seventh in Greco. Later that year, he made the finals of the Reno Tournament of Champions. Chris was ranked sixth in TOM’s West Coast Regional Rankings. Island will be a good building block for a program that is currently transitioning from DII to DI. The Lancers will be eligible for postseason competition in 2022-23.
These four and over 1100 others have been added to TOM’s CollegeCommitment page.