High School Wrestling

TOM’s “The Best of The Unsigned”

tom-normal-wpThe trend of early college signings and verbal’s continued this year in wrestling as it has in other major sports. Along with college football and basketball, wrestling’s prep stars are declaring what school they’ll continue their careers at starting earlier and earlier in the recruiting cycle. Heck, sometimes before their recruiting cycle even begins, as was the case of Logan Steiber and Dylan Ness this year, and Nico Megaludis, who has already pledged to Penn State two months before he’ll wrestle his first match as a junior in high school.

For proof and perspective look no further than our Top Prospect Rankings in which 97 of our 120 (81%) ranked senior-class wrestlers have made their college commitments. And, of Intermat’s Top 100 Overall Wrestlers, just 18, have yet to declare.

Ten years ago, even the best of us college wrestling junkies wouldn’t be talking that much of recruiting at this time of year. Five years ago, we were keeping lists of who signed where. Now, even in the middle of November, it’s easier to keep track of who didn’t sign.

In this vein, we’ll take a look at the top free agents in high school wrestling for the Class of 2010.

To start, here’s the list of guys that haven’t signed who appear in our Top Prospect Rankings:

#10 Brandon Wright, Indianapolis, IN *Signed 11-18-09, Indiana)
3x Indiana State Finalist
Cadet National Champ
Super 32 Runner-Up
College Choices: Arizona State, Indiana
#11 Nick Arajau, Syosett, NY
New York State Champ
Super 32, 4th
College Choices: Hofstra, American

Wright had a fine performance at Super 32s losing to Devin Carter in the finals. In the semi’s of that tournament, Arajau had a 4-0 lead against him before Wright battle back to advance.

These two may be off the board quick. Wright is supposedly down to ASU and Indiana. But no announcement has been made, so maybe there’s a chance to still nab him.

Arajau had originally committed to Hofstra before he changed his mind. There was speculation that he would sign with American University, but again, there hasn’t been any confirmation of that, so he’s apparently still on the market.

#7 Nick Schenk, St. Mark’s, Delaware

Beast of the East, 3rd
National Prep Champ
College Choices: North Carolina State
Purdue, Navy, Illinois, Maryland

Schenk last competed in Fargo where he was an AA in FS at 130. He had visits to Illinois and Maryland, but has yet to announce a decision. He’d be a very solid pick-up as a 33/41.

#8 Frank Martellotti, Shady Side Academy, PA
PA State Champ
2x PA State, 3rd
Powerade Champ

Not much is known about his recruiting status, other than he hasn’t committed. He hasn’t competed this summer, but then again, he never has done the FS/GR circuit. A bit of a sleeper, Martellotti won PA’s small class as a freshman over Edinboro signee, AJ Schopp. He took 3rd the last two seasons.

#2 Nazar Kultchytskyy, Prairie du Chien, WI

Fargo Junior FS 3rd
Northern Plains FS Champ
College Choices: Wisconsin

In an interview, his high school coach, Mel Dow, indicated that Nazar was considering Wisconsin and investigating several Big Ten and Big 12 schools. It’s not surprising that he hasn’t signed yet; he’s only been in the country a few months. But in that time he won the Northern Plains tournament and placed third at Fargo defeating several of America’s premier prospects. Whoever winds up with him is getting stud.

#9 ReVaughn Perkins, Omaha, NE
Fargo Junior Greco National Champ
Fargo Junior Freestyle, 8th

Winner of multiple Nebraska state folk titles, Perkins was absolutely dominant in winning Greco at Fargo this summer. Recently he cruised through the field at USAW’s PreSeason Nationals at 145. Although it’s been mostly quiet surrounding his recruitment, Perkins is said to be deciding between Iowa State and Northern Iowa.

#10 Vinny Fava, Elmwood, NJ
New Jersey State Champ
NHSCA Junior Nationals Champ

Returning New Jersey State Champ, Fava’s summer has been quiet after winning a Junior Class title at Virginia Beach. When TOM spoke to him earlier this fall, he listed Binghamton, Appalachian State, and his brother’s college, Delaware Valley, as possible destinations. Keep an eye on him. Another stand-out year in the tough state of New Jersey and he could solidify make himself a great late signing.

#8 Tigran Adzhemyan, Calvary Chapel, CA

Fargo Junior Freestyle, 5th
California State, 5th
Five Counties, 3rd
Reno Tournament, 3rd

Tigran looked great in Fargo. He placed 5th and lost just one match (1-0, 3-2) to finalist and Cyclone recruit Joey Cozart. At last year’s Reno Tournament, he placed third, losing only to eventual champion, Corey Dauphin of Oklahoma. Wrestling for perhaps California’s premier program, you know Tigran’s coached well. Someone needs to get on this kid.

#4 Cory Dauphin, El Reno, OK

Reno Tournament Champ
2x Oklahoma State Champ
Already a multiple time state champion entering his senior year and having beaten a lot of top competition, its surprising Dauphin isn’t off the board. With Oklahoma having signed wrestlers at his weight, and Okie State with young blood there as well, it might take an out of state school to show interest. And they should. Dauphin is legit. He won last year’s Reno Tournament at 152, a weight featuring Tigran, Travis Gallegos (Cal Poly), Tyler Sheridan (Columbia), Jimmy Belleville (Wyoming), and Ronnie Balfour (Oklahoma).

#3 Jake Dorulla, Rockford, MI

3x Michigan State Finalist
Pre-Season National Champ
College Choices: Michigan St, Michigan
Eastern Michigan, North Carolina, Buffalo, Binghamton

It’s been a while since we saw Dorulla on the mat. We anticipated seeing him at the Super32s, where he was registered, but was a late scratch. All we really know is that he is really good in Michigan. He also had a nice win over ISU’s Kyven Gadsen in the finals of USAW’s Preseason Nationals in 2008.

#9 Noah Budi, Appleton, WI Status: Unsigned
USAW Preseason Nationals Runner-Up
Wisconsin State Champ
Cheese head Champ

Budi seems to be coming into his own. He had a good run at USAW’s Preseason Nationals last weekend before falling in the finals to Iowa’s Walt Gilmore. We don’t know much about his recruitment, but his brother, Joe, is a sophomore wrestling for Old Dominion.

#11 Ethan Blackstock, Alexander, GA
Fargo Cadet Freestyle Runner-Up
Fargo Cadet Greco, 3rd
College Choices: Oklahoma, Virginia Tech
College Major: Sports Medicine

Blackstock always seems to be in the thick of things in most tournaments he’s in. Recently, at the Super32s, he reached the semi’s before eventually falling to 6th.

#7 Scott Schiller, Fargo, ND Status: Unsigned

Fargo Junior Nationals Double All-American
North Dakota State Champ

Schiller had an outstanding performance in Fargo this July, placing 5th and 7th in FS and GR, respectively. It was the second straight year Schiller earned double AA honors. As good as he is, he’s likely to get better as his new workout partner is Minnesota Gopher recruit, Tyler Lehman, who will now join Schiller at West Fargo HS. We have Schiller ranked at 184, but he may bulk up and become a 197lb college wrestler.

#10 Jayd Docken, Winner, SD
NHSCA Junior Nationals, 3rd
South Dakota State Champ

Docken is another interesting prospect. He posted a cumulative record of just 6-4 in both styles at Fargo, but had a terrific performance at NHSCA Juniors placing third and beating quality wrestlers Austin Fallon and Andre Petroski along the way. His lone loss was a 3-2 decision to New Jersey’s Billy George.

#12 JT Felix, Centennial, CA
California State, 4th
Five Counties, 4th
College Choices: UC-Davis, Stanford, Boise St.
College Major: Pre-Med

Felix is another guy that could end up at 197. He lost at California States to Ian Daube, who’s already proving his mettle at Oklahoma.

#3 Kevin Barrett, Omaha, Nebraska

Nebraska State Champion
NHSCA Senior Nationals Runner-Up

Although Barrett proved his wrestling capabilities by reaching the finals of Sr. Nationals last year, he is a Division I football prospect. Word is, he’s leaning that way.

#4 Trevor Rupp, Pocatello, ID
Idaho State Champ
Fargo Junior Freestyle, 3rd
College Choices: Wyoming,
Utah Valley State,
Northern Colorado
College Major: Education

With the number of quality big men dwindling, Rupp’s value could soar as the season goes on. Wrestling in Idaho, he doesn’t get the exposure he should. But in Fargo he was a beast, losing only to Derrick Borlie (2-1, 2-0) before beating Alex Polizzi for 3rd in FS and taking runner-up honors in GR.

This was at 215, so he might be a ‘tweener’ for either 197 or HWT. In my opinion, with the exception of JUCO transfer-to-be Tyrell Fortune, Rupp is the best unsigned kid in the country.

#9 Billy George, Long Branch, NJ
NHSCA Junior Nationals Champ
New Jersey State 3rd

George lost to some kid at states named Campolattano, but don’t hold that against him. Afterwards he went on to win NHSCA Juniors beating previously mentioned Andre Petroski, Jayd Docken, and PA State Runner-Up and Super 32 Champ, Jamie Callendar.

#1 Tyrell Fortune, Clackamas Junior College, OR

Junior World Team Member
Junior College National Champion
College Choices: Oregon St, Arizona St.
College Major: Unknown

Fortune is using this season as a redshirt to use another year of eligibility when he ultimately transfers to a D-I school next year. Where that will be remains to be seen. Arizona State and Oregon State are thought to be major players. Recently there’s been talk of an Oklahoma State possibility.

Fortune is an incredible talent and will be a force as soon as he steps on a D-I mat. If you need a heavyweight, give this guy a call. You might only get him for 2 or 3 seasons, but he’s more of a proven commodity than a high school kid.

#4 Karl Green, Mt. St. Joseph, MD
Beast of the East Runner-Up
Double Fargo Junior All-American
Visit Dates: Virginia, October 10th
Other College Choices: Maryland, Pitt. Navy
Nebraska, North Carolina,
Northern Illinois
College Major: Accounting

Green has competed highly at all major national tournaments. The consensus was, he’d be a perfect fit for the school in his backyard, Maryland, who was actively recruiting a heavyweight. The Terps signing of Spencer Myers pretty much negated that possibility.

Green, who is certainly entertaining numerous offers, has told TOM that including Pitt and nearby Navy, he’s also interested in American University.

#5 Kyle Cowan, Cascia Hall, OK
Oklahoma State Champ
Visit Dates: Penn, September
Other College Choices: Columbia, Princeton
College Major: Undecided

Intermat’s highest ranked wrestler left unsigned, Cowan is an athletic wrestler that’s grown into a full heavyweight.

He’s a football player in the midst of playoffs, so expect his wrestling recruiting to pick up when that’s done. Previously he has told TOM that he’s interested in the Ivies and also has interest in his home state Sooners.

#6 Evan Craig, Abington, PA
PA State Champ
Fargo Cadet Double Finalist
Super 32 Champ
College Choices: Oklahoma St, Drexel

Craig remains at #6 on our list despite a lackluster performance in Fargo. He looked uninspired or hurt or….something. We’ll give him a mulligan because his resume and potential suggest not placing in Fargo was an aberration. Last we talked to Evan he listed just two schools, both who are known to need heavies.

#8 Niko Bogojevic, Superior, WI
Fargo Junior Greco National Champ
Fargo Junior Freestyle, 3rd

It remains to be seen if Fargo was Bogo’s (that’s what I’m calling him) coming out party or if he is just really good at the international styles. He certainly has the skill set for Greco. He entered the summer virtually unknown and came away placing top three in each style with a National Title in hand.

I’m of the opinion that he could do well in folk too. The kid’s a bear. How can you score on him?

And he beat a lot of really good heavies in Fargo. So I expect big things from him.

#11 Ronnie Coleman, Omaha, NE
Nebraska State Champion
NHSCA Sophomore National Champ

Coleman went just 3-2 in Fargo, but, like Craig, he has a long track record of success.

He too is a football player that some speculate will be tempted to pursue that sport at the next level. But he’s a talent. If I needed a big man, I’d give him a holler.

Check back soon for the rest of “The Best of The Unsigned” when we highlight the kids that are legitimate D-I recruits, but just missed out on our Top 12.

By Willie Saylor, Editor.

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