photo courtesy of Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com
Today, Robert Howard (Bergen Catholic, NJ), the top recruit in the Class of 2020 made his college decision public and that decision it to attend Penn State University. Howard, was a 2018 New Jersey state champion, after making the state finals as a freshman, as well. Last year during the high school season, Howard finished third at the Beast of the East for the second consecutive season and also won the Doc Buchanan Invitational in California. After the high school season concluded, Howard went on to make the Cadet world team for the second year in a row. Robert did not place at the tournament but did finish in ninth-place. Later in the summer, Howard was selected to represent the USA at the Youth Olympic Games. Wrestling at 55 kg, Howard brought home a gold medal and became the first US male to win gold at the event. At the Youth Olympic Games, the New Jersey native was able to defeat Hayato Fujita (Japan) who was the world silver-medalist at Robert’s Cadet world weight class in 2018.
Currently, Robert is ranked number one in the country at 126 lbs. While the addition of the top recruit in a particular class is something that every team would want, he is needed at Penn State. 125 looks like it could be a struggle for the Nittany Lions this year and the future at the weight class is uncertain after top 2018 recruit Gavin Teasdale has already left school. At some point in his college career, Howard could grow into a 133 lber, as well. In November, Howard took trips to Michigan and Iowa, in addition to Penn State.