Welcome to Day 4 of WIN Magazine’s countdown to the 2023 Final...
Oklahoma State No. 1 in WIN’s Division I Recruiting Rankings
By Rob Sherrill
Note: The following is a quick look at WIN’s 2013-14 Recruiting Rankings. An expanded version of these rankings can be round in the latest issue of WIN.
Northwestern blew away the rest of the college wrestling world during the early signing period in November, when Wildcats coach Drew Pariano obtained national letters of intent from three No. 1s at their weight class by WIN.
Using a combination of skill, grit and toughness, Northwestern’s Big Three did nothing to jeopardize the Wildcats’ position of contending for the final No. 1 spot in WIN’s spring ranking of the top 25 recruiting classes.
But there were plenty of challengers. Making the biggest move up was Oklahoma State. Coach John Smith added three recruits that make a huge difference in a class that moves from No. 4 in the fall to nose out the Wildcats for No. 1 in the spring. Four-time defending NCAA champion Penn State moved up three spots to No. 3, with pre-season No. 3 Cornell dropping one spot to No. 4 and Nebraska dropping three spots to No. 5.
Eleven of the Big Ten’s 14 schools made the list. Those 11 include newcomer Rutgers, which has already benefited from the conference switch.
Making the biggest move into the top 25 was Stanford. In addition to strong in-season performances from his November commitments, coach Jason Borrelli added Blairstown Township (N.J.) Blair Academy-ace Joey McKenna and California state champion Mason Pengilly of Porterville Monache, pushing the Cardinal from unranked to No. 13.
Narrowing the list to 25 was extremely difficult, since so many schools not on this list helped themselves tremendously this year. Please note we don’t yet have access to each school’s dozen-odd additional walk-ons…and don’t pretend to. Here are some highlights, however, of WIN’s top 25 recruiting classes for 2013-14 at press time.
1. Oklahoma State: Smith’s six-recruit November class wiped up the mats over the winter. Gary Wayne Harding (141) of Collinsville, Chance Marsteller (165) of Fawn Grove (Pa.) Kennard Dale, Ryan Blees (165) of Bismarck (N.D.) and Chandler Rogers (165-174) of Spokane (Wash.) Mead all breezed to their fourth titles, and Jacobe Smith (157-165) of Muskogee capped his career with a 6A title. But Smith didn’t stop there. He added a fifth four-time champion from a fifth different state, Dusty Hone (133-141) of Cedar City (Utah), who also won the NHSCA Senior Nationals.
2. Northwestern: Pariano’s historic No. 1 haul, Stevan Micic (125-133) of Cedar Lake (Ind.) Hanover Central, Bryce Brill (157) of Chicago Mount Carmel and Johnny Sebastian (184) of Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic, all won their third state titles easily, and the Wildcats’ other fall recruit, Sammy Gross (133-141) of Beachwood (Ohio), won his second title. An intriguing local pickup is Regis Durbin (197) of Lake Forest, who beat two ranked opponents in succession to win a 3A Illinois state title.
The following are the remaining teams in WIN’s Division I Recruiting Rankings. You can find WIN’s analysis on each team’s class and projected weights in the latest issue of WIN. To get an annual print or digital subscription to WIN and to get access to WIN’s Spring Recruiting/Awards Issue, call 1-888-305-0606 or go to WIN-magazine.com. Please specify you want your subscription to start with the May issue of WIN.
3. Penn State
6. Iowa State
8. Ohio State
12. North Carolina State
16. North Carolina
20. Central Michigan
21. Old Dominion
22. Virginia Tech
24. Kent State