Ohio State Wrestling: Buckeyes Sign Three of the Nation's Top 10 Prospects to 2014 Class

By Curt Heinrichs on April 30, 2014 at 8:30p
Kyle Snyder is considered the nation's No. 1 recruit.

Kyle Snyder, considered the nation's No. 1 prospect, will wrestle for the Scarlet and Gray.

32 Comments

Two weeks ago, Ohio State signed one of the best wrestling classes in the nation, headlined by three of the top 10 wrestlers in the country. Today, Intermat Wrestling's Josh Lowe put a stamp on the hype, naming the group as the No. 4 class in the nation.

Talent evaluation in wrestling is a little more concrete than the hit-or-miss nature of college football and basketball recruiting and as Lowe points out, 33 of the 40 starters on the nation's top four teams last season were top 100 recruits in high school.

Spearheading the 2014 recruiting class is Maryland big man Kyle Snyder, who is ranked by many sources as the top recruit in the class of 2014. Snyder amassed an amazing 179-0 record in his first 3 years of high school at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School, including a pair of championships at the Walsh Ironman and three Beast of the East titles.

Snyder is a multiple-time medalist on the national level in both Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling (collegiate wrestling is folkstyle, which is comparable to freestyle), and passed up on the opportunity to chase a fourth high school state title in favor of a year of training at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Snyder won a Junior World Championship after honing his craft in Colorado Springs, and could possibly take an Olympic redshirt year to vie for a spot on the 2016 US Olympic wrestling team for the 2016 Games in Rio.

Here's Snyder winning a Junior World Championship. By technical fall (essentially a mercy rule for you non-wrestling fans):

 

Snyder is expected to contribute to the Buckeyes immediately, and Intermat projects him at 197 lbs, which is a spot previously filled by NCAA runner-up Nick Heflin for the Buckeyes.

Staying in-state to wrestle for the Buckeyes is Intermat’s No. 6 ranked wrestler in the Class of 2014, Micah Jordan. Jordan is a four-time Ohio state champion for perennial powerhouse Graham  and has faced some of the top competition in the nation throughout his career. Following in the footsteps of older brother Bo, Micah bucked the family trend of wrestling for Wisconsin to compete for the Buckeyes.

The younger Jordan is projected to compete at 157 or 165 lbs after wrestling at 145 as a high school senior. Jordan will provide added depth to weight classes that will be among the strongest on the team with Josh Demas, Randy Languis, Bo Jordan, and others vying for spots in the starting lineup.

The third new Buckeye rated as a top 10 prospect by Intermat is heavyweight Thomas Haines. Haines capped off his senior season by becoming just the 12th four-time state champion in Pennsylvania state history. En route to winning his fourth state title, Haines amassed 28 pins during the course of his senior season. Haines, ranked No. 9 overall, could make a splash as soon as he sets foot on campus. He initially committed to Penn State, but decommitted due to their pursuit of another wrestler in a similar weight class. Haines will be in contention for a spot with incumbent Nick Tavanello, who fell just short of All-American status at this year’s  NCAA Championships.

Ohio State's class is admittedly top-heavy as there are no other signees ranked in the top 100. With that said, the remaining recruits will help solidify the roster and add depth at some key weight classes.

Ryan Harris committed to wrestle for Ohio State on the heels of an outstanding career at Beachwood High School. Harris placed at the Ohio Division III State Tournament all four years, including a pair of championships in his final two years. Harris is projected to wrestle165 or 174.

Also looking to add depth in one of the upper weights for the Buckeyes is Seth Williams, who projects at 174 or 184. Williams was a four-time place winner for Tiffin Columbian in Ohio’s Division II, including a championship at 170 as a senior.

Cody Burcher will be trading in the recognizable brown and white singlet of the powerhouse Claymont (OH) program for that of the Scarlet and Gray. Burcher was a state placer in each of his four Division II State Tournaments in Columbus, finishing as high as second on two occasions. He's likely to compete at 133 or 141 as a Buckeye.

Rounding out the incoming class is JP Newton of Perrysburg (OH) High School.  Newton placed third in the Division I State Tournament in each of his final two seasons in high school. Newton is projected to compete for the Buckeyes at 149 or 157.

As is often the case with many top level programs, Tom Ryan and the wrestling team are a case of the rich getting richer. The Buckeyes return seven starters (out of ten weight classes) from a team that recently finished 5th at the NCAA Championships. Also returning to the lineup are several experienced wrestlers who took a redshirt last season, including two-time All-American Hunter Stieber and Josh Demas. Nathan Tomasello and Bo Jordan, top recruits from the 2013 cycle took redshirts, as well.

Expectations will be sky-high for a team with a good chance to win it all next year.

32 Comments

Comments

jamesrbrown322's picture

Is it me, or is Ohio State good at almost everything?

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

+7 HS
CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Great to hear that the Buckeye Grapplers got a Top 5 recruiting class!  Hope that continues all across all Buckeye sports!

Go Bucks!!

+1 HS
Buckeye in Illini country's picture

It will be an exciting season for sure.  Looking forward to it.  Do you think we can overtake Penn State this year?  I know Taylor and Ruth graduated.

Columbus to Pasadena: 35 hours.  We're on a road trip through the desert looking for strippers and cocaine... and Rose Bowl wins!

+1 HS
Curt Heinrichs's picture

Ruth and Taylor did indeed graduate. Penn State will still likely have an NCAA semifinalist (at least) in Megaludis at 125, the Altons, Morgan McIntosh, Matt Brown, and Jimmy Lawson. I'm probably forgetting some others, but this is just off the top of my head. I think Mega, Brown, and Lawson should be favored against anyone the Buckeyes have (although Tav made huge strides at the end of the season). It should be a close match being that Stieber x2 will be favored, as will JDJ.

+3 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Lineups should look something like:

125
Nathan Tomasello (#10 recruit 2013) or Nick Roberts (NCAA qualifier 2014)
Nico Megaludis (NCAA 3rd 2014, NCAA 2nd 2013)

133
Johnni DiJulius (NCAA qualifier 2014 & 2012)
Jimmy Gulibon (NCAA qualifier 2014) or Jordan Conaway (NCAA Qualifier 2013)

141
Logan Stieber (3x NCAA Champion)
Zain Rutherford (NCAA 5nd 2014)

149
Hunter Stieber (NCAA 3rd 2013, NCAA 6th 2012)
Andrew Alton (NCAA qualifier 2013 & 2012)

157
Josh Demas (NCAA qualifier 2013 & 2012) or Randy Languis
Dylan Alton (NCAA 3rd 2012, NCAA qualifier 2014 & 2013)

165
Bo Jordan (#1 recruit 2013)
Garret Hammond (#41 recruit 2013) or Cody Law (#71 recruit 2013)

174
Mark Martin (NCAA qualifier 2014 & 2013)
Matt Brown (NCAA 5th 2014, NCAA 2nd 2013)

184
Kenny Courts (NCAA qualifier 2014)
Matt McCutcheon (#32 recruit 2013) or Bo Nickal (#7 recruit 2014)

197
Kyle Snyder (#1 recruit 2014)
Morgan McIntosh (NCAA 7th 2014)

285
Nick Tavanello (NCAA qualifier 2014) or Thomas Haines (#6 recruit 2014)
Jimmy Lawson (NCAA qualifier 2013) or Jon Gingrich (NCAA qualifier 2014)

FWIW there is some talk that Megaludis is going to redshirt next year.

+2 HS
Curt Heinrichs's picture

Have not heard Megaludis is redshirting. Maybe to get a year separation from Delgado and Garrett? 

+1 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

That was my first thought as well, but Cael really likes Conaway. His thinking might be to give Nico a year off to get bigger while letting Jordan wrestle at a more natural weight for him.

BTW It would have been more accurate to say there are rumors that rumors that Nico might redshirt next year. It's definitely all conjecture at this point and I oversold it a bit using 'is going to'.

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Found the Sanderson quote that got the rumor mill going:

“We wanted to see Jordan as we have options as we’re looking down the road whether it’s 125 for us next year or 133,’’ Sanderson said.

“Nico still has a redshirt year. We’re just playing around trying to see. You’re always planning ahead, so we’re trying to see what we’re doing.’’

Penn Live article
 

Damonbuckeye's picture

LMAO! !!!Mean Jean rubbing his hands right now like I'm bout to get paid!!!

+2 HS
Knarcisi's picture

We will have a shot at a national title, won't we?  Both Stieber boys and this class ...

+1 HS
Curt Heinrichs's picture

Plus the return of Demas, Bo Jordan and Tomasello making their debut, and the incoming class. The Buckeyes will be stacked, but it all boils down to how they wrestle at Big Tens and NCAAs. Favorites get knocked off every year by someone who catches a hot streak at the right time.

+2 HS
PoKeY21's picture

Really? I thought the higher ranked teams basically always win the national championship. I was under the impression upsets are extremely, extremely rare in wrestling. It's always Penn State, Iowa, or OK St that wins the national title year in and year out.

When my time on earth is gone, and my activities here are passed, I want they bury me upside down, and my critics can kiss my ass - Robert Knight

Curt Heinrichs's picture

That's true, but if you look at the brackets each year, a number 1 seed seems like they get knocked off by a lower seed almost every time you look. It often happens in the earlier rounds. In the team race, you can usually count on the Penn States, Iowas, OK States, and Minnesotas because the qualify nearly all of their wrestlers and the sheer number of points scored is more than most teams can, even with a few slip ups or upsets. 

+1 HS
PoKeY21's picture

I'll have to check it out. I usually don't pay much attention to the team standings, but I always thought it was crazy the Buckeyes would be like 11th or 12th in the country and still be 7th or 8th in the B1G lol. Just crazy how good the wrestling is!

When my time on earth is gone, and my activities here are passed, I want they bury me upside down, and my critics can kiss my ass - Robert Knight

Curt Heinrichs's picture

A perfect example of my point was at this year's tournament in the 149 lb bracket. No. 2 seeded Dardanes lost in the first round and No. 1 seeded Houdashelt lost in the semis. The 3,4,6,and 8 seeds all lost in the quarters. Maple losing put a big hurt on Oklahoma in the team race since he was a defending champ and they likely looked to him to score big points. Penn State had guys like Alton, Brown, and McIntosh fall short of expectations, but they had enough quality point scorers to still win the title. 

LawBuck's picture

Buckeyes should be the favorite for the national title next year.  Could have 4 wrestlers in the finals, and everyone in the lineup has a legitimate shot to be an All-American.

I'm excited to see Tomasello, Demas and Jordan wrestle in the NE Regionals this weekend.  Especially glad to see Demas back on the mat after his year off.

Also, thanks for the shout out to my alma mater, the mighty Claymont Mustangs, in the article!!!!!

+4 HS
USMC11917's picture

I'm very excited about next year but we can't  start thinking that we are going to run roughshod over the big ten. I haven't looked at depth but Minnesota Penn State and Iowa looked damn good this year and in the case of the later two, have been consistent on a yearly basis. Their schools show support for the team like no other. I hope we become entrenched and as committed to our wrestlers as we are to the Basketball Team.

+2 HS
Curt Heinrichs's picture

I agree. Even this year was a great example; Penn State was the hands-down favorite and they got knocked off by Minnesota. Iowa is always loaded and even when they don't have blue chippers, they always have guys coming out of the woodwork who will work hard and push the pace.

+1 HS
buckeyeboy31's picture

good to see Tuscarawas County representin.....Claymont always has a solid program and good to see a Mustang headed to Cbus

+2 HS
Tony's picture

To that point, nothing felt better than beating Claymont in my last match in their gym. Dover represent.

+1 HS
buckeyeboy31's picture

I actually went to Dover until the 6th grade, love the Tornadoes!

doudt's picture

I'm from Maryland and Kyle Snyder's name is big here.  The guy is a beast from what I hear, one of my friends had an opportunity to watch him wrestle when he was a freshman or sophomore and raved about him.  He's very well rounded and skilled, conditioning-wise is excellent too.  I think Ohio State signed one of the future all-time greats, this guy is definitely going to blow up in the next three or four years.  Go Kyle!  

+2 HS
Curt Heinrichs's picture

With Maryland and Rutgers joining the Big Ten, you ought to be able to watch a few matches on the BTN this year so you can see for yourself. The BTN crew typically does a great job of explaining the action so new viewers can follow along with those in the know.

+1 HS
doudt's picture

I'm excited for Maryland getting BTN and I will definitely sign up if Comcast provides an option (unless it's included - if so, great!).  I'll keep an eye out on the BTN crew as well.

+1 HS
Curt Heinrichs's picture

Tim Johnson and his partner whose name escapes me are incredible. You lose a lot of quality when BTN does the student broadcasts. Some schools have former wrestlers commentating, but others just have students with next to no knowledge about the sport. Overall, it's hard to complain about watching elite wrestling from the couch for free.

+1 HS
USMC11917's picture

I know this post may not ever get read as it is a late reply but that bug eyed, red bull drinking, split toothed dude that interviews the wrestlers really gets on my nerves with the way he tries to generate excitement. 

BuckeyeFreak4844's picture

I can't wait till next year, with all that could happen a national title the fact that logan could join an elite group of wrestlers as a four time NCAA championship is unbelievable.

Michigan Sucks!

+1 HS
3GB's picture

Thanks for the article, Curt.  Should be a fun season on the mat this year.  Time to cash in those redshirts and make the run!

+1 HS
SilverState's picture

Looks like Team Jordan in the Buckeye Wrestling Room:

Excited to see what this team will do next year. 

+2 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Those Intermat rankings get in my craw.

Ohio State/PSU are close to being a wash but there's no way I'd take the  OKSU or (especially) Cornell class over the one the Buckeyes are bringing in.

+1 HS
LawBuck's picture

It's been discussed, and a source has said it's a good possibility, that Penn State will be redshirting Mega and Zain next year. Only helps the Bucks.

Here's the link to the live updates for Tomasello, Demas, Jordan and Karageorge:
http://s101.trackwrestling.com/tw/opentournaments/MainFrame.jsp?newSessi...

skitav's picture

If anyone doesn't know about Kyle Snyder, be prepared to be amazed. Might be one of the best high school wrestlers ever. Could be 4x NCAA Champ. Prodigy