There is a reason Ohio State has contended for Big Ten and NCAA titles consistently during Tom Ryan's tenure as head coach: the Buckeye wrestling program is consistently signing some of the best recruits in the country.
After inking the nation's No. 2 recruiting class a year ago, Ryan and recruiting guru Anthony Ralph signed the top class in the country this cycle according to Intermat. It marks the fifth year in a row the program has signed a Top-10 recruiting class.
Headlined by the top overall recruit in the class Greg Kerkvliet, the Buckeyes welcome the top recruits in the class at three different weight classes... and not a moment too soon given the number of title contenders who have exhausted their eligibility over the past two seasons.
|No. 1||Greg Kerkvliet (Simley, Minn.)||HWT|
|No. 3||Carson Kharchla (Olentangy Liberty, Ohio)||165/174|
|No. 6||Jordan Decatur (CVCA, Ohio)||133|
|No. 18||Dylan D'Emilio (Genoa, Ohio)||141/149|
|No. 66||Isaac Wilcox (Olympus, Utah)||165|
|No. 100||Jacob Decatur (CVCA, Ohio)||125|
"This is a second straight absolutely loaded class for the Buckeyes, which is needed with the losses to graduation the Buckeyes have taken in 2018 and 2019," Intermat recruiting analyst Josh Lowe noted in his review of the class. "Kerkvliet, Jordan Decatur, and Kharchla ended the 2018-19 season ranked No. 1 nationally in their respective weight classes."
Those graduation losses represent significant portions of the Buckeye point total at the last several NCAA Wrestling Championships. Losing Kyle Snyder, Bo Jordan, Nathan Tomasello, Micah Jordan, Joey McKenna and Myles Martin over the course of two seasons is something that would necessitate a significant rebuilding project in most programs.
For the Buckeyes, however, the recruiting classes of 2018 and 2019 are poised to make a significant impact. Malik Heinselman qualified for the NCAA tournament as a true freshman, and he and classmate Sammy Sasso each won Junior National Freestyle Championships at the U.S. Open in Las Vegas last weekend.
While former Cadet World Champion Kerkvliet may redshirt this season, it's not inconceivable that classmates Kharchla and Jordan Decatur could crack the lineup as true freshman - or at least will push established starters to step up their game heading into the season.