The Buckeye State has always been a hotbed of wrestling talent, and one of Ohio State's key goals is keeping the best wrestlers at home, while attracting the best talent from anywhere in the country.
So far the Class of 2022 is all homegrown talent, as Legacy Christian Academy (Xenia) junior Gavin Brown announced Wednesday his commitment to wrestle for the Tom Ryan's Buckeyes.
Brown won the Ohio High School Athletic Association state championship at 126 pounds as a freshman in 2019, and was considered the top-ranked 138-pounder heading into the cancelled 2020 tourney.
With a career record of 78-8 and expected to wrestle 145 this season for the Knights, Brown might have entered the season as a two-time Division III state champion. While he doesn't have the same national-level cache as fellow Buckeye commit Seth Shumate (who competes this weekend in FloWrestling's "Who's Number One" exhibition), Brown was ranked as the No. 33 overall prospect in the class by Flo at the end of his sophomore campaign.
Ohio State projects him as a 157-pounder in college, which has been a soft spot in the Buckeye lineup in recent years.
The Classes of 2021 and 2022 are shaping up to be very strong with a definite Ohio flair. The senior class features Paddy Gallagher (who will also be competing this weekend at Who's Number One), the St. Edward's standout, and California lightweight Andre Gonzales. With Shumate and Brown anchoring the junior class, that's three of four current recruits reared on local soil.
They're also classes loaded with talent. According to The Open Mat, Gonzales was the top-ranked 106 pounder in the country at the end of last season, Gallagher was No. 2 in the country at 160, Shumate was the top man in the 195-pound class, and Brown was No. 13 in the nation at 138.
While college wrestling may be three months away yet, the gears that keep the machine running are still turning.