national champs baby
There isn't a whole lot of information running through the series of tubes that is the internet about Wrestling recruiting, but I thought some might be interested that UofM could be putting together a stellar class this year.
Heading it up is Eric Grajales, #2 overall to Intermat.com. He is out of Brandon HS in Florida, and is good enough to step right into Michigan lineup at 133 and be All-American level. I might be a little fuzzy on the particulars, but IIRC he went through all 4 years of high school with only 2 losses and over 200 wins, probably closer to 250, and was a 4 time Florida state champ. He comes from a GREAT wrestling school, one that went on an undefeated streak that stretched over something like 30 years. He is a great catch for McFarland and will fit in nicely at a weight UofM struggled at last year with Zach Stevens.
Next up is Sean Boyle, #32 overall to Intermat, and a native of Lowell, Michigan, although he transfered to Blair Academy in New Jersey, consistently one of the top 2 high school wrestling teams in the country. Boyle doesn't have the star power of Grajales, but he is very highly rated, and with Micheal Watts graduating from the 125 spot, he should step in and contribute right away. I'm not as confident about him being as solid in the lineup as Grajales, but with a coach like McFarland he has the chance to be All-American level sometime later on in his career. I won't completely count him out though, as another wrestler who was ranked a little higher than him, but not considered a superstar, stepped in 2 years ago and shot up the rankings to number 1, Kellen Russel. They even come from the same school, so there is some hope that he, Grajales, and Russel could turn what has been a weakness in Michigan wrestling for a few years into a major strength very quickly.
Michigan has also gotten a commitment from Pete Rendina, a strong performer in 4 years at Dundee, but not receiving the national praise of the other 2. He is probably in the middle weights, 149 is probably the best unless he really puts on a lot of muscle, although he does have a longer frame that could put it on. I've seen him a lot in person, and he has skills you want in a college kid, namely very good offense, especially leg attacks. Probably doesn't contribute for a little while, as 141 up to 157 should be filled by young wrestlers for a while, but he could surely step in later in his career and be a solid wrestler, maybe knock off a few ranked kids, maybe even place sometime. Think Aaron Hynes, but smaller, and probably not stepping in to his spot until later than Hynes did.
Another in state commitment to UofM comes from the same HS as a current teammate, Justin Zeerip, his younger brother, Brandon. Brandon was part of a star studded Hesperia team this year that lost to eventual D4 champs Hudson. I only saw him once this year, and that was where he bumped up from 152 to 160 and manhandled our 160 pounder, the eventual runner up in d3. Doesn't have the resume of his brother, but a very talented wrestler who also could contribute late like Rendina.
Theres also some nice Uncommited recruits in the state of Michigan who would be great to fill in the upper-weights now that Luke and Todd are leaving. The big one, probably the top target right now, is Dan Yates, who is 12th to Intermat, and is a giant. He was at 160 this year for states but wrestled most of the year up at 189 for his team, and lost only once, in the team state title match to Gabe Elliot, the D4 189 champ. He comes from Hesperia, same school as the Zeerips, but I didn't get to see him wrestle because he injured him arm earlier in the tournament we were at. Yates would be a great pickup to this class, sadly, michigangrappler.com says Michigan isn't on his list at the moment. Thats liable to change though, especially with McFarland, who is an excellent recruiter.
The same goes for Kyle Elsworth, from Goodrich, who was ranked higher earlier this year, thanks to some impressive victories over other highly ranked kids, but has fell thanks to some rather unimpressive performances late in the year. He won all of his matches this year, but some of them were a little tougher than they should have been, causing him to drop in the rankings. Elsworth is also not listing Michigan, but his former teammate, Mark Weber, is there, so again, anything is possible.
I'm sure Michigan is on some more out of State kids, but I have no idea who...Perhaps they pick up some more commitments from other in state kids later as well, Robert Nash might fit in nicely, other than that, thats all I've got.