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Because Juniors are handing out verbals at an insane rate I thought it would be fun to go ahead and peak at the recruiting class ranking for next year. This is all extremely early (heck the 2015 class still haven’t had their early signing day yet) so these rankings need to be taken in perspective. AWP rankings

#1 Iowa

Recruits: #10 Alex Marinelli and #38 Kaleb Young

This was actually a little harder than most may believe. I tend to place a heavy emphasis on top 10 wrestlers, and an even greater emphasis on top five. In the end when you look at Marinelli and Young I see a really great pair of recruits. So given Iowa has a top 10 and they are the only class with two recruits, they are your early leaders.

#2 Lehigh

Recruits: #4 Jordan Wood

From here on out it gets pretty straight forward. Lehigh has done a pretty good job lately of adding talent and picking up a wrestler as talented as Jordan Wood is something that will hold Lehigh up in my next year’s rankings. They currently have two top 100 recruits in 2015, so they are continuing to build this program.

#3 Northwestern

Recruits: #7 Nick Reenan

Northwestern had a big trio in 2014 in Bryce Brill, Johnny Sebastian, and Steve Micic (who may all wrestle as true freshmen). Looking at the 2015 class they don’t appear to be adding too much (HWT Chakonis), but having Reenan already in the fold for 2016 is good news for Northwestern fans.

#4 Minnesota

Recruits: #12 Mitch McKee

Minnesota doesn’t look like they will be slowing down any time soon, already in solid position to finish in the top five for 2015, 2016 appears to be heading in the same direction. They also have the #1 pound-for-pound wrestler in the country in their backyard (Mark Hall) so they have potential to really catch lightning in a bottle in 2016.

#5 Virginia Tech

Recruits: #22 Kyle Norstrem

A very solid pickup getting the younger Norstrem (the elder Norstrem was solid in his redshirt season in 2013-14). Tech picked up the solid David McFadden for 2015 who is also a top 20 recruit, former Hawkeye Kevin Dresser continues to do good things out east.

#6 Virginia

Recruits: #25 Jack Mueller

Virginia built it’s strong 2015 class (currently sitting 6th) the same way, by getting early junior verbals. Last year it was Fox Baldwin, Sam Krivus, and Cameron Harrel, it looks like Mueller is next in line.

#7 Wisconsin

Recruits: #34 Hunter Marko

Wisconsin only has Eli Stickley for 2015 who isn’t enough to give them a top class distinction, but starting off with Marko has Wisconsin in good shape.

#8 West Virginia

Recruits: #47 Matt Schmitt

Sammy Henson is doing good things out at West Virginia. His 2015 class is pretty solid, and this is a good start to 2016.

#9 Kent State

Recruits: #52 Jack Harris

Kent State always finds a way to pull an Ohio stud and build around him, and it looks like they have found their next one in Jack Harris.

#10 Princeton

Recruits: #56 Ty Agaisse

Princeton fans are probably still ecstatic about adding Kolodzik for 2015, but having a recruit in the top 50s already on board for 2016 should say good things about this Ivy league wrestling program.

The rest-Edinboro (Recruits: HM Dakota Greer), Rider (Recruits: HM Mark McCormic), Bucknell (Recruits: HM Andrew Phipps), Rutgers (recruits: HM Brandon Paetzell), and Clarion (Recruits: Tate Ortiz)

And because we officially have a 2017 verbal… (AWP ranks again)

#1 Iowa

Recruits: #26 Jason Renteria

Iowa is currently in the driver’s seat to land back-to-back top overall recruiting classes!

There is your early look into the 2016 (and 2017) recruiting classes. If this pace of junior verbal commits stays like this this actually might turn into a running post – like the 2015 rankings.

By Ross Bartachek (@rossbchek)

Lead Editor of IA Wrestle

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