I feel like last week with Fargo taking up so much of everyone’s attention in the wrestling world, it would be nice to go back a revisit the fact that Rudy Yates of Carl Sandburg high school has committed to wrestle for the UNI Panthers. Yates is a highly talented 125 pound prospect, and now we will take the time to dive a little further into the whole situation.
First of all let’s do a little background on Rudy Yates. He is a three-time state medalist in the state of Illinois, and of those three he has never finished lower than fourth. Twice he has finished on top of the podium, with the most recent being a 7-2 decision over a 2015 top 50 recruit, Kris Williams. He was a USA Wrestling Preseason National Champion in 2012, and in 2014 he finished runner-up at Flo Nationals.
Yates also had a fantastic performance at the Minnesota tournament “The Clash”, where he went 6-0 inclduing wins over nationally ranked Gabe Townsell and Mitch McKee. McKee is a multi-time Fargo national champion, and Townsell won the Greco tournament just this year. All of that has earned him a consensus top 30 ranking among the class of 2016 recruits, and Flowrestling actually has him #10 in their pound-for-pound rankings.
Yates picked UNI because he thought it would be the best environment for him to become a multiple NCAA champion, “I picked UNI because at the end of the day, I felt that Doug and Mark Schwab and the practice partners could help me the most in making multiple national title runs.” Yates said.
Yates also mentioned that UNI’s cozy campus along with their nationally recognized Education department played a role as well, saying that he will major in Education and is planning on a minor in Athletic Training.
Speaking of practice partners, Yates is not expected to run short as the 125 weight class will feature four talented wrestlers when he arrives on campus. Leading them would be NCAA All-American Dylan Peters, whose graduation from UNI lines up perfectly for the opportunity for Yates to try and be a four year starter. I say try because in the 2014 recruiting class, Schwab added the nationally ranked Jacob Schwarm of Bettendorf and former Junior national champion, Tanner Rohweder.
Not to mention the college teammates in the room, but with the emergence of the Panther Wrestling Club, Yates also sees the opportunity to work out with one of USA Wrestling’s top lightweights, “Having Joe Colon there definitely makes things easier, so I would like to say his presence along with all of the other great wrestlers in the room has helped my decision.”
The recent success Schwab has had on the recruiting trail wasn’t lost on Yates either, “The class of wrestlers they have in the room now are awesome. I will have great practice partners all around ranging from 125-141. Freshman through senior, UNI will be well prepared in my opinion to change the game! “
“The biggest reason why (winning) multiple nation titles (at UNI) isn’t crazy to me is because the mental approach going into practice is the same as their physical approach. A lot of people think to win multiple national titles you have to kill yourself in the room and that is the only way. The mental approach is just as important, and Doug and Mark do a great job with preaching that and mentally preparing their wrestlers for battle!”
Anyone that has followed Yates on Twitter knows he has a great sense of humor, so I decided to ask him on where his personality comes from.
“I’d like to say I got my personality from Kenny Powers, as a showman. The mental aspect I developed mostly myself, with help from my club coach Alex Tsirtsis, and my high school coach, Eric Seibert, as well as my dad. They have all preached to just have fun and let it fly which I always try to do in all of the matches I wrestle. No matter who you wrestle you have to pretend it’s your last match you will ever compete in again. And in my last match ever I’d want to have fun! So it comes easy to me.”