The third and perhaps final online version of 2015 team recruiting rankings have been released by D1 College Wrestling and after seeing what InterMat and Flowrestling thought of the Iowa based universities, it comes as no surprise to see two of the schools supporting top ten class rankings by this service as well.
The biggest surprise may be that despite all of the praise that Doug Schwab and his staff have received for their class, Earl (the man behind D1’s rankings) gave Northern Iowa the number three rankings, which is the highest they have come in on any service who compiles these lists. Both InterMat and Flo listed Northern Iowa #4.
Unlike year’s past, Earl didn’t really put in commentary on why he made his selections, but his top two classes were consistent with others (Arizona State #1, Oklahoma State #2). Despite West Virginia picking up five top 100 commitments, the Panthers got the #3 spot and without official word from Earl I would guess it’s on a combination of things.
The best guess is that Schwab was able to obtain both headliners, as well as “depth” in this recruiting class, which is what makes it so strong. The headliners would be four-time Iowa State champion Max Thomsen, who was #15 overall in the rankings, #27 Bryce Steiert, and #29 Taylor Lujan. There is then an additional four wrestlers who made D1’s top 150 individual rankings, which adds up to a class filled with quality wrestlers, and with most of the wrestlers spread out across several weights it has the added bonus of no recruiting overlap.
Also encouraging for UNI fans is that D1 has been doing team rankings going back to 2008, and since then UNI has only been featured on his list twice (in 2010 and 2012). Looking just at those alone one can see the trend and momentum Schwab is starting to build. He already has a top 20 recruit in Rudy Yates on board for 2016.
The Iowa Hawkeyes came in at #10 on the list which is right about the average of where others had them. Iowa landed four top 100 recruits in D1’s rankings and Michael Kemerer is Iowa’s first top ten recruit since Mike Evans in 2010. This would be the third straight top ten recruiting class for the Hawkeyes.
The Hawkeyes though are off and running for the 2016 and 2017 recruiting classes. For this coming year the Hawks have a pair of top 50 recruits on board, with Ohio’s Alex Marinelli looking like a lock to finish as a top five overall recruit. Based off of Flo and InterMat, Marinelli could be the best recruit that Tom Brands has recruited since taking over the Hawkeye program. Kaleb Young also slots somewhere between the 30s and 50s, so a strong season by the Pennsylvania native could really boost this class. In 2017 The Hawkeyes have another pair of top 30 commits in lightweight recruits Justin Mejia and Jason Renteria.
The Cyclones also made the list at #23 coming in with a pair of ranked recruits – #31 Markus Simmons and #80 Colston DiBlasi. The 23rd spot is the lowest the Cyclones’ recruiting class has had since 2013, after posting a #12 class in 2014. Since the inception of D1’s rankings the Cyclones have twice managed top ten classes back in 2008 and 2010.
So far the Cyclones only have Gavin DeWitt on board for the 2016 season, and it remains to be seen on what they will do recruiting-wise with such a young team.