2023 Defense Soap Super 32

#1 Recruit PJ Duke Set To Join Penn State Wrestling Program

#1 Recruit PJ Duke Set To Join Penn State Wrestling Program

2022 Super 32 and Ironman champ PJ Duke has decided to join Cael Sanderson and the Penn State Nittany Lions following high school.

Sep 25, 2023 by David Bray
#1 Recruit PJ Duke Set To Join Penn State Wrestling Program

PJ Duke is the #1 recruit in the class of 2025, and now he's also the first top-ten recruit in the class to make his college decision. The 2022 Fargo, Super 32, and Ironman champ will be headed to State College to join Cael Sanderson's Nittany Lions.

When the 2025 recruiting season began on June 15, PJ Duke's phone blew up, but after receiving 30 or more calls on day 1, Duke knew he'd need to narrow his list. Pretty quickly, only 8-10 schools remained on the whiteboard he used to organize his search for a college home. Now, only one option remains: Penn State. He announced his commitment on the Baschamania podcast.

Duke projects as a 157-pounder at the next level. He won Fargo and Super 32 titles at 138 lbs in 2022, but just a few weeks after securing his Super 32 belt, he bumped up and beat 152-pound Super 32 champ LaDarion Lockett at a Journeymen event then won an Ironman title at 150 lbs with a victory over current #2 at 160 lbs Will Henckel.

Duke's Ironman finals victory over Will Henckel


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Penn State's current 157-pounder, Levi Haines, was an NCAA finalist earlier this year as a true freshman. Current #6 prospect in the class of 2024, Joe Sealey, could also be a 157-pounder at the next level. Either of those guys could consider moving up, but 165 lbs is currently occupied by NCAA qualifier and age level World medalist Alex Facundo and Junior World champ Mitchell Mesenbrink. While this gives Duke no shortage of training partners, it could also create lineup overlap for the Penn State coaches to sort out.

Duke's former high school teammate, Zack Ryder, is also committed to Penn State. The #5 recruit in the class of 2024 decided to move to State College a year early to train at M2 Training Center with David Taylor.

Penn State fans may be able to watch PJ Duke at Super 32 on October 21-22. He is currently registered at 150 lbs.