Looking for 35: OK State Targets

Looking for 35: OK State Targets

Oklahoma State recruiting list.

Aug 8, 2018 by Willie Saylor
It ain't easy winning 34 NCAA team titles. 

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It ain't easy winning 34 NCAA team titles. 

And it sure isn't easy continuing that trend in the ultra-competitive, no-holds-barred recruiting wars of today.

Zack Esposito and Chris Perry, uber recruit themselves at one point, now lead the recruiting charge for the winningest program in college wrestling history. The passionate fan base demands success. 

Oklahoma State, despite an off performance at NCAA's last year, returns one of the most formidable line-ups in the country - one that should earn a team trophy. Seven returning AA's, one blood round participant (Derek White), and the most anticipated redshirt (Daton Fix), will make OK State a top contender.

Nomad broke down the OK State depth chart yesterday. And with the keys to the future handed over from John Smith, Perry is looking at his cupboard and determining what he needs.

The Cowboy lightweights are loaded. Perhaps too loaded (if that's possible). So loaded that either an All American (Kaid Brock) or a Southern Scuffle Champ (Kaden Gfeller) is likely to not make the starting line up.

The glaring needs for the Cowboys are in the middle. And the nation's largest recruiting question looms up top.

Tier 1 Eligibility

In a cliff note version of Nomad's Depth Chart breakdown, here is what the Cowboys have - 

125: All American Nick Piccininni (2 years)

133: Freshman Daton Fix (4 years)

141: All American Kaid Brock (2 years) or Kaden Gfeller (4 years)

149: All American Boo Leewallen (2 years) or Kaden Gfeller (4 years)

157: Transfer Andrew Shomers (Edinboro/2years)

165: All American Joe Smith (2 years)

174: All American Chandler Rogers (1 year), Travis Wittlake (5 years)

184: All American Jacobe Smith (1 year), NCAA Qualifier Dakota Geer (3 years), Anthony Montalvo (5 years)

197: All American Preston Weigel (1 year), Andrew Marsden (2 years), Dakota Geer (3 years)

285: Derek White (1 year), Blake Andrews (2 years)

Incoming and Needs

The highest priority for the Cowboys is heavyweight. Where they once had a commitment from the #1 overall recruit in the Class of 2019, Greg Kerkvliet has re-opened his recruitment. While OK State is still fully in play, what was once a deal that seemingly made so much sense for both parties is now in flux.

Kerkvliet is/was the only committed recruit for the Cowboys in 2019 thus far. And HWT, along with 165, is their biggest need.

Lightweights - There are no immediate needs in what might be the deepest lightweight room in the country. While it's still uncertain whether Daton or Picc goes 125, there's a two-year buffer there. 41 and 49, with Kaid, Gfeller, and Boo, is also auto-pilot for at least two years. 

Middleweights - This is the primary focus. Shomers is drawing rave reviews in his new room. And Rogers is a proven commodity. But they have 2 years and 1 year of eligibility remaining, respectively. The problem is, there isn't much in the way of elite middleweights out there in the Class of 2019. 

#14-Brevin Balmeceda (FL) and #62-Jace Luchau (CA) are two studs with OK State interest.

Upperweights - A heavyweight. Duh. Should Kerkvliet re-confirm, all is well. If not, that's priority #1 and to be honest, I'm not sure where they start. I wouldn't expect them to target anyone in the 2019 class. 

The good news is that they are set in the rest of the back half.

Travis Wittlake is their future 174. Anthony Montalvo, by all accounts is doing very, very well in the room. He'll redshirt this year, and Dakota Geer will move up to 197 in 2020.

Willie's Picks for the Cowboys

The needs aren't immediate at 125 or 149, but they are coming fast. Especially at 125, which is widely considered the most difficult weight to recruit. If I'm Perry, I'm going after 6x Fargo AA Brendon Garcia (CO), who I think is a perfect replacement for Picc after a redshirt. Outside of 2020 recruit Dominic Chavez (TX) those are the only two uncommitted 125's that are elite enough for an OKST lineup in the next two classes.

Next, whether G stays down at 41 or moves up to 149, there will be a need for the 2020-2021 season at one of those weights. I'd look for Perry to make a push for 2x Cadet World Team Member Robert Howard (NJ) or Fargo and FloNats Champ Dominick Serrano (CO). However, unlike a 125 successor, there's a multitude of directions to go here. 

In the middle, Balmeceda and Luchau are clear possibilities. But I'm also gonna say a name and you need to believe it. #41-Cam Amine (MI) is the guy that I think makes the most sense. Yes, I know, he's a Michigan legacy. And he would be fine great there. But word out of their camp is that he's truly open. OK State is one of his Top 5's, there's mutual interest, and I love the fit and opportunity.

To be clear, it's not an either/or proposition. They could really use two of the three. But I if they land just one of the two, I see them waiting for the other in 2020 class. 

Up top, they need to lock up Kerkvliet. They are NCAA title contenders with him. And frankly, there isn't another difference-making, uncommitted HWT prospect that I think begs the attention of an OKST-level program. Miss on Kerkvliet and I think they fill the void with a 'solid' guy until the next big thing in HS emerges.

Other guys in the back half of the line-up are luxuries, not needs, at this point, but certainly watch for Carson Kharchla and Dustin Plott to strongly consider OK State and a potential long-term combo with Wittlake and Montalvo.

The final piece - and this comes in 2020 - is Ferrari. A Dallas native just hours from one of the nation's premier programs at a weight (197) of need that would enter the line-up precisely when Geer leaves makes a ton of sense.