The nation's #1 ranked senior Daniel Gregory Kerkvliet has verbally committed to wrestle for the Ohio State Buckeyes in college.
It is a massive pickup for tOSU, who just graduated three-time NCAA champion Kyle Snyder this year. Kerkvliet's announcement comes just two days after visiting Columbus, where he was seen on field at "The Horseshoe."
The senior out of Simley, Minnesota is the top-ranked prospect on the 2019 Big Board. He becomes the fourth Top-100 recruit to verbal to Ohio State from this class. The others are Jordan and Jacob Decatur, as well as Dylan D'Emilio, all of whom are from Ohio.
It is not clear what this means for Chase Singletary, the Buckeyes' current 285 pounder. Kerkvliet is the top-rated heavyweight in the country, though perhaps Tom Ryan and his staff could be looking at him to be a 197 for a year or two after Kollin Moore graduates. If that is not the case, Kerkvliet likely takes over at heavyweight either immediately next year or in the 2020-21 season after redshirting. If he takes an Olympic redshirt next year, that timetable could be extended to start in the 2021-22 season.
Although he is currently ranked #1 at 220lbs, he will not be competing in any high school events this season. The three-time Minnesota state champ will be spending his year at the OTC, where he will likely try to wrestle in at least one college open and freestyle tournaments overseas.
Back in July, Kerkvliet re-opened his recruiting process and provided us with a new school list, of which Ohio State was one of four schools he would be visiting, along with Penn State, Oklahoma State and Nebraska.
While signing day is not until November 14th, this likely concludes the long tale of Kerkvliet's recruiting saga. He originally committed to the in-state Gophers in fall of 2016, back when it was thought he would still be a 197 in college. However, in November of 2017, he switched his verbal to the Cowboys. This was a few months after Gable Steveson committed to be Minnesota's heavyweight of the future.
It is not hard to see why all of the top schools were chasing after Kerkvliet's National Letter of Intent. He won the 100kg Cadet world title last year and was the 110kg runner-up at Cadet worlds in early July. Additionally, he dominated his way onto the Junior world team at 97kg, but he will miss that due to injury.