The Wildcats landed a prize recruit in Joel VanderVere, who verbally committed to continue his academic and athletic career at Northwestern.
A junior at Warren in Illinois, VanderVere is electing to stay home and compete less than an hour from his high school. So far he has finished third and second in the state in 3A and is ranked #11 on the 2021 Big Board.
Currently the fifth-ranked 132-pounder in the country, VanderVere projects as either a 141 or 149. With Frankie Tal-Shahar committed from the 2020 class, it will likely be those two at back-to-back weights.
VanderVere chose Northwestern over multiple Big Ten programs, including Wisconsin and Minnesota, the latter of which he visited at the beginning of this month. Joel took an official visit to Evanston earlier this fall.
Though not exactly unknown, VanderVere established himself as a blue-chip recruit at the most recent Super 32, where he plowed through four ranked wrestlers on his way to a title. Joel beat #15 Anthony Clark, #11 Patrick Noonan, #6 Kenny Herrmann, and #2 Jesse Mendez in Greensboro.
Watch Vandervere win a Super 32 belt over Kenny Herrmann: