The Best Class Of 2020 Recruit Headed To Each School In The MAC

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Prized recruit Keegan O'Toole squashed speculation regarding his future early, announcing his commitment to Missouri the summer after capturing the second of four Wisconsin state championships.

Two years later, the nation's second-ranked Class of 2020 prospect leads a Mid-American Conference recruiting haul which includes nine of the 2020 Big Board's top 80 and four others who finished last season ranked among the nation's top 15 in their weight classes. 

That's a major improvement from a year ago when MAC schools landed only two of the 2019 Big Board's top 80 and none higher than No. 49 Alex Cramer. He signed with Old Dominion before transferring to Central Michigan in April when OD dropped its wrestling program. 

Here is a look at each MAC team's top Class of 2020 recruit:

Missouri: Keegan O'Toole (165 pounds)

Hailing from the same high school that produced Ben and Max Askren (Arrowhead, Hartland Wisconsin), the Junior Hodge Trophy winner is just the 18th wrestler in state history to win four individual state titles and only the third to do so in Division 1

O'Toole was dominant, pinning all four opponents at 160 pounds at the state tournament to finish his senior year with a perfect 49-0 record. He finished as the nation's top-ranked, 160-pounder and fourth in the pound-for-pound ratings. 

O'Toole won the final 111 matches of his prep career and, amazingly, the last 17 were via pin. He finished with a 110-5 high school record and was Wisconsin's Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award recipient.

O'Toole is also a four-time Fargo All-American with one championship and was named to the Cliff Keen All-America Dream Team in April. 

Lock Haven: Tyler Stoltzfus (174)

Stoltzfus capped his career at Saint Joseph's Academy in Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania with a AA state championship. He is No. 25 on the 2020 Big Board and also concluded last season ranked No. 2 at 170 pounds behind Penn State recruit Alex Facundo of Davison, Michigan.

Stoltzfus finished his prep career with a 165-25 record, including 78 pins. He placed in the Pennsylvania state tournament three times in all, including the state title and state runner-up finish in 2019. 

Stoltzfus was named to the Cliff Keen All-America Dream Team in April. 

Rider: Shane Reitsma (165/174)

No. 58 on the 2020 Big Board, the Howell, New Jersey product went 42-2 last season. Reitsma fell to Rutgers recruit Connor O'Neil in the state championship match after beating earlier in the season. He was seventh in the final 170-pound rankings.

Reitsman, who committed to Rider on Oct. 21, 2018, finished with Howell's career wins record (165). He was also state runner-up as a sophomore. 

George Mason: Kaden Cassidy (141)

No. 62 on the 2020 Big Board, Cassidy committed back on Nov. 11, 2018. 

The Bedford (Pennsylvania) High School product went 38-0 last season, capturing the PIAA 138-pound AA state championship.

A whopping 24 of Cassidy's victories came via technical fall. He also recorded four pins and three major decisions. Cassidy was No. 11 in the final 138-pound national rankings. 

Cassidy also placed third in the state as a freshman and junior, but his sophomore season was cut short by injury after a 6-1 start.

The honorable mention Cliff Keen All-American finished with a stellar 106-7 career record, including 41 technical falls, 28 pins, and 10 major decisions. 

Edinboro: Gabe Willochell (133)

The Greater Latrobe (Pennsylvania) High School standout is No. 79 on the 2020 Big Board.

He went 37-2 as a senior and finished third at 132 pounds in the PIAA Class AAA state tournament. Willochell was seventh in the final national 132-pound rankings. 

Willochell was also fourth in the state as a junior and sixth as a sophomore. He finished with a 134-28 prep mark, including 59 pins. Willochell committed to Edinboro on May 13, 2019. 

Northern Illinois: Jimmy Carmany (141)

The Brecksville (Ohio) High School star was 41-4 and ranked No. 1 in the state at 132 pounds before the coronavirus pandemic canceled Ohio's state tournament. Carmany was a strong favorite to capture his first championship after placing fourth in the state the previous two years.

In December, Carmany, who committed to Northern Illinois on March 21, became the first Brecksville wrestler to win a Beast of the East title.

No. 12 in the final 132-pound national rankings, Carmany faced 14th-ranked Joey Olivieri of Hanover Park, New Jersey, in the title match and prevailed in dramatic fashion. Down 1-0, Carmany somehow scored a reversal on the Rutgers recruit with just three seconds remaining in the match for a 2-1 win. 

He was also fourth in the Brecksville Holiday Tournament. 

Kent State: Lucas DeSilva (160)

The Collins Hill (Georgia) High School product was dominant the past three seasons with three Class 7A state championships and a 164-5 record. He was 60-2 this season and named the state’s second-best, 160-pound wrestler overall by Georgia Grappler.com. DeSilva was No. 14 in the final national 160-pound rankings as well.

He was second in the state as a freshman and finished with a 227-13 high school record. DeSilva committed to Kent State on Feb. 17.

Ohio University: Jacob Padilla (285)

Padilla, No. 14 in the final 285-pound national rankings, was a pinning machine for Wayne (Ohio) High School. He finished with a 155-21 prep record with 117 pins, including a dominating 81-3 mark with 68 pins the past two seasons.

Padilla, a three-time state placer, went 42-0 with a school-record 39 pins as a junior and became Wayne's first Division 1 state champion in 19 years. He was named the 2019 Greater Western Ohio Conference Athlete of the Year as a result.

Padilla was 39-3 with 32 pins his senior season before the coronavirus pandemic prevented him from seeking a second state title. He committed to Ohio on August 1, 2019. 

Central Michigan: Sean Spidle (125)

The Flint Powers Catholic star won three Michigan state championships, finishing with a 152-7 record, and committed to Central Michigan on Oct. 18, 2019. Spidle went 72-1 the past two seasons.

He came up short in a bid to become Michigan’s 27th four-time state champion, dropping a 7-4 decision to Ida’s Hunter Assenmacher in the Division 3, 120-pound final. The win gave Assenmacher his third state title and avenged a loss to Spidle in the 103-pound state final when they were freshmen.

It was Spidle’s first Michigan high school loss since falling to two-time state champion and Michigan State recruit Andrew Chambal of Davison in the 2018 Saginaw Valley League final, an 80-match winning streak.

Spidle won the 120-pound, grade 11-12 USA Wrestling Pre-Nationals title last year, knocking off 2020 Oklahoma state champion Luke Ahrberg in the final. He was also third at the Grappler Fall Classic.

Southern Illinois-Edwardsville: Austin Cooley (197)

The Piedmont (Oklahoma) High School standout capped last season with his first state championship (5A, 195 pounds) and a 41-3 record.

Cooley was second in the state as a junior, falling to Oklahoma recruit Talon Borror in the title match. He finished with a 32-4 record that season. As a sophomore, he placed third in the Texas 6A state tournament while wrestling for Plano.

Cooley also competed in the grade 11-12 USA Wrestling Pre-Nationals tourney last year, decisioning 2020 Florida state champion Sean Concepcion in the fifth-place match.

He committed to SIUE in January.

Buffalo: Tristan Daugherty (133)

After placing third in the Illinois state tournament his first three years at Peoria Notre Dame High School, Daugherty broke through with a dominating season capped by the Class 1A 126-pound state championship.

He finished 48-0, ending all but two of his matches via pin or technical fall. Daugherty was not only unbeatable, but nearly untouchable. Amazingly, nobody managed an offensive point (takedown, reversal, or back point) against him all season. 

The only points scored against Daugherty were escapes he permitted. 

He finished with a 175-11 high school mark, including an Illinois-record 17 state-tournament wins. Daugherty committed to the Bulls last fall. 

Clarion: Matt Lackman (157)

The Bethlehem (Pennsylvania) Catholic standout battled injuries throughout his high school career, but ended on a high note. 

Lackman, No. 20 in the final national 152-pound rankings, finished third at the PIAA 3A state tournament. He knocked off University of Pennsylvania recruit Cole Spencer and Navy recruit A.J. Tamburrino during the tourney and lost only to North Carolina State-bound Ed Scott. He is No. 19 on the 2020 Big Board. 

Lackman concluded his prep career with an 87-25 record, including with 32 pins, 11 major decisions, and seven technical falls. Lackman was 29-4 as a senior with 11 pins and committed to Clarion in July, 2019. 

Cleveland State: Jake Manley (125)

The Otsego (Ohio) High School standout seemed primed to win his first state championship before Ohio's state tournament was canceled by the coronavirus. 

Manley, a four-time state qualifier, was 47-0 last season and finished with 163 career wins. He was third in the Division 2 state tournament as a junior and went 122-6 the past three seasons. 

Manley committed to Cleveland State in June. 

Bloomsburg: A.J. Bernieri (174)

Bernieri concluded his senior season at Caravel Academy in Bear, Delaware with a runner-up finish in the state tournament. His record was 40-6.

Bernieri was also fourth in the state as a junior and his final high school record was 123-28.


Mark Spezia is a freelance writer based in Lapeer, Michigan. He has written for ESPNW, Flohockey, Flint, Michigan-based My City Magazine, the Detroit Free Press, Hour Detroit Magazine and Troy, Michigan-based Oakland Press. He previously worked for the Flint Journal, Lapeer (Michigan) County Press and Daily Mining Gazette in Houghton, Michigan.

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