NCAA Prospect Rankings
Reinforcements Coming at 285
Perhaps more than any other weight, 285 has proven to be cyclical.
A few years ago there was a great crop of big men with Tony Nelson, Zach Rey, Conor Medbery, and Mike McMullan. Then Nick Gwiazdowski, Adam Coon, and eventually Kyle Snyder came along.
But recent classes haven't been kind.
Here is how each heavyweight class has panned out from a five-year period from 2011-2015:
2011: Gwiazdowski was the top prospect and he delivered with two titles and three finals appearances. Medbery had a great career as well but they were the only two to finish as All-Americans. Donny Longendyke, Cody Krumwiede, and Austin Blythe were the #2-5 prospects.
2012: Ty Walz, who was rated as a double-digit heavyweight prospect, and Mike Kroells were the only AAs in the class. The top-rated prospects were Doug Vollaro and Nick Tavanello.
2013: Coon was the highest-rated heavyweight prospect at #9 overall. But he was the only one to AA. Brooks Black and Nathan Butler were the next highest rated heavyweights.
2014: With the #1 overall prospect (Snyder) moving up to heavyweight this class wasn't too shabby. Snyder won two titles at heavyweight; Nick Nevills and Sam Stoll have AA'd.
2015: The heavyweight crop here was a complete bust. Only Yousiff Hemida, who took eighth last year, AA'd. The top-ranked prospects were Zack Chakonis, Austin Myers, Andrew Dunn, Patrick Grayson, and Tate Orndorff (who took a mission).
That's nine AAs over a five-year period. The result is a depleted (and therefore wide open) weight much like 197 was after J'den Cox.
Well, help is on the way. And lots of it.
While the following ranking is a multi-class amalgam, in both quality and quantity, NCAAs at 285 is getting a shot in the arm. Leading the way is no less than arguably the best recruit ever in Gable Steveson. And while such a moniker might suggest the weight is on lock for the next few years, there are several stars expected to, if nothing less, push Steveson.
Fellow seniors Mason Parris, Anthony Cassioppi, and Seth Nevills make 2018 a fantastic class, with Greg Kerkvliet and Cohlton Schultz following in 2019.
While only time can tell how their NCAA (and Senior international careers) will pan out, this could be the best era of high school heavyweights ever.
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