2019 Wrestling Recruiting Class Rankings

Buckeyes Lead 2019 Recruiting Hauls

If someone forced me to tell them the subject of my job in one word, it would be ‘recruiting.’ 

I spend more time on it - following future talent, judging their progress, and projecting their abilities - than anything else I do at Flo. The culmination of all that - from identifying the best junior high resumes to assessing their styles and pros/cons of their game, from talking to coaches to learning their personalities - is the Recruiting Class Rankings.

If Mel Kiper is the dork of the draft, I guess I'm the dork of wrestling recruiting. And I like to write a little blurb about some nuance about it each year as an intro. This time, I’ll go with ‘attrition’. 

The idea to do a ‘biggest busts’ article has crossed my mind often. It would be super interesting, and a topic that - for however unfortunate it is for the subjects - really should be investigated. 

While I haven’t gotten up the courage to do it (it’s sure to incite a riot), I bring up attrition here because it makes such a dramatic difference in the class rankings. 

Hypothetically, a #5 class can certainly be usurped by a #20 if #5 has one guy flame out and #20 has a, say, Joey Lavallee or Drew Foster who were both unranked but who made NCAA finals. Or how about Taylor Venz - #96 that AA’d as a Frosh.

The attrition rate (and by attrition I mean ‘guys who quit or who never come close to expectation’) is so high that it really brings up the questions 1) why? and 2) as a college recruiter, how do you avoid it?

Let’s look at the 2013 and 2014 Big Board and take the Top 25 from each year. That’s 50 wrestlers total. You know how many never earned a single AA? 24. Nearly 50% of the best wrestlers those two years never placed. 13 (26%) never finished their career. 

I’m not breaking any news by saying rankings aren’t the final arbiter, but the rate is something I thought readers would find interesting.

So if you’re pumped by your team’s ranking (and you should be), or your bummed your team only made Honorable Mention, keep in mind that this is college wrestling - the most demanding activity on earth. And things do change fast. 


2019 NCAA Finalists by SR Big Board Rank

125: 2017 #2-Spencer Lee over 2016 #11-Jack Mueller

125 Big Board All Americans - 7 of 8 (Rayvon Foley)


133: 2016 #2-Nick Suriano over 2017 #1-Daton Fix

133 Big Board All Americans - 7 of 8 (John Erneste)


141: 2017 #3-Yianni over 2014 #13-Joey McKenna

141 Big Board All Americans - 7 of 8 (Kyle Shoop)


149: 2013 #12-Anthony Ashnault over 2014 #8-Micah Jordan

149 Big Board All Americans - 7 of 8 (Mitch Finesilver)


157: 2014 #4-Jason Nolf over 2014 #17-Tyler Berger

157 Big Board All Americans - 7 of 8 (Alec Pantaleo)


165: 2017 #19-Mehki Lewis over 2015 #3-Vincenzo Joseph

165 Big Board All Americans - 8 of 8 


174: 2015 #1-Zahid Valencia over 2016 #1-Mark Hall

174 Big Board All Americans - 8 of 8 


184: Unranked Drew Foster over 2016 #74-Max Dean

125 Big Board All Americans - 6 of 8 (Foster, Emery Parker)


197: 2014 #6-Bo Nickal over 2015 #44-Kollin Moore

197 Big Board All Americans - 6 of 8 (Preston Weigel, Ben Honis)


285: Unranked Anthony Cassar over 2014 #30-Derek White

285 Big Board All Americans - 6 of 7 (Cassar (+ Amarveer Dhesi of Canada))


Finalist Big Board Rank - Last Five Years

Top 10 - (48) 

Top 20 - (13) 

21 to 50 - (17) 

Bottom 50 - (13) 

Unranked - (9) Drew Foster, Anthony Cassar, Ronny Perry, Mike Macchiavello, Jared Haught, Lavion Mayes, Joey Lavallee, Brett Pfarr, Tyler Wilps

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