ISU lands #1 recruiting class in wrestling

An under-reporter positive ISU sports story is the incoming recruiting class for wrestling that will soon enroll for the fall. It's considered the top-ranked class in the country, and adds to an already solid core of returnees for next season.

Head coach Bobby Douglas's 2005 Iowa State wrestling recruiting class has been tabbed as the number one class in the country by, and it definitely has a familiar feel to it. 

Cyler Sanderson of Wasatch, Utah, and Nick Gallick of Tucson, Arizona are the headliners in the nations best recruiting class. 

Pairing the top recruiting class in the nation with an experienced lineup, including four top-ten finishers, on a team that finished third a year ago in the final USA Today coaches poll makes the outlook promising for the Cyclones. When asked if the pressure has mounted on the upcoming season with the addition of the 2005 recruiting class, assistant coach Chris Bono merely replied, "No, not really," before adding, "It definitely puts the pressure on for the next four years, though."

If you think the names Sanderson and Gallick sound familiar, you probably aren't alone.  Sanderson is the younger brother of Cael Sanderson, the former Iowa State great that went 159-0 in four years at ISU and recently won a gold medal for the United States in the 2004 Olympics. The younger Sanderson enters Iowa State with four Utah state championships to his credit and a 115-8 record.  He is expected to wrestle at the 149 lbs. weight division for the Cyclones.

Gallick is the younger brother of Nathan Gallick, a senior to be on this year's Iowa State squad and last year's NCAA runner up at 141 lbs. He has captured three Arizona state titles and is expected to wrestle at the 133 lbs. weight division.

With Sanderson and Gallick being so familiar with the Iowa State program you have to wonder if the Cyclones were holding a trump card throughout the whole recruiting process.

 "Absolutely we had those two wrapped up when we had their brothers four years ago, or six in the case of Cael.  But we still treated them like we wanted them," Bono said.

Sanderson and Gallick both looked at other schools before ultimately making the choice to become Cyclones.  Sanderson visited Big XII rivals Oklahoma and Nebraska, while Gallick looked at nearby Arizona State.

With such successful siblings blazing the trail ahead of them on the mats at Iowa State you can't help but think of the pressure that also comes with making such a decision. 

"The media will be the ones to put the pressure on them, and they can handle that," said Bono.  "They will be well schooled by the time any media gets to talk to them."

What Bono is referring to is that both of these recruits as well as the rest of the number one ranked recruiting class in the nation will likely red-shirt this upcoming year. 

"Even if we did have a few injuries we would try and keep them red-shirted," said Bono.  "I think that they need a year to develop, unless they are spectacular and they can contend for a national title right away.  But I don't think they are there yet."

Bono also cited the fact that each of these incoming freshmen are different from their older siblings and will have the benefit of advice given from family that has already been where they are going. 

"They are a different breed from their brothers," said Bono.  "Their brothers will tell them not to expect too much too soon, Cael especially with what he has been through."

With such a considerable amount of attention given to Sanderson and Gallick it is easy to overlook the rest of the class.  The Cyclones will welcome 11 more wrestlers to campus this fall, four of those being on scholarship.  The remaining seven will be walk-ons. 

Other standouts in the class include Iowa City West High School standout Mitch Mueller, who was taken out of the Iowa Hawkeye's backyard, and Jake Varner of Bakersfield California High School. Neither Mueller nor Varner carry the Iowa State pedigree of Sanderson or Gallick, but both come to Iowa State with impressive resumes. Varner had a record of 157-10 and was a two-time state champion in California.  Mueller has an Iowa state championship, and was also a three-time third place finisher.

Other notables in the class include Cyclone recruit Laramie Shaffer of Winterset, IA, a three-time state champion, as well as Joe Curran from Sioux City, IA, who capped off a perfect 50-0 season in 2004-05 with a state championship. Both of these former preps will be in Ames this fall.




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