"Our coaching staff did an outstanding job bringing this class together," said Popolizio. "As we recruit talent, we also recruit character; those two together are a recipe for success. This class is decorated with a lot of accomplishments. Add that to the current roster and this should help field a very talented team.
"This class will be very fun to watch develop and continue to create a wining culture here at NC State."
Here's a look at each of the Pack's spring signees:
Coatesville, Pa. • Coatesville HS
Will wrestle at 197 pounds at NC State … Was the 2014 FloNational Champion at 220 pounds … The 2014 Pennsylvania 3A state champion at 220 pounds … Placed third at the state championships in 2013, finishing with a record of 39-2 as a junior … Was a state qualifier as a sophomore at 220 pounds, going 41-3 … Ranked fourth in the country at 220 pounds by Flowrestling.org and intermatwrestle.com … Also ranked sixth nationally by WIN Magazine.
"Mike came on strong his last two years. He showed he can compete with anyone in the country and we are excited to see him in our line-up. He is coming off a national title in high school and we expect him to develop into a national contender in college." - Popolizio
Plano, Ill. • Plano HS
Will wrestle at either 184 or 197 pounds at NC State … Finished fourth at 195 pounds at the 2014 Junior Folkstyle Nationals … Was the Illinois 1A state champion at 195 pounds as a senior, finishing a perfect 49-0 … Defeated the Indiana State champion at the 2014 Illinois vs. Indiana state dual … Took sixth at 220 pounds at the 2013 Fargo Junior Freestyle Nationals … Was the Illinois 1A state champion as a junior at 220 pounds, finishing 48-1 … Ranked 16th in the country at 195 pounds by intermatwrestle.com … Also ranked 19th nationally by Win Magazine.
"Derrick is very talented and he has won some big matches. He has a lot of potential to develop into a star in college. He will be right in the mix of things in our line-up next year. His talent level alongside his work ethic is going to excel him to the highest level at NCSU." - Popolizio
Hope Mills, N.C. • South View HS
Will wrestle at either 184 or 197 pounds at NC State … Placed seventh at 182 pounds at the 2014 NHSCA Senior Nationals … The North Carolina 4A state champion at 182 pounds as a senior … Finished second at 182 pounds at the 2013 NHSCA Junior Nationals … Took third at the state championships as a junior at 182 pounds.
"Our goal every year is to keep the best in-state kids at NC State. I feel like we were able to accomplish this with Malik (and Troy Gregor). He is just coming into his own as he had a late start to wrestling and is making huge strides in the sport." - Popolizio
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. • Cardinal Gibbons HS
Will wrestle at either 141 or 149 pounds at NC State … Finished seventh at 132 pounds at the 2014 FloNationals … Placed second at the Florida State championships as a senior at 138 pounds … Was eighth at 2013 FloNationals … Was the state champion as a freshman, sophomore and junior … Twin brother of fellow NC State signee Jamel Morris.
"Jamal has been very consistent in his high school career. Winning three state titles is a big accomplishment. He is very exciting to watch wrestle and is very offensive minded on the mat. He and Jamel will continue to push each other to get better." - Popolizio
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. • Cardinal Gibbons HS
Will wrestle at either 133 or 141 pounds at NC State … Recorded a top 12 showing at 126 pounds at the 2014 FloNationals … Was the state champion at 132 pounds as a senior … Took seventh at the 2013 FloNationals … Placed third at the state championships as a freshman, sophomore and junior … Twin brother of fellow NC State signee Jamal Morris.
"Jamel, just like his twin brother Jamal, has shown that he can compete with anyone in the country. We are confident that he will continue to grow into a great collegiate wrestler. We are excited that we were able to keep him and his brother together." - Popolizio
Burbank, Ill. • St. Laurence HS
Will wrestle at either 141 or 149 pounds at NC State … Placed third at the 2014 Illinois 2A state championship at 138 pounds … Went 40-1 as a senior … Went 5-1 at the 2013 Junior Greco Duals at 138 pounds and 5-2 at the 2013 Junior Greco Nationals … A four-time state qualifier (103, 126, 145, 138 pounds).
"Johnny is fun to watch wrestle as he has a solid Greco-Roman background. That coupled with his ability to pin makes him a very dangerous wrestler. We feel that he will continue to develop at NC State." - Popolizio
Peru, N.Y. • Wyoming Seminary Prep
Will wrestle at 165 pounds at NC State … Placed sixth at the 2013 NHSCA Senior Nationals at 160 pounds … Took third at the 2013 New York D2 state championships at 170 pounds … Second at 170 pounds at the 2012 NHSCA Junior Nationals … Was fourth at the 2012 New York D2 state championships at 170 pounds … Finished sixth at 152 pounds at the NHSCA Sophomore Nationals and was fifth at 145 pounds at the NHSCA Freshman Nationals … Was a four-time Section 7 champion, and finished his high school career with over 200 wins … A top 200 senior according to D1collegewrestling.net.
"Troy was a consistent winner throughout high school as a four-time high school All-American. This past year, Troy did a prep year at Wyoming Seminary where he improved upon an already great wrestling base to make him more college-ready." – Popolizio
Here is an update on the seven signees the Pack signed in the fall:
• Nicky Hall – National Prep Champion at 182 pounds (two-time champion), undefeated season
• Sean Fausz – Kentucky State Champion at 138 pounds (two-time champion), NHSCA High School Senior National Runner-Up at 132 pounds (three-time NHSCA All-American)
• Kevin Jack – New England Champion at 126 pounds (two-time champion), 3rd at NHSCA High School Senior Nationals at 126 pounds (three-time NHSCA All-American)
• Bryce Meredith – Wyoming State Champion at 138 pounds (four-time champion), 4th place at Ironman Championships at 132 pounds, 5th at NHSCA High School Senior Nationals (four-time NHSCA All-American)
• Troy Gregor – North Carolina 3A State Champion at 126 pounds (two-time champion)
• Chandler Pyke – Gerogia State Champion at 152 pounds (three-time champion), 2nd place at FloNationals at 138 pounds
• Will Crisco – National Prep All-American 6th place at 132 pounds (two-time National Prep All-American)
Popolizio Announces Spring Signees
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