With two of the top-six ranked wrestlers in the 2016 recruiting class, and five in the top-66, FloWrestling.org has ranked the 2016 NC State wrestling recruiting class No. 1 nationally. The Pack signed 10 future student-athletes during the fall signing period, and followed up with one top-10 recruit nationally and one NHSCA senior national champion in the spring for a total of 12 in the class overall.
"This class brings lots of energy and excitement to our program," said 2016 FloWrestling and TheOpenMat.com National Coach of the Year Pat Popolizio. "This group is filled with winners on the mat and in the classroom.
"We are looking forward to getting them here to start training towards their goal of becoming ACC and NCAA champions, along with their post college aspirations. Our staff did an outstanding job putting this exceptional class together."
Under Popolizio, NC State was previously ranked #19 by FloWrestling in 2014 and #14 in 2013.
NC State is the lone ACC school in the top-10, as Pittsburgh has the conference's next highest ranked class at #11 followed by Virginia at #15 as the only other ACC schools in the top-25.
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READ: 10-Man @PackWrestle Recruiting Class Among Nation's Best
#4-Nick Reenan, TX (165/174)
#6-Hayden Hidlay, PA (149/157)
#42-Daniel Bullard, GA (174/184)
#43-Thomas Bullard, GA (165/174)
#66-Tariq Wilson, OH (133)
PG-Mike Rogers, PA (285)
Others: Tommy Cox, NY (125); Codi Russell, GA (125); Charlie Lenox, PA (133); Wade Cummings, PA (133/141); Kellen Devlin, NY (141); Chris Diaz, GA (141/149)
In Raleigh: The Wolfpack had its most successful campaign in history and this class will keep the optimism high. I've long referenced Frank Beasley as being one of the elite recruiters in college wrestling. No matter what school he's been at, Beasley has recruited above expectations. This #1 class should put a bow on that distinction.
Why They're Here: Five Top 100 recruits including elite talents in Reenan and Hidlay. With them and the Bullards, the back half of the line-up is set for years. And I'm high on Tariq Wilson, this year's Ironman Champ, who projects well as a force in the college lightweights. When all is said and done, NC State may have gotten seven starters in one single class. The future stability of the program will hearken back to this class.
Needs for Next Year: As good as the Wolfpack's season was, it may surprise you that they only graduate two starters (Gantt and Gwiazdowski). Watch for Boykin to bump up to HWT for a couple years before Rogers takes over and with Reenan and the Bullards in tow, you're seeing that the only needs in the back have for the foreseeable future is at 197 and that's IF Malik McDonald isn't serviceable.
The haul also included good lightweight prospects. In addition to Wilson, who I consider a sure-fire starter, there are several talents here. Depending on how they develop, I expect The Pack to focus on blue chippers at 125 and 141.