Cowboy Wrestling Inks Strong Class

At Oklahoma State the Cowboys and head coach John Smith don't rebuild, they reload. Further evidence of that is the Cowboys latest recruiting class which numbers four, and three of the four are Junior national champions with the fourth being an All-American.

Clayton Foster,out of Kamiah, Iowa, Jamal Parks of Tulsa Union, and Luke Silver and Luke Ashmore, both from Bishop Lynch High School in Dallas, Texas, all signed with the Cowboys.

"This particular class, it is exciting to have them," said Smith. "You have three junior national champions and Luke Silver who is an All-American and is highly rated. His upside, when you watch him, is that this guy is going to get a lot better. He has been wrestling about 140 (pounds), and I project him to be a 157-pounder by the time he wrestles in his college career. Most of those kids don't have a chance to start until after their redshirt year. You don't want to start them until then. Two years from today I see him being a 157-pounder and maybe bigger. He has a lot of height."

Silver is ranked fourth in the country at his weight by WIN Magazine and is a National Prep All-American. Silver and Ashmore, who follows his brother Ben to the Cowboy wrestling program, are both coached in Dallas by a former Cowboy and Olympic great.

"Both of those kids come from Coach Kenny Monday, who is coaching them down there," Smith said of Silver and Ashmore. "That is a huge advantage when you have someone like that in your room. He's a big reason why we're down there on those kids. They are getting some top instruction and he is motivating them to be the best that they can be."

Ashmore is a 2006 Junior national champion and a three-time National Prep finalist that won the title as a sophomore.

Foster is the top ranked wrestler in the country at 189 pounds. He is a 2006 Junior national champion and a two-time state champion in Idaho. "Foster is a real competitor on the mat," said Smith. "We needed the 197 or 184-pounder."

Parks is a two-time state champion at Union, and he is also the 2006 Junior national champion. He is currently the top-ranked wrestler at 135 pounds.

"Probably the best wrestler in the state since Johny Hendricks and Teyon Ware came out is Jamal Parks of Tulsa Union," added Smith. "The last time this caliber came out of this state was when Hendricks and Ware graduated. I think we're all going to be very surprised with him. He is a very talented wrestler. He is very athletic and he started wrestling late, maybe the seventh or eighth grade. The work he has put in is evident as he went up and won junior nationals. I can name several of our national champions (at OSU) that haven't won that championship."

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