Division 1 College Rankings, Lineups, Schedules, Recruiting, and Results

       Recruiting Rewind: A Look at the High School Class of 2007

by Earl Smith

We bring you the third installment of the D1CW Recruiting Rewind.  A look at a particular recruiting class five years after the wrestlers began their collegiate careers.  This year's edition features the high school Class of 2007, a truly star-crossed bunch, at least in the top of the rankings.  Only three of the top ten recruits from the Class of 2007 earned All-American honors in their collegiate careers, compared to 7 of 10 from 2005 (with 5 of them NCAA Champions) and 4 of 10 from 2006 (with one NCAA Champion). 

That isn't to say there wasn't a large group of talented wrestlers in the Class of 2007, it is just that most of them came from further down in the rankings.  Out of the top ten performers only one was ranked in the top 15 recruits back in 2007.  So far (there are a few wrestlers with another year of eligibility remaining) five wrestlers from the Class of 2007 have combined to win five NCAA titles and nine wrestlers were at least three time All-Americans.  The top wrestler from the Class of 2007, according to the D1CW recruiting rewind, is Michigan's Kellen Russell with 63 points.  While other wrestlers were four time All-American's, Russell's 4 Big Ten Championships and 2 NCAA Titles gave him an edge.  In the three season's studied by D1CW (2005-2007) Russell career ranks tied for fourth place with Troy Nickerson ('05) behind only Jake Varner ('05), Jayson Ness ('05) and Angel Escobedo ('05).

First lets take a look at the top 50 of Intermat's top 100 recruits from the Class of 2007.

Note: Wrestlers are listed with the schools they originally signed with at their orginial weights

1) Cody Gardner-Christiansburg, Virginia (Virginia Tech)  285 LBS

HS Credentials: 4x Virginia State Champ, 182-6 Record, Junior Freestyle National Champ, 3x Beast of the East Champ, 2x Walsh Ironman Champ

2) Zack Kemmerer-East Greenville, Pennsylvania  (Penn)  141 LBS

HS Credentials: 2x Pennsylvania State Champ, 199-18 Record, Beast of the East Champ

3) Albert White-Lynwood, Illinois  (Northern Iowa Area CC)  149 LBS

HS Credentials:  4x Illinois State Champ, 200-4 Record, Junior Freestyle National Champ, Cadet Freestyle National Runner-Up

4) Sean Nemec-Garfield Heights, Ohio  (Ohio State)  157 LBS

HS Credentials:  3x Ohio State Champ, 2x Junior National Freestyle All-American (3rd, 6th)  Cadet Freestyle National Champ, Beast of the East Champ, Walsh Ironman Champ

5) Corey Jantzen-Shoreham, New York  (Harvard)  133 LBS

HS Credentials: 2x New York State Champ, 7th Place at Midlands as HS Senior, FILA Cadet Freestyle World Team Memeber, Cadet National Freestyle 4th Place

6) Mike Benefiel-Aurora, Illinois  (Northwestern)  174 LBS

HS Credentials:  4x Illinois State Champ, 200-4 Record, Junior and Cadet Freestyle National Champ, 2x Walsh Ironman Champ

7) Tim Darling-Nazareth, Pennsylvania  (Penn State)  157 LBS

HS Credentials:  3x Pennsylvania State Champ, NHSCA Senior National Champ

8) Clayton Foster-Kamiah, Idaho  (Oklahoma State)  197 LBS

HS Credentials:  3x Idaho State Champ, NHSCA Senior National Champ, Junior Freestyle National Champ

9) Kirk Smith-Boise, Idaho  (Boise State)  184 LBS

HS Credentials:  2x Idaho State Champ, 122-24 Record, Junior Freestyle National Champ, NHSCA Senior National Champ

10) Eric Medina-Millville, New Jersey (Maryland)  149 LBS

HS Credentials:  3x National Prep Champ, 155-16 Record, 2x Walsh Ironman Champ, Beast of the East Champ, Cadet Freestyle National Champ

11) Sonny Yohn-Alamosa, Colorado (Minnesota)  197 LBS

HS Credentials:  3x Colorado State Champ, 153-15 Record, NHSCA Senior National Runner-Up, Junior Freestyle National Champ

12) Michael Chaires-Scotia, New York  (Virginia)  165 LBS

HS Credentials:  2x New York State Champ, 221-19 Record, Cadet Freestyle National Champ

13) Deron Winn-St. Louis, Missouri  (Meremac CC)  184 LBS

HS Credentials:  3x Missouri State Champ, NHSCA Senior National Champ, Junior Greco-Roman National Champ, Cadet Freestyle National Champ

14) Pat McCaffrey-Chicago, Illinois  (Navy)  133 LBS

HS Credentials:  Illinois State Champ, Iowa State Champ, Junior Freestyle National Champ, 2x Junior World Bronze Medalist

15) Zach Sanders-Wabasha, Minnesota  (Minnesota)  125 LBS

HS Credentials:  5x Minnesota State Champ, 223-5 Record, NHSCA Senior National Champ, Junior Freestyle National Champ, Junior Greco-Roman National Runner-Up

16) Nikko Triggas-Moraga, California  (Ohio State)  125 LBS

HS Credentials:  California State Champ, NHSCA Senior National Runner-Up

17) Kellen Russell-High Bridge, New Jersey  (Michigan)  141 LBS

HS Credentials: 3x National Prep Champ, 147-7 Record, NHSCA Senior National Champ, Junior Freestyle National Champ, Beast of the East Champ, Walsh Ironman Champ

18) Vicente Varela-Rio Rancho, New Mexico (Arizona State)  141 LBS

HS Credentials:  4x New Mexico State Champ, 168-4 Record, NHSCA Senior National 3rd Place, Junior National Freestyle 3rd Place

19) Max Shanaman-Basking Ridge, New Jersey  (Missouri)  141 LBS

HS Credentials:  3x National Prep Champ, 136-21 Record, Junior National Freestyle 5th Place, NHSCA Senior National 5th Place

20) Jerome Ward-Evergreen Park, Illinois  (Iowa State)  184 LBS

HS Credentials:  2x Illinois State Champ, 190-15 Record, Junior National Freestyle 3rd Place

Rest of the Top 50:

21) Nick Nelson (Virginia)  22) Luke Ashmore (Oklahoma State)  23)  Jamal Parks (Oklahoma State)  24) Connor McDonald (Lehigh)  25) Tommy Abbott (MSU-Mankato)  26)  John Weakley (Ohio State)  27)  Jared Platt (Penn State)  28) ?  29) Dom Bradley (Missouri)  30) Dominic Valencia (???)  31) Shane Nay (Oregon State)  32)  Chris Henrich (Virginia)  33)  Torrey Line (Minnesota)  34)  Dustin Kilgore (Kent State)  35)  Cole Sponseller (Ohio State)  36)  Troy Kessell (Northern Colorado)  37)  Thomas Straughn (Edinboro)  38)  Collin Dozier (Michigan State)  39)  Jamelle Jones (Meremac CC)  40) Tucker Lane (Nebraska)  41) Seth Vernon (Oklahoma)  42)  Zach Rey (Lehigh)  43)  Troy Dolan (Missouri)  44)  John Mangini (Lock Haven)  45)  Kyle DeBerry (Arizona State)  46) Jimmy Waters (Kansas--Baseball)  47) Cameron Wade (Penn State)  48)  Kelly Kubec (Oregon State)  49) Ryan Smith (Oklahoma)  50) Boris Novachkov (Cal Poly)

And here is the point scale that we used to determine our post-career rankings.  Each wrestler earned points based on his placement at the NCAA Championships as well as their respective conference tournaments.

NCAA 1st-15 pts, 2nd-13 pts, 3rd-11 pts, 4th-9 pts, 5th-8 pts, 6th-7 pts, 7th-6 pts, 8th-5 pts, Qualifier-2 pts

ACC 1st-3 pts, 2nd-2 pts, 3rd-1 pts

Big Ten 1st-7 pts, 2nd-6 pts, 3rd-5 pts, 4th-4 pts, 5th-3 pts, 6th-2 pts, 7th-1 pt

Big 12 1st-4 pts, 2nd-3 pts, 3rd-2 pts

CAA 1st-3 pts, 2nd-2 pts, 3rd-1 pt

East Region 1st-2 pts

EIWA 1st-4 pts, 2nd-3 pts, 3rd-2 pts, 4th-1 pt

EWL 1st-3 pts, 2nd-1 pt

MAC 1st-3 pts, 2nd-1 pt

Pac 12 1st-3 pts, 2nd-2 pts, 3rd-1 pt

SoCon 1st-2 pts

WWC 1st-3 pts, 2nd-1 pt

**Note that point total have been modified for the Big Ten and Big 12 with the moving of Nebraska.  Also they have been modified positively for the ACC and negatively for the Pac 12.

Now we re-rank the Class of 2007 according to their collegiate production.  Please note, these are solely based on the results and formula we have created not opinion. 

Rank/Wrestler/Final Weight Class/College Wrestler Finished At/Point Total/2006 Rank

1) Kellen Russell-141 (Michigan)  63 points  (#17)

Collegiate Career: 134-12 Record, 2x NCAA Champ, 3x All-American (1st, 1st, 7th), 4x Big Ten Champ, 2x Cliff Keen Invitational Champ, 2010 Southern Scuffle Champ

2) Cam Simaz-197 (Cornell)  58 points  (#54)

Collegiate Career: 145-21 Record, 2012 NCAA Champ, 4x All-American (1st, 3rd, 3rd, 8th)  4x EIWA Champ, 2x Southern Scuffle Champ, 2010 Cliff Keen Invitational Champ

3) Frank Molinaro-149 (Penn State)  57 points  (#68)

Collegiate Career:  121-29 Record, 2012 NCAA Champ, 2x NCAA Finalist, 4x All-American (1st, 2nd, 5th, 8th), 2x Big Ten Champ, 2012 Southern Scuffle Champ

4) Zach Rey-285 (Lehigh)  54 pionts  (#42)

Collegiate Career:  112-14 Record, 2011 NCAA Champ, 2x NCAA Finalist, 3x All-American (2nd, 1st, 3rd), 2010 EIWA Champ, 4x EIWA Finalist, 2010 Midlands Champ

5) Nick Amuchastegui (Stanford)  51 points  (NR)

Collegiate Career:  118-19 Record, 2x NCAA Runner-Up, 3x All-American (2nd, 2nd, 4th) 2x Pac 12/10 Champ, 4x Pac 12/10 Finalist, 2010 Midlands 3rd Place

6) Zach Sanders (Minnesota)  50 points  (#15)

Collegiate Career:  134-27 Record, 4x All-American (3rd, 5th, 5th, 6th), 2012 Big Ten Runner-Up, 2x Big Ten 3rd Place, 2012 Southern Scuffle Champ

7) Dustin Kilgore  (Kent State)  48 points  (#34)

Collegiate Career: 151-11 Record, 2011 NCAA Champ, 3x All-American (2nd, 1st, 7th), 4x MAC Champ, 2012 Midlands Champ, 2008 Southern Scuffle Champ

8) Boris Novachkov (Cal Poly)  44 points  (#50)

Collegiate Career:  111-23 Record, 2011 NCAA Runner-Up, 3x All-American (3rd, 2nd, 7th), 2x Pac 12/10 Champ, 3x Pac 12/10 Finalist, 2010 Midlands Champ, 2009 Cliff Keen Invitational Champ

9) Joe LeBlanc (Wyoming)  40 points  (NR)

Collegiate Career:  143-20 Record, 4x All-American (7th, 6th, 4th, 5th), 3x West Regional Champ, 4x West Regional Finalist, 2011 Cliff Keen Invitational Champ

10) Ryan Flores (American)  39 points (#64)

Collegiate Career: 92-19 Record, 2011 NCAA Runner-Up, 2x All-American (6th, 2nd), 3x EIWA Champ, 4x EIWA Finalist, 2010 Midlands 3rd Place

11) Chris Henrich (Virginia)  34 points  (#32)

Collegiate Career: 136-21 Record, 3x All-American (6th, 3rd, 7th)  2x ACC Champ, 4x ACC Finalist, 2x Southern Scuffle Runner-Up

12) Clayton Foster (Oklahoma State)  33 Points  (#8)

Collegiate Career: 99-25 Record, 2011 NCAA Runner-Up, 2x All-American (2nd, 6th), 2x Big 12 Champ

12) Kirk Smith  (Boise State)  33 points  (#9)

Collegiate Career: 102-12 Record, 2010 NCAA Runner-Up, 2x All-American (2nd, 8th), 2x Pac-10 Champ, 3x Pac-10 Finalist, 2x Cliff Keen Invitational Champ

12) Chris Honeycutt (Edinboro)  33 points  (NR)

Collegiate Career: 130-22 Record, 2012 NCAA Runner-Up, 2x All-American (2nd, 5th), 2x EWL Champ, 4x EWL Finalist, 2011 Midlands Champ, 2011 Cliff Keen Invitational Champ, 2x Southern Scuffle Champ

15) Tyler Nauman (Pittsburgh)  32 points (#116)

Collegiate Career: 122-26 Record, 2x All-American (5th, 5th), 4x EWL Champ, 2008 Cliff Keen Invitational Runner-Up

16) Jarod Trice (Central Michigan)  30 points  (#97)

Collegiate Career: 105-29 Record, 3x All-American (6th, 4th, 8th), 2011 MAC Champ, 2x MAC Runner-Up, 2009 Midlands Champ

17) Sonny Yohn (Minnesota)  31 points  (#11)

Collegiate Career:  88-42 Record, 3x All-American (5th, 7th, 8th), 2010 Big Ten Runner-Up, 2012 Big Ten 3rd Place, 2012 Southern Scuffle 3rd Place

17) Jamal Parks (Oklahoma State)  31 points  (#23)

Collegiate Career: 121-24 Record, 2011 NCAA 5th Place, 2x NCAA Round of 12 Finisher, 3x Big 12 Champ

19) Dom Bradley (Missouri)  28 points (#29)

Collegiate Career: 105-15 Record, 2x NCAA All-American (4th, 3rd), 2013 MAC Champ, 2011 Big 12 Champ, 2013 Southern Scuffle Champ, 2012 Cliff Keen Invitational Champ

20) Brandon Hatchett (Lehigh)  27 points  (#108)

Collegiate Career: 74-29 Record, 2012 NCAA Runner-Up, 2x NCAA All-American (2nd, 7th), 2012 EIWA Champ, 2x EIWA Finalist, 3x NCAA Qualifier

20) Clayton Jack (Oregon State)  27 points  (#117)

Collegiate Career:  121-37 Record, 2012 NCAA 4th Place, 2x Pac 12/10 Champ, 4x NCAA Qualifier, 2011 Cliff Keen Invitational Champ

21) Shane Onufer (Wyoming)  26 points  (NR)

Collegiate Career:  139-25 Record, 2011 NCAA 5th Place, 4x West Regional Champ, 2012 NCAA Round of 12 Finisher, 2011 Cliff Keen Invitational Champ

21) Colt Sponseller (Ohio State)  26 points  (#35)

Collegiate Career:  105-24 Record, 2011 NCAA 4th Place, 2x Big Ten Runner-Up, 2012 Cliff Keen Invitational 5th Place, 3x NCAA Qualifier

23) Micah Burak (Penn)  25 points  (NR)

24) Nic Bedelyon-125 (Kent State)  24 points  (NR)

24) Cayle Byers-197 (Oklahoma State)  24 points  (NR)

26) Kevin LeValley-149 (Bucknell)  22 points (#72)

26) Justin Lister-157  (Binghamton)  22 points  (NR)

28) PJ Gillespie-165  (Hofstra)  21 points  (#145)

28) Austin Trotman-184  (Appalachian State)  21 points  (NR)

30) Frank Perrelli-125  (Cornell)  19 points  (NR)

30) Matt Powless-197  (Indiana)  19 points  (NR)

32) Tucker Lane-285 (Nebraska)  18 points  (#40)

33) Bekzod Abdurakhmanov-165  (Clarion)  16 points  (NR)

33) Torsten Gillespie-149  (Edinboro)  16 points  (NR)

35) Nikko Triggas-125 (Ohio State)  15 points  (#16)

35) Christian Brantley-285 (Northern Iowa)  15 points  (#130)

35) Cameron Wade-285 (Penn State)  15 points  (#47)

38) Anthony Jones-157 (Michigan State)  14 points  (NR)

38) Dorian Henderson-174  (Missouri)  14 points  (NR)

38) Jerome Ward-197  (Iowa State)  14 points  (#20)

41) Justin Accordino-149  (Hofstra)  13 points  (#59)

41) Zack Kemmerer-141  (Penn)  13 points  (#2)

43) Mike Benefiel-174  (Oklahoma State)  12 points  (#6)

43) Corey Jantzen-149  (Harvard)  12 points  (#5)

43) AJ Kissel-197  (Purdue)  12 points  (#142)

43) Darrius Little-141  (NC State)  12 points  (NR)

43) Justin Zeerip-174  (Michigan)  12 points  (#83)

48) Chris Diaz-141 (Virginia Tech)  11 points  (#112)

48) Joey Fio-125  (Oklahoma)  11 points  (#95)

48) Kyle John-157  (Maryland)  11 points (NR)

48) Nick Nelson-141 (Virginia)  11 points  (#21)

48) Andrew Sorenson-165  (Iowa State)  11 points  (NR)