The 2016 recruiting season for college wrestling is coming to a close and Iowa just added another name to their future roster, Ohio prep wrestler Justin Stickley. Stickley, a wrestler at Ohio's high-powered St. Paris Graham high school, is a two-time runner-up at the Ohio State Wrestling Tournament. He was runner-up last year at 106 lbs and runner-up this year at 120 lbs. He projects at 125 lbs in college.
While Stickley is a graduating senior this spring, he won't actually be a member of Iowa's 2016 recruiting class. Stickley is moving to Iowa this year to establish residency so that he can claim in-state tuition, but he won't be enrolling at Iowa -- and joining the Iowa wrestling team -- until the 2017-18 season. So he's more accurately classified as a member of Iowa's 2017 recruiting class.
Stickley is not the most highly-regarded recruit -- he's not ranked by any of the national services -- but he will provide Iowa with another option at the light weights. After 2016-17, Iowa will graduate Thomas Gilman and Cory Clark at 125 and 133, meaning there will be ample opportunity for newcomers in 2017-18. Given his credentials and the fact that he'll be spending a year away from wrestling, Stickley will be a decided long shot to take the 125 lb spot that season, but who knows -- the competition for those spots should be pretty wide open.
Stickley's recruitment is also significant because of the school he's from, St. Paris Graham. SPG is one of the most successful high school wrestling programs in the country (ranked #3 in InterMat's high school team rankings) and they routinely churn out top-notch wrestlers, including Alex Marinelli (#3 in 2016), Micah Jordan (#6 in 2014), Bo Jordan (#1 in 2013), Isaac Jordan (#27 in 2012), and Ryan Taylor (#35 in 2012). Marinelli is, of course, the crown jewel in Iowa's 2016 recruiting class. Developing stronger ties to that program can only be a very good thing for Iowa's future recruiting efforts. Iowa has been making inroads with several strong programs lately, like the Young Guns wrestling club in Pennsylvana ('15 Michael Kemerer, #8; '16 Kaleb Young, #28) and Clovis High School (ranked #9 in InterMat's high school team rankings) in California ('17 Justin Meija, #19). Those are the steps Iowa needs to take to continue to improve their recruiting efforts.
More information: IAWrestle's interview with Justin Stickley.