June 12, 2013
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan wrestling program has landed the nation's top recruiting class, according to all major wrestling media outlets. Head coach Joe McFarland's 11-man class, which combined for 16 state titles over their high school careers, is ranked No. 1 by InterMat, Amateur Wrestling News, W.I.N. Magazine and Flowrestling.
The Wolverines' 2013-14 freshman class will include Domenic Abounader (Gates Mills, Ohio/St. Edward HS), Jordan Amine (Brighton, Mich./Brighton HS), Ernest Battaglia (Hinsdale, Ill./Hinsdale Central HS), Aaron Calderon (Brighton, Mich./Brighton HS), Adam Coon (Fowlerville, Mich./Fowlerville HS), George Fisher (St. Charles, Ill./Marmion Academy), Payne Hayden (St. Johns, Mich./St. Johns HS), Cameron Kennedy (Richmond, Ill./Richmond-Burton HS), Brian Murphy (Carol /Stream, Ill./Glenbard North HS), Ayoola Olapo (Menomonee Falls, Wis./Menomonee Falls) and Ben Whitford (St. Johns, Mich./St. Johns HS).
The class includes four individuals listed among the top 30 national recruits by InterMat, and six members are ranked among the top 20 at their respective weight classes.
Listed as the nation's top-ranked 182-pound wrestler and No. 11 overall recruit, Abounader is a three-time Ohio state champion at powerhouse St. Edward High School, twice winning at 182 pounds (2012, '13) after claiming the 160-pound title as a sophomore (2011). He boasted a 135-8 career prep record, including a perfect 36-0 senior season. Off the mat, Abounader was a two-year starter at free safety on St. Edward's nationally ranked football team. He is projected to compete at 184 or 197 pounds for Michigan.
Amine was a two-time Michigan state placewinner, claiming fourth as a freshman (2012) at 119 pounds and taking sixth place at 145 pounds as a senior (2013), reaching the semifinals before having to default with injury. He registered a 203-27 career prep record, including a 48-4 mark as a senior. His father, Sam (1988-90), and uncle, Mike (1986-89), both wrestled at Michigan. He is projected to compete at 149 pounds for Michigan.
Battaglia accumulated a career record of 125-24 as a four-year starter at Hinsdale Central HS. He earned a top-eight finish at the 2012 USA Wrestling Preseason Nationals and garnered three All-West Suburban Conference accolades. A three-time All-Academic selection, Battaglia contributed to Team Illinois' Junior National Duals championship. He is projected to wrestle at 149 or 157 pounds at Michigan.
Calderon captured a Michigan state title at 152 pounds as a junior (2012) and posted a 183-37 career prep record. He took fifth place at the 2012 ASICS Iowa Folkstyle Nationals and earned All-America status at the Virginia Beach Duals. Calderon will likely wrestle at 157 pounds for Michigan.
Coon, the nation's top-ranked heavyweight and No. 2 overall recruit, is a four-time Michigan state champion, claiming back-to-back titles at 215 pounds (2010, '11) before winning at 285 pounds as a junior and senior (2012, '13). He boasted a career prep record of 212-3, including a 161-0 mark over his last three seasons. Coon has excelled in the international styles, capturing a USA Wrestling Triple Crown in 2012 with Junior National titles in Greco-Roman, freestyle and folkstyle. He also captured the 100 kg/220-pound freestyle title at the 2011 FILA Cadet World Championships in Hungary. Off the mat, Coon earned all-state football honors at linebacker and is a four-time all-state performer in the shot put and discus. He will wrestle at heavyweight at Michigan.
Listed as the nation's No. 16-ranked 132-pound wrestler, Fisher is a two-time Illinois state champion, winning at 132 (2013) and 119 pounds (2011), and is a three-time state finalist, taking second place at 126 pounds last season. He compiled a 159-21 career prep record. He captured the 132-pound title at the 2012 USA Wrestling Preseason Nationals and participated in the 2013 Wrestling USA Dream Team Classic. Fisher will likely wrestle at 133 or 141 for Michigan.
Ranked No. 12 nationally at 195 pound and as the No. 98 overall recruit, Hayden captured a Michigan state title at 189 pounds this season. He is a four-time state placewinner, claiming third as a freshman (2010) and sophomore (2011) and second as a junior (2012), and he compiled a prep record of 189-22. In the international styles, he earned 2011 FILA Cadet All-America honors in both freestyle and Greco-Roman. Hayden is projected to wrestle at 197 pounds at Michigan.
Kennedy captured an Illinois state title this season and is a four-time state placewinner, taking sixth, second and third place over his first three seasons. He owns a 136-15 career prep record. His older brother, Jimmy, was a three-time All-American at Illinois and currently trains in Ann Arbor as part of the Cliff Keen Wrestling Club. Kennedy will likely wrestle at 125 or 133 for Michigan.
Ranked No. 6 nationally at 152 pound and as the No. 27 overall recruit, Murphy was a four-time Illinois state placewinner, claiming second place at 140 pounds (2011) and 152 pounds (2012, '13) after placing third at 130 pounds as a freshman (2010). He was 166-14 in his prep career, posting a near-perfect 71-2 mark over his last two seasons. Murphy is a three-time Fargo All-American in freestyle, capturing a 2010 Cadet title at 140 pounds. Off the mat, he earned all-conference honors as starting quarterback and safety at Glenbard North High, which took second place in the 2012 Illinois Class 8A state championship. He is projected to wrestle at 157 or 165 pounds for Michigan.
Olapo, who started wrestling as a high school sophomore, was a two-time Wisconsin state qualifier, finishing his career as the 182-pound state runner-up (2013). He posted a career prep record of 84-20, including a 48-3 mark as a senior. He also excelled in soccer and track at Menomonee Falls HS. He is projected to wrestle at 184 pounds while at Michigan.
Whitford, the nation's top 145-pound wrestler and No. 4 overall recruit, is a four-time state champion, claiming two titles -- at 119 and 130 pounds -- at Marmion Academy in Illinois before capturing titles at 140 (2012) and 145 pounds (2013) in his native Michigan. He boasted a near-perfect 164-1 career prep record, including undefeated seasons as a freshman (44-0), junior (42-0) and senior (37-0). In international styles, Whitford is a five-time Fargo champion, winning three freestyle titles and two Greco-Roman titles. He captured the 60kg/132-pound title -- and outstanding wrestler honors -- at FILA Juniors in April. He will likely wrestle at 141 or 149 pounds at Michigan.
MICHIGAN WRESTLING 2012-13 RECRUITING CLASS
||Hometown (High School)
||Gates Mills, Ohio (St. Edward)
||Brighton, Mich. (Brighton)
||Hinsdale, Ill. (Central)
||Brighton, Mich. (Brighton)
||Fowlerville, Mich. (Fowlerville)
||St. Charles, Ill. (Marmion Academy)
||St. Johns, Mich. (St. Johns)
||Richmond, Ill. (Burton)
||Carol Stream, Ill. (Glenbard North)
||(Menomonee Falls, Wis./Menomonee Falls)
||St. Johns, Mich. (St. Johns)
Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423