After recruiting individuals from across the nation, the Oklahoma Sooners head wrestling coach Jack Spates has named four new members to their 2005 recruiting class. The class includes top ranked individuals from Maryland, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Texas.
"We’re real excited about this recruiting class," said Spates. "It’s composed of great kids as well as great wrestlers."
In addition to being a strong class overall, as individuals each wrestler has been a strong competitor in their state and at the national level.
"They’re proven winners. Some of which will come in and make an immediate impact," commented Spates.
Spates attributes the small number of recruits to the fact that their recruiting for the 2005 season is just beginning.
"We will be pursuing more recruits in the spring but this is an exciting start," explained Spates.
The following is a brief look (in alphabetical order) at the Sooners 2005 class.
Blake Allen, Vinita High School, Vinita, Okla.-- Seeking his third state championship ... Finished No. 3 in the nation in the cadet Greco-Roman National Championships between his freshman and sophomore year ... Earned All-American honors ... Placed eighth in the Junior Freestyle National Championships in Fargo, N.D., in the summer of 2003 ... Projected at 157-165 pounds for the Sooners.
"Blake is not flashy but he’s as tough as they come," said Spates. ""He’s also a great pinner who has got a lot of upside. We welcome him to the Sooner wrestling family."
Jerome Featherstone, Boys’ Latin School of Maryland, Joppa, Md.--A native of Joppa, Maryland ... Recruited out of Salisbury School in Connecticut ... Maryland State Champ at 160 pounds ... National Prep runner up in 2002 and placed fourth in 2003 ... Projected at 165-174 pounds for the Sooners.
"He is an incredible athlete who stars in football and baseball," said Spates. "He’s also a fierce competitor."
Jake Jackson, Hebron High School, Carrolton, Texas-- Seeking his third state championship ... He has not been beaten in Texas since the state finals as a freshman ... Ranked as high as No. 2 in the nation ... Named Dallas Morning News "Defensive Player of the Week" ... Scored eighteen tackles in a football game as a linebacker for Hebron High School and made a 90-yard interception return for a touchdown ... Projected 157 pounder for the Sooners.
"Jake is a great kid from a great family and we are looking forward to doing great things together," said Spates.
Jarrod King, Connellsville High School, Connellsville, Pa.-- Seeking his second consecutive state championship ... Ranked No. 3 in the nation at 160 pounds...Outstanding student with plans to major in Physical Therapy ... Projected 174 pounder for the Sooners ... Potential replacement for former OU NCAA National Champion Robbie Waller.
"He’s got all the tools," says Spates. "He’s a great athlete and an excellent technician with a passion to be great. His goal is to be a multiple NCAA Champion and we are confident he can do it."