Penn State Wrestling: Reviewing the 2025 recruiting class

NittanyCentral is home for the latest Penn State Football, Penn State Wrestling, Penn State Basketball news, updates, and analysis of the Penn State Nittany Lions

NittanyCentral is home for the latest Penn State Football, Penn State Wrestling, Penn State Basketball news, updates, and analysis of the Penn State Nittany Lions

NittanyCentral is home for the latest Penn State Football, Penn State Wrestling, Penn State Basketball news, updates, and analysis of the Penn State Nittany Lions

The latest news, insight, and analysis of Penn State Football, Penn State Wrestling, and Penn State Basketball, including schedules, game results, analysis of breaking news, rumors, speculation, and recruiting coverage of future Penn State Nittany Lions

NittanyCentral is home to the latest Penn State Nittany Lions news, updates, insight, and analysis, including in-depth coverage of Penn State Football, Penn State Wrestling, Penn State Basketball, and much more

Penn State Wrestling: Reviewing the 2025 recruiting class

Penn State Wrestling and Cael Sanderson have been an unstoppable force on the recruiting trail over the past several cycles. And for good reason.

The Nittany Lions have won 11 out of the last 13 NCAA Championships, including three straight NCAA team titles from 2022-2024.

Penn State Wrestling, Cael Sanderson
Penn State Wrestling head coach Cael Sanderson. (Image by Scott Pilutek for NittanyCentral)

In just the last four NCAA tournaments, Penn State wrestling has taken home a staggering 15 individual titles. Which includes the first Penn State wrestlers to win four NCAA titles (Carter Starocci and Aaron Brooks) and the first team in NCAA history to have two four-timers on the same team.

I know, right?

It’s a crazy notion to think the best high school wrestlers in the nation want to get into the best college wrestling room in the country, where they can be trained by the best coaching staff.

So with that, let’s do a quick recap of the talented group of wrestlers who will be matriculating to Happy Valley next year.

All recruiting rankings are based on FloWrestling’s latest D1 Commitment List as of 4/20/2024.

2025 Penn State Wrestling Recruiting Class

Penn State Wrestling, Cael Sanderson,
Penn State head coach Cael Sanderson (Image via HawkCentral)

Asher Cunningham

High School: State College
Recruiting rank: 92
Projected weight: 149/157

For obvious reasons, Asher doesn’t have far to travel to get to the Penn State wrestling room.

And those are the simple facts that he already lives in State College and his father is Nittany Lion assistant coach, Casey Cunningham. So, Asher’s commitment to Penn State wasn’t much of a surprise.

However, with his connections to the program aside, the dude can flat-out wrestle. And Cunningham will no doubt be a valuable addition to the room.

While at State College, Asher has compiled a career high school record of 100-17. Additionally, this includes an eighth place finish in the PIAA State Wrestling Championships his freshman year and a fourth place finish his sophomore year.

Then this past season Asher was able to take home his first state title and had his most impressive season on the mat. Cunningham bumped up to 160 pounds and had an impressive 37-1 record. Equally important was his shear dominance. Of his 37 wins, three were by major decision, four by technical fall, and 19 were via fall.


Dalton Perry

High School: Central Mountain
Recruiting rank: 25
Projected weight: 133/141

The Nittany Lions are getting an absolute hammer in Dalton Perry.

The standout junior at Central Mountain has a career record of 119-12 and he’s eclipsed the 20 fall mark in each of his first three seasons. Perry took home a PIAA title his freshman year and then followed this up with a third-place finish his sophomore year and runner-up this past year.

Perry knew exactly where he wanted to continue his wrestling career and he made up his mind very early. After winning the PIAA title in 2022, Dalton pledged his commitment to Cael Sanderson and the Nittany Lions. A full three years before he would even set foot on campus!

And between Braeden Davis, Aaron Nagao, Tyler Kasak, and Dalton Perry, the Nittany Lions have a completely stacked group at 133 and 141 pounds down the road.


Nate Desmond

 

High School: Wyoming Seminar
Recruiting rank: 18
Projected weight: 125/133

Speaking of “stacked room”, you can also add Nate Desmond’s name to that list.

Nate is a three-time PIAA champion and was previously teammates with Tyler Kasak at Bethlehem Catholic before transferring to Wyoming Seminary. Furthermore, Desmond went undefeated at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Duals, finished third at the past Ironman, finished fourth at Fargo this past summer, and had a runner-up performance at Super 32.

Desmond further added to his trophy case when he won an individual title at the 2024 National Prep Wrestling Championships this past February.

Nate owns a career high school record of 108-5 and a career bonus point percentage of over 70%. And one thing is for sure, it will be exciting to see what he can do in the Penn State Wrestling room and on the mat in Rec Hall once he hits campus.

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William Henckel


High School: Blair Academy
Recruiting rank: 8
Projected weight: 174

Blair Academy’s William Henckel announced to the nation back in December that he was choosing Cael Sanderson and the Nittany Lions as his college of choice.

Blair Academy is known for its wrestling prowess and they’ve built a program that has sustained success across the nation. It’s no wonder that some of their elite grapplers are choosing to wrestle for the best coaching staff in the country and for the best wrestling program in the country.

Henckel now follows in the footsteps of former Blair standout and NCAA All-American, Shayne Van Ness.

Henkel was the fifth commit in the 2025 class and it appears the Nittany Lions will most likely stay at this number.

William won the U16 title at the 2021 Fargo, was an Ironman finalist, and recently won a title at the Beast of the East Championships. And he’s also no stranger to Penn State’s No. 5 overall recruit in the 2024 class, Joe Sealey. Henckel and Sealey butted heads in the U20 World Team Trials (William won 9-7) and they faced off in FloWrestling’s Who’s Number One back on September 2nd (Sealey won 4-2). William has competed at 152, 160, and 165 pounds and it looks like he will project to compete at 174 in college.


PJ Duke

Penn State Wrestling, PJ Duke, Penn State Wrestling Recruiting
Minisink Valley’s PJ Duke, left, wrestles Saugerties’ Isaiah Hockx in the Section 9 Div. I championships in Central Valley, NY on February 10, 2024. ALLYSE PULLIAM/For the Times Herald-Record

High School: Minisink Valley
Recruiting rank: 1
Projected weight: 157/165

With his commitment to the Nittany Lions, Duke follows in the footsteps of fellow Minisink Valley teammate Zack Ryder. Furthermore, this adds to the ridiculous talent that is slated to matriculate to Happy Valley in the next couple of years.

According to Flowrestling, PJ was a busy man this last June as his recruiting process opened with a whirlwind of phone calls. When it was all said and done, Duke fielded over 30 calls and was on the blower for over five hours.

And for good reason.

Duke’s wrestling accomplishments are long and they are impressive.

Just last year PJ won titles at the Walsh Ironman, Fargo, and the Super 32. And prior to that, he compiled a record of 45-0 and became the youngest-ever Section 1, NYSPHSAA, and Eastern States champion at 99 pounds … as a seventh grader.

Wow.

And between October and December of this past season, Duke bested the likes of No. 12 recruit Vince Bouzakis, No. 9 recruit Kollin Rath, No. 3 recruit LaDarion Lockett, and No. 7 recruit William Henckel.

However, PJ had to miss the majority of his last season due to an injury which required surgery.

Duke is well on his way to recovering and he projects to be a hammer in the middle of the Penn State lineup between 157 and 165.

MORE: Projecting Penn State’s 2024-2025 Starting Lineup

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Chris Snyder
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