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 Dominates the Mat Again with Stellar Recruiting Class

Cael Sanderson and the Penn State Wrestling coaching staff have hit the recruiting trail hard this past year and their efforts have paid off in the commitments they’ve landed for the 2024 class.

I know, shocking right?

One of the best wrestlers the world has ever seen who has also guided the Nittany Lions to 10 national championships out of the last 12 tournaments tends to be a decent selling point to some of the best high school wrestlers in the country.

Can you imagine walking into the Lorenzo Wrestling Complex as a sophomore/junior in high school and seeing several Olympic gold medalists and a handful of NCAA individual champs working out and practicing? I sure as heck can’t.

Highlighting some of the 2024 recruiting class for the Penn State Wrestling program.

All rankings are as of the latest FloWrestling rankings.

No. 18 Cole Mirasola

Projected weight: 184/197

Cole hails from the grand state of Wisconsin where he won a state title in 2022 while wrestling for West Bend West High School. Mirasola trains out of the Askren Wrestling Academy and he took fifth in the most recent Fargo and seventh at the freestyle U17 World Team Trials.

Cole has a twin brother who also happens to be a talented grappler and a Nittany Lion commit. More on him very shortly.

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No. 9 Connor Mirasola

Projected weight: 184/197

I told you it would be shortly.

Just like the old cliché of “Oh, wait until you see his younger brother” goes, it can certainly be applied to Connor. Now full disclosure, I have no idea which twin was born first but let me just roll with this.

Connor is a two time Wisconsin state champion for West Bend West High School and he won the junior freestyle national championship in last summer’s Fargo. This also comes on the heels of Mirasola making the finals for the second time at the United World Wrestling U17 freestyle World Team Trials.

The Mirasola twins will potentially be a great one-two punch for the Nittany Lions in the future, however it might be difficult to guess which weight class they’ll end up landing in. Cole wrestled at 195 and Connor suited up at 182 in high school.

But wherever they end up, it’ll be a fun ride watching them compete and get better in the Penn State wrestling room.

No. 8 Mason Gibson

Projected weight: 125/133

Gibson is a five time Pennsylvania Junior Wrestling champion and he won the star-studded Super 32 tournament as an eighth grader.

While wrestling for Bishop McCort High School, Mason fell just short in the finals his freshman season in the Pennsylvania Championships. And after he tweaked his knee following his freshman campaign, an MRI revealed he had a torn ACL.

The doctor even admitted the ACL was most likely torn several times and was in that condition for possibly a year or two.

Despite this, Gibson suited up for Fargo later that year and he took home the national title in the U16 Greco-Roman division and he came in the third in freestyle.

It was then time to get his knee fixed and healed up, which unfortunately meant he would miss his sophomore season.

The road to recovery is never an easy one, and Mason is focused on healing and getting his body back in order. And due to this he took part in six matches his junior season and did not compete in the post-season.

The Nittany Lion faithful have witnessed some of the struggles Penn State has had at 125 for the last several seasons. I’m not going to mention any names, but they all know what I’m talking about.

Anyway, with the addition of Mason Gibson, it’s very likely things will turn around at 125 in the not too distant future.

No. 6 Zack Ryder
Projected weight: 184/197

Ryder hails from Westtown, N.Y. where he wrestles for Minisink Valley High School. And while Jack is only technically a junior, he is now a four time NYSPHSAA wrestling state champion (includes a COVID year).

Most recently, Ryder blew through the competition in the MVP Arena as he previously had eight matches under his belt due to an injury he suffered early in the season. But it didn’t matter, because the standout grappler dominated opponent after opponent in the 189 pound division.

Last summer Ryder won the U17 US Cadet freestyle tournament at 80 kg which then qualified him for worlds. And at the U17 United World Wrestling tournament, Zack continued to impress by earning a podium finish and a bronze medal.

Ryder is currently ranked as the No. 6 wrestler in FloWrestling’s most recent pound-for-pound rankings and he will most likely land at 197 for the Nittany Lions.

No. 5 Joseph Sealey

Projected weight: 165/174

Sealey is seen by most recruiting services as the No. 1 overall recruit in the 2024 class. And he is absolutely a big get for Cael Sanderson and the Nittany Lions.

While wrestling for the powerhouse Wyoming Seminary program, Joseph has captured Pennsylvania state titles in 2022 at 152 and in 2023 at 157. In his two years at WS, Sealey has compiled a record of 48-1 which includes eight major decisions, 17 technical falls, and 15 falls.

This past summer Sealey won the UWW freestyle U17 World Team Trials at 71 kg. His win qualified him for the worlds team, and in the competition held in Rome, Joseph utterly dismantled the competition as he outscored his opponents 55-1 in five matches. Sealey took home the gold medal and was crowned champion of the world.

Along with his high school accolades and world domination, Sealey finished third in the Super 32 and won titles at the Beast of the East, the Powerade Wrestling Tournament, and National Prep Championships.

FloWrestling currently has Sealey as the No. 12 wrestler in their pound-for-pound rankings and he will most likely compete at either 165 or 174 for the Nittany Lions.

No. 2 Luke Lilledahl
Projected weight: 125/133

Remember when I mentioned earlier about Penn State breaking the drought they’ve had at 125? With the combination of both Mason Gibson and Luke Lilledahl, there’s a really good chance something is going to give for the Nittany Lions at the lightweight slot.

And if you like gold medals and individual titles, then you’ll love Luke.

Lilledahl is a teammate of Joseph Sealey and he’s seen his fair share of winning while wrestling for the Blue Knights. In his two seasons at Wyoming Seminar, Luke has a 46-3 record and took home titles in each of the 2022 and 2023 Pennsylvania state tournaments. Both of these being at 120 pounds.

A former native of Missouri, Lilledahl bested the field this past year at the Super 32, and he snagged titles at both the Walsh Jesuit Ironman and 2023 National Prep Championships.

Luke is also no stranger to the world stage in freestyle as he’s competed on US world teams in both 2021 and in 2022. Lilledahl won a silver medal in 2021 and just like his teammate, Sealey, had a gold medal hung around his neck in Rome in 2022.

Lilledahl is the No. 13 grappler in FloWrestling’s pound-for-pound rankings, and while he has the frame to be a 133 pounder, it’s possible he could still slot down at 125 for Penn State.

Summary

For all of you math enthusiasts out there, that makes five out of the top nine and six out of the top 18 for Penn State Wrestling in the 2024 recruiting class.

It’s what most experts would probably call “top-heavy” or even “soul crushing” if you’re a Hawkeye fan.

And when you add Bernie Truax, Mitchell Mesenbrink, and Mason’s brother, Erik Gibson, to the mix via the portal? Whoa boy.

The competition in the Nittany Lion wrestling room and the action on the mat is going to be heated, it’s going to be high level, and for Penn State fans, it’s going to be incredible to watch for the next handful of years. And beyond …

Penn State Wrestling
Penn State Wrestling took home the national championship, commemorate the NIttany Lions’ win with this National Champs t-shirt by Nike.
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