State Wrestling Signs Nationally Ranked Recruiting Class

Brett Friedlander

In a case of the rich getting richer, the NC State wrestling team has signed a nine-man recruiting class ranked eighth nationally.

This is the third time in the past five years that coach Pat Popolizio’s program has brought in a class ranked among the nation’s top 10 by FloWrestling. The new additions join a team that went undefeated during the dual season, won its second straight ACC tournament championship and ranked third nationally going into the NCAA championship meet that was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"It might be one of the best ever, as far as the mentality, work ethic, the quality, total package of kid that you want," Popolizio told "It's very low-risk bringing these guys in, both academically and lifestyle. It's up to those guys to decide who's going to be the guy at their weight, but I know they'll elevate our program on and off the mat."

Here’s a look at the newest members of the Wolfpack:

Anthony Noto, 125, Lima, N.Y.: A four-time state champion, Noto compiled a 174-6 record in high school and was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler at the New York State meet in both his junior and senior years. He is ranked No. 9 nationally by FloWrestling, No. 11 by The Open Mat and No. 12 by InterMat.

Ryan Jack, 141, Danbury, Conn.: Like Noto, Jack is a four-time state champion. The two-time Connecticut Wrestler of the Year went undefeated as a junior, going 47-0 while becoming his school’s first national champion -- winning at 126 pounds while earning Most Outstanding Wrestler honors at the National High School Coaches Association meet. He is the younger brother of former Wolfpack wrestler and three-time All-American Kevin Jack and a former high school teammate of current ACC champion Jakob Camacho.

Ed Scott, 149/157, DuBois, Pa.: Scott was a perfect 79-0 while winning Pennsylvania state titles in his final two years of high school. He finished his prep career with a 151-6 record with a district record 105 pins. He was named to The Open Mat's High School All-Senior second-team.

A.J. Kovacs, 157/165, Danbury, Conn.: Ranked No. 5 at 152 pounds by The Open Mat, Kovacs was both the New York and Connecticut state champion in 2019, as well as the Flo Nationals champion. He was the New York state runnerup this year and a two-time NHSCA finalist.

Joe Roberts, 157/165, Aurora, Ill.: Roberts won the Illinois 3A state championship this year. He finished his high school career with a 148-33 record.

Donald Cates, 165 pounds, Durham: A local product out of Northern Durham High School, Cates is a two-time NCHSAA champion who competed in college open tournaments as a senior -- placing at both the 2019 Appalachian State Open and the 2020 Wolfpack Open.

Kai Bele, 174, Buffalo, N.Y.: Bele didn’t wrestle competitively this year. Instead, he attended the Wolfpack’s Regional Training Center while attending Athens Drive High School in Raleigh. He was a 2018 and 2019 state championship in Florida

Dylan Reinert, 174, Gettysburg, Pa: Reinert placed third at the Pennsylvania state high school meet this year. A NHSCA runnerup as a junior in 2019, he finished his prep career with a 164-21 record and 87 pins.

Isaac Trumble, 197/285 pounds, Springfield, Neb.:Trumble won the Nebraska state title at 182 as a junior and 285 as a senior, going a combined 106-0 over his final two seasons. His overall high school record was 203-15. He is ranked among the top seven nationally at 285 by FloWrestling, InterMat and The Open Mat.

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