ODU Wrestling Boasts Another Potential Top Ten Recruiting Class

April 25, 2006
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

April 25, 2006

NORFOLK, VA - Old Dominion University today announced it's 2006 additions to the Monarch wrestling roster. Projected to be ranked in the top ten once again, this year's recruiting class is made up of 11 high profile recruits. Of the new signees, one was a Junior College National Champion last year, several were ranked in the top five in their home states, and all of them turned down offers from major programs in either the Big Ten, Big Twelve, and Atlantic Coast Conferences to wrestle in the Colonial.

"With this year's class, in addition to last year's recruits, we feel we have a solid foundation on which to win many conference titles and contend for a national championship in the future," remarked assistant coach Lee Pritts. "This is a very credentialed class with 10 state titles and two national titles, which says a lot about the type of people we are attracting to our program."

This year's recruits are winners in the classroom as well. Four of the recruits have been awarded academic scholarships by Old Dominion University, with two others up for consideration for academic aid for impressive grades and academic excellence. The average grade point average of the incoming recruits was a 3.4.

"One of the things we are most pleased about, in regards to this class, is that they are true student athletes, which is outstanding," comments Pritts. "We are looking for students that can get it done in both areas, we want academic All-Americans."

This is ODU's second consecutive year with a top ten recruiting class under second year head coach Steve Martin and his staff. "When people look back years from now they will say that these two signing classes will be the one that got the ball rolling for Old Dominion," says Pritts.

Kyle Hutter, an ODU academic scholarship award recipient, is a two time state place winner and ranked 7th in the country by W.I.N Magazine at 125 pounds. His is touted as being the 70th best recruit in the nation according to www.revwrestling.com. Hutter placed third in the state of Illinois as a senior, fourth his junior year, and finished his high school career with a 165-27-career record. In 2005, He was a Junior National All-American in freestyle and placed third at the FILA Cadets. He turned down offers from Illinois, Missouri, and Northwestern.

Derek Coffey, a Pennsylvania state place winner at 171 pounds, was a 2006 PIAA District 4 Champion, and 2006 PIAA Northeast Region Champion. Coffey was the 2005 Dale Klingerman Tournament Champion and Newport Holiday Classic Champion. He amassed a high school career record of 115-35. Additionally, he is up for consideration for acceptance in to the Old Dominion ROTC program. Coffey turned down an offer to wrestle for Penn State.

Steve Kocevar, a transfer from Slippery Rock University and former Western Branch standout, will look to fill the heavyweight opening in the Monarch lineup. Kocevar started for Slippery Rock in the 2004 season, then red-shirted during the 2005 season. He comes to Old Dominion after Slippery Rock announced at the end of the season that it would be discontinuing its wrestling program, effective in 2006. Of the four wins Kocevar recorded during his career at Slippery Rock, one was by pin and two were by major decision. He was a Virginia state place winner while wrestling for Western Branch High School in Chesapeake. He turned down offers from UNC and Virginia Tech.

Billy Chamberlin was a state champion in Pennsylvania, and won the state championship after defeating three other nationally ranked wrestlers in his weight class. Chamberlin in ranked as the 63rd best wrestler in the nation according to www.revwrestling.com. He compiled a 110-21-career record in high school. He has been awarded several All-American awards as well including Junior Greco, USA Wrestling, Brute Adidas, and FILA Junior Greco. Chamberlin was a MAWA Eastern Nationals Champion and was recruited by Arizona State, Purdue, and Penn State.

James Nicholson went undefeated his senior year 42-0 and won the Iowa State Championship at 119 pounds and is ranked seventh by Wrestling USA. He has been awarded several honors including being a 2005 Wendy's High School Heisman Award Nominee, a two time state Greco State Champ, a two time Brute Adidas All-American, a Junior Greco All-American in 2004, and the 2005 Cliff Keen Mid-American National Champion. During his career at Roosevelt High School, Nicholson compiled a 132-19 career record, first team academic all-state title, and was Roosevelt High School's Man of the Year. He holds the school single season record and career record for wins and near falls, as well as the school record for career technical falls. Nicholson turned down offers from Iowa State, Nebraska, Purdue, and Northern Iowa, and was awarded an academic scholarship from Old Dominion University.

Matt Collum, a transfer from Iowa Central Community College, will fill the void at 157 pounds for the Monarchs. Collum was a 2005 Junior College National Champion, and in high school was a 2004 NHSCA High School National Champion. "Matt Collum was a big prize in this class," says Pritts. "He can contend for a national title immediately which makes him a legitimate stud." Collum picked Old Dominion over Northern Illinois, Oklahoma State, Oregon State and Northern Iowa.

Joey Metzler, a three-time Virginia state finalist, comes to ODU from Tuner Ashby High School. He is rated as the 212th best recruit in the nation by Intermat wrestling. His career high school record of 138-19 sets a school record for wins, passing former Monarch Adam Wright's high school career mark. He was a two time District Champion, a three time state finalist, a two time Virginia All-Star, and the 2006 Valley District Wrestler of the year. Metzler was also a member of the Turner Ashby State Championship football team, and graduated with a 3.98 grade point average. Missouri, Lehigh, and VMI also recruited him.

The last four recruits Daniel Rivera, Adam Koballa, Matt Edmondson, and Jesse Strawn were all signed and announced on November 17, 2005.

"We filled a lot of needs with this class, and these guys all have goals of becoming national champions and All-Americans which fits in line with what our staff preaches," regarded Pritts. "We feel we are starting to get on the level of the Big Ten and Big Twelve schools. We are recruiting and landing some of the same recruits they are. Now all that is left to do is start producing.