ODU Wrestling Announces 2007 Recruiting Class
By ODU Athletics
May 15, 2007
NORFOLK, VA - ODU head wrestling coach Steve Martin announced the signing of his 2007 rookie class, a smattering of student-athletes from all over the country. In addition to early signees Roy Dragon III and Gary Frazier, the coaching staff has recruited seven more wrestlers to Old Dominion. The nine recruits come from eight different states and will add unprecedented depth at nearly every weight class. Seven of the newcomers are state champions with 10 state titles, eight state runner-up finishes, and five All-American finishes between them in high school. Coach Martin had recruited back-to-back top eight recruiting classes and is projected to be among the top twenty again this season.
"After two large recruiting classes, what you see the coaching staff doing at Old Dominion is building depth and improving the quality of competition within the room," said Jason Bryant, Lead Writer and Webmaster for InterMatWrestle.com. "It goes in cycles. Some teams have big groups one year and smaller ones the next. [...] With Old Dominion, they're set down low and you saw an aggressive approach to middle-and-upper weights. With the class they have signed this year, it's a possibility that it could very well be Top 20 when all is said and done with."
ODU added two nationally ranked recruits in Dragon and Frazier back in November adding depth to the upper weights. Frazier (Shawnee, OK) is a two-time Oklahoma state champion with a career record of 112-9 including a successful senior campaign. He's a proven champion with two titles in wrestling, one in football, and four in track. The Oklahoma native chose Old Dominion over Big 12 power University of Oklahoma. Frazier is projected to wrestle at 197 pounds for the Monarchs.
Dragon (Bridgewater, NJ) will slide into the battle at the heavyweight slot as a top seven competitor in the New Jersey state championship three times. The honor student has 77 career pins, is a three-time New Jersey state placewinner and is a two-time NHSCA All-American.
"Our staff is very pleased with this years class. This is another group of high quality individuals that are currently and will continue to be great wrestlers and productive members of society," said Martin. "This class has an average GPA of 3.2 coming out of high school. There is definitely All-American potential in this group and we can also expect Academic All-Americans as well."
Newcomers to the recruiting class include Virginia native Scott Cust from Great Bridge High School in Chesapeake. Cust tallied a 158-40 career record, is a NHSCA senior national All-American and was ranked as high as 8th in the nation at 189 lbs. He is a two-time Virginia AAA state champion as well as a repeat place winner at the respected Beast of the East and Ironman tournaments. Cust, also a freestyle state champion, will battle for a spot at 184 lbs.
Derek Peperas (Midwest City, Oklahoma) and Lester France (Flat Rock, Michigan) are newcomers coming in with over 175 victories in high school. Peperas, projected to wrestle at 165 lbs., is a two-time New Mexico state champion and a five-time state finalist including the runner-up in Oklahoma his senior year. He was also a finalist as an 8th grader in 2003. The two-time NHSCA All-American has been ranked as high as 10th in the nation by USA Wrestling Magazine and chose ODU over national powers Missouri, Iowa State, and Oklahoma.
France comes to ODU over Big Ten power Michigan State with an incredible 217 wins at the high school level. He is a two-time Michigan state champion and a three-time finalist. He was an NHSCA Senior National All-American while also lettering in football and track. The Flat Rock honor roll student is projected to wrestle at 157 lbs.
"This class, along with our previous two recruiting classes, should help us achieve our very high expectations that our staff has for these guys," said Martin.
Also coming to Old Dominion is Hoover, Alabama native TC Pendleton, projected at 174 lbs. TC finished his high school career with a record of 124-13 highlighted by an Alabama state championship his senior year. Pendleton, an Eagle Scout, was a state runner-up in 2005.
Also coming from the south is Zeke Donahay from Lakeland, Florida. Donahay carries a high GPA, is a member of the National Honor Society, class vice president, and also is involved with several community service projects. On the mat, he was a two-time state place winner and a three-time national team member as well as being team captain and MVP for two years.
Rounding out the group of newcomers are Tel Todd (Bozeman, Montana) and Andy Totusek (Omaha, Nebraska). Todd is the brother of nationally ranked All-American Michigan wrestler Tyrel Todd, and comes in a three-time Montana state place winner and one time champion in 2006. He is a two-time Brute Adidas All-American and a four-time Montana freestyle state champion. He's been ranked as high as 8th in the nation by Amateur Wrestling News as well as being a four-time Academic All-State honoree.
Andy Totusek is projected to wrestle at 285 lbs. for the Monarchs. He is a three-time state placewinner for Daniel J. Gross Catholic High School as well as the being the Nebraska state champion his senior year. The wrestler comes to ODU standing 6-3 and weighing in at 300 pounds.
"This class fulfills some of our needs in the upper weights as well as provides some depth," Martin added. "We have five high school All-Americans in this group and some of these guys will need to step in right away to help us. We have high expectations for our team and we feel everyone that we brought in fits in with our team goals and philosophy."
The Monarchs finished the 2006-07 season second in the CAA to Hofstra University and sent three Old Dominion wrestlers to the NCAA Tournament. ODU finished with a 12-7 record and graduates just one starter.