Old Dominion Wrestling Adds Three More To Top Ten Recruiting Class

May 27, 2005
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

May 27, 2005

NORFOLK, Va. -- Old Dominion University wrestling head coach Steve Martin has announced the addition of three student-athletes to his top ten recruiting class, including transfers from the BIG 10 and BIG XII conferences. Joining the Monarch wrestling program for the 2005-06 season include Illinois transfer Michael Martin (Chesapeake, Va.), Missouri transfer T.J. Hansen (Dallas, Texas), and prep standout Ryan Williams (Mechanicsburg, Pa.).

Martin, nephew of Monarch head coach Steve Martin, returns to the Hampton Roads area after spending three years as a member of the Fighting Illini program where he was a two-year starter and 2004 NCAA championship qualifier. He qualified for the NCAA Championships as a redshirt freshman, getting a 26-second fall over All-American Cory Cooperman of Lehigh in the opening round. Martin has built a 24-23 record at 141 pounds, starting his first season at Illinois with a 10-0 record before redshirting. Coached by his uncle scholastically at Great Bridge High School in Chesapeake, he amassed 179 victories to just four losses and is one of eight four-time Group AAA state champions. Coming from a rich wrestling family tradition, Martin's father, David, was a four-time high school state champion at Granby High School in Norfolk and together they are only the second father/son combination to win four state titles in wrestling history.

"Michael will greatly bolster our team's success because he will be at his true weight of 133 pounds," remarked ODU head coach Martin. "He has high academic and athletic goals which will also enhance the overall image of the program. He's coming to Old Dominion to win a national title."

Hansen will graduate from the University of Missouri during the summer and will enroll at Old Dominion as a graduate student in the College of Business and Public Administration. Hanson saw limited action in dual meets wrestling behind two-time NCAA runner-up Ben Askren, but went 15-5 during the 2004-05 season and earned a career mark of 34-20. Wrestling last season at 174 pounds, he won the Missouri Valley Open and picked up two victories over Stanford's Imad Kharbush, an NCAA championship quarterfinalist. A Dallas native, Hansen won three Texas high school state titles at Dallas Jesuit Prep.

"T.J. fills an immediate need for us at 174 pounds, with that weight class being vacated by senior John Adams" Martin said. "He's wrestled in the Big XII conference for the last four years and knows what it takes to be an All-American. We expect him to step in and contend for All-American honors next year. T.J. is also an excellent role model for us academically."

Williams, a two-time sectional and regional champion, went 103-20 during his high school career at Cumberland Valley High School in Mechanicsburg, Pa, placing fifth in the Beast of the East Tournament at 119 pounds as a junior and seventh in the PIAA state tournament. Although an injury cut Williams' senior season short, he recorded victories over some of the nation's top high school wrestlers.

"The coaching staff felt we got an unbelievable pickup in Ryan," Martin said. "It's important in our recruiting process to gain as many kids from wrestling-rich states like Pennsylvania. Ryan's a tenacious mat wrestler that wrestles every second of every match,"

Martin will drop from 141 to 133 pounds and will have two years of eligibility remaining, while Hansen will wrestle 174 and has one year at Old Dominion. Williams is projected as a 133/141-pounder.

The three additions will join Martins' 11 man recruiting class announced in late April. They include Braxdon Scaletta, Kaylen Baxter, Cam Watkins, Bryan Koz, Kevin Harrington, Matt Pellar, David Mendoza, Bryan LaShomb, Jeff Becker, Chris Brown, and Ben Fiacco.

Last week, W.I.N. Magazine listed the Monarchs among the Top 10 recruiting classes in the nation before the announcement of the newest additions to the Monarch wrestling family of Martin, Hansen, and Williams. Old Dominion, along with Virginia Tech, are the only two school's on W.I.N Magazine's list which featured Top 10 recruiting classes and that were not ranked in the nation's Top 25 last season.

W.I.N. Magazine Top Recruiting Classes (National Rank)

1. Iowa State (3)
2. Virginia Tech
3. Nebraska (4)
4. Cornell (13)
5. Penn (24)
6. Penn State (16)
7. Oklahoma State (1)
8. Hofstra (14)
9. Iowa (9)
10. Old Dominion
11. West Virginia (25)
12. Indiana (17)
13. Lehigh (5)
14. Minnesota (11)
15. Northern Iowa (12)
16. Central Michigan (8)
17. Northern Illinois (22)
18. Maryland
19. Virginia
20. Arizona State (19)
21. Harvard
22. Michigan State (20)
23. Illinois (2)
24. Cal Poly
25. Oregon State