Northern Illinois University head wrestling coach Dave Grant today announced the signing of six grapplers to National Letters of Intent.
“Ryan (Ludwig) and Dominick (Moyer) have worked extremely hard bringing these guys in,” Grant said. “It’s a great recruiting class, not only because of their athletic accomplishments, but academically. They’re strong students that care about wrestling and their academic endeavors.”
Grant’s final signing class at NIU consists of three wrestlers from the state of Illinois, and three out-of-state recruits representing Indiana, Missouri and Pennsylvania. Three of NIU’s six signees are currently ranked nationally by Wrestling USA Magazine.
Ethan Davis of Monett High School in Missouri, the same high school that produced current NIU senior Dakota Greenhaw, headlines the group. Davis, ranked No. 17 at 140 by Wrestling USA Magazine, was a state champion at 140 as a junior and 119 as a freshman. Davis posted a perfect 45-0 record last season and ranks sixth in school history in victories with 132. He also has garnered all-America honors three times at the NHSCA National Tournament in Virginia Beach, placing fifth at the tournament last spring as a junior.
Tyler Argue, a native of Matteson, Ill. and brother of current Huskie Charles Argue is ranked 18th in the nation at 140. The Mount Carmel product posted a 49-16 record with 15 pins last season for the Caravan and took fourth place in the state championships at 135. Argue took fifth and sixth place at the Ironman and Dvorak Tournaments respectively as a junior.
Ranked 23rd in the country at 119, Nick Harrison hails from Stillman Valley, Ill. A two-time state champion at 119, he won the state title in 2009 and 2008. Harrison has amassed a 128-12 record and has been named all-conference and all-state the last three years of his career at Stillman Valley High School.
A two-sport athlete, Jackson Bratcher of Marion, Ind. has posted a 107-7 record during his high school career. He went 38-1 and took third place at 171 in the state championships as a junior. Jackson placed fourth at the FloNationals last spring as well. He also played fullback and nose tackle for the Panther football team.
Thorian Twyner has turned in a 110-8 record in three years at Orion High School. Last season, the Orion, Ill. native posted a 40-1 mark and took first place at the state championships last year at 125. A three-year letterwinner, Twyner has won his team’s MVP honors the last two seasons and is a three-time all-conference, all-area and all-state selection. In the classroom, he was named to the Honor Roll in 2008, 2009 and Fall 2010 and is a member of the Orion’s Environmental Science Club.
Ryan Smith of Honesdale, Pa. has been named all-area by the Scranton Tribune all three years of his career at Honesdale High School. He has compiled a 73-36 mark and tallied 24 pins during his high school career. Smith also excels off the mat. He is a two-year honor roll student and a member of the student council.
“This group really tightens up the lighter weights within our roster. Every one of these student-athletes has experience and success in national level competition,” associate head coach Ryan Ludwig said. “They are hard-nosed competitors that like to push the pace. They have that competitive fire we are looking for. They fit in well with our team philosophy here at Northern.”
The Huskies return to the mat Saturday, Nov. 27, when the team travels to Bloomington, Ind. to compete in the Indiana Duals. Northern Illinois will face off against UNC-Greensboro, Indiana, Old Dominion and Liberty. The Huskies open the day against Old Dominion at 8 a.m.