Tech recruiting class rated third best in the country
Gardner wins prestigious award
May 16, 2007

BLACKSBURG - Highlighted by the nation's top overall recruit, the Virginia Tech wrestling class of 2007 has been named the No. 3 class nationally by a prominent wrestling publication.

W.I.N. Magazine gives high marks to Kevin Dresser's first full recruiting class, one that includes Cody Gardner from nearby Christiansburg. Gardner, who is projected as a heavyweight at Tech, recently was given W.I.N. Magazine's most prestigious age-group award, the Junior Dan Hodge Trophy for 2007. The award is presented jointly by W.I.N. and the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU).

"I feel I know Cody pretty well and I know what his potential is," Dresser said. "Knowing that, I feel Cody's potential is unlimited in Division-I wrestling."

Gardner has a career record of 183-6, including 132 pins and a 120-match winning streak over nearly three seasons to close his career. He also excels in the classroom with a 3.1 GPA and edged an elite field of contenders for this year's award.

Tech's current class features 11 signees and verbals from several others to walk on, and the list could grow over the next few weeks. W.I.N. Magazine had this to say about the class:

3. Virginia Tech - Coach Kevin Dresser was busy after the season, landing National High School champion Chris Diaz (141) of Camden Wyoming, Del., Caesar Rodney High and Pennsylvania state qualifier Dillon Evans (157) of Holland Council Rock South High, [along with Steve Armor of Pennsylvania]. They join a loaded November group led by four-time state champion Cody Gardner (HWT) of Christiansburg High, Matt Ryan (165-174) of Canonsburg, Pa., Canon-McMillan High, Anthony Trongone (174) of Cherry Hill, N.J., Camden Catholic High, Tom Spellman (174-184) of Newton, N.J., Kittatinny High; D.J. Bruce (184-197) of Naperville, Ill., North High and David Marone (197) of Broomfield, Colo. High [along with Matt Cusick of Illinois, who is ranked the No. 6 recruit in the nation at 145 pounds and Nick Murray, who is ranked nationally at 133/141 pounds from New Jersey]."

"We're obviously excited about the ranking," said associate head coach Tony Robie. "You never know with recruiting until two or three years down the road, but on paper, we think we have the start of something special. Our goal was to bring in some blue chip caliber wrestlers and add some depth in the process. I think we were able to accomplish both. Cody Gardner is the headliner of this class with all of his accomplishments. But in addition, we were able to do some good things with our upper classes in the early signing period and then fill in some of our lower weights in the spring. We think this is one of the top classes in the country and deserved of its ranking."

"Rankings on paper are nice, but we need to put those rankings on the mat and see how they do," Dresser said. "We're real excited about the potential of this class. We spent a lot of time investigating work ethic and getting the right kind of kid at Virginia Tech and we feel good about the guys coming in here in the fall."