BLACKSBURG – Behind strong senior seasons from its fall signing class and the addition of two quality wrestlers in the spring, the 2009 Virginia Tech wrestling signing class has been ranked fifth nationally by W.I.N. Magazine, as released this week by the publication.
Tech’s class falls just behind national powers Minnesota (#1), Oklahoma State (#2), Nebraska (#3) and Oklahoma (#4). It’s also ahead of in-state rivals Old Dominion (#6) and the University of Virginia (#7). For head coach Kevin Dresser, it’s his third top-10 class in as many years.
“We definitely feel that this class has a top-five feel to it,” Dresser said. “Just as we have shown in the past two years, theses guys need to be ready to go as freshmen.”
After signing six wrestlers in the fall to Nation Letters of Intent, Dresser and his staff inked two more grapplers this spring. Justin Armstrong of Texas and Chris Penny of Virginia have both signed NLIs and will join the program in the fall, along with several invited walk-ons who did not sign with Tech and thus cannot be mentioned by name per NCAA rules.
Armstrong, from Caddo Mills, is a two-time place winner at Prep Nationals who took second as a senior. He earned NHSCA All-America honors as a junior after placing fourth and won the 160-pound division at the prestigious Super 32 meet as a senior. He is projected as a 165-pounder in college.
Penny, from Virginia Beach, took third place at the 2009 Virginia AAA state championships for Cox High and finished one win away from earning All-America honors at the NHSCA Senior Nationals. He is projected as a 184- or 197-pounder in college.
From the magazine: “5. Virginia Tech: Coach Kevin Dresser’s 10 November recruits all had solid seasons. Hayden Countryman of Prattville (Ala.) High won his fifth state title and second straight OW award, Erik Spjut (133) of The Woodlands (Texas) High and Taylor Knapp (149-157) of Suwanee (Ga.) Collins Hill High won their third titles and Virginia stars Andrew Clement (174-184) of Chesapeake Grassfield High and Andrew Miller of Bassett High, along with Brian Stephens (141-149) of St. Paris (Ohio) Graham High also impressed. The top spring recruit was two-time National Prep place-winner Justin Armstrong (165) of Dallas (Texas) Bishop Lynch High.”
For updates on Virginia Tech wrestling, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Wrestling).