BLACKSBURG - The Virginia Tech athletics department, along with head wrestling coach Kevin Dresser, announced the signing of five athletes for the Class of 2011. Nick Brascetta, Austin Gabel, Lex Ozias, Bubba Scheffel and Matt Stephens all signed their NLIs and will join the Hokie wrestling program next year.
“Once again we feel we have done VERY well with these five early signings,” Dresser said. “Of course, time will tell. However these guys have already done it on various national stages. They will be needed to continue to take this program to the highest level. I can’t wait to watch them compete this year as seniors. I am their biggest fan right now!”
Brascetta is the highest ranked of the five according to InterMat as he is rated as the No. 26 overall senior prospect in the country. He hails from St. Paris, Ohio, and attends St. Paris Graham High. He is projected to wrestle at 141, 149 or 157 pounds in college. As a freshman, he went 40-8 and took third at 103 pounds at the state tournament before going 45-0 as a sophomore and winning that same weight class. Last year, he took second place at 119 pounds and went 42-4. Brascetta enters his senior year with a career mark of 127-12 and placed third at the Walsh Ironman and FILA Cadet Nationals last year.
Gabel is a two-time Colorado state champion and will be the second Coloradoan to take the mats for Tech, following in the footsteps of current heavyweight David Marone. Gabel hails from Parker and attends Ponderosa High, where he won a state title at 160 pounds as a sophomore and the title at 171 pounds last year by going 44-1. As a freshman, he took third in the state at 135 pounds. Gabel is projected as either a 184 or 197-pounder in college. He enters his final year of high school with a record of 111-14 and was named 2010 Colorado first-team all-state for the 171-pound class.
Ozias is ranked as the No. 48 overall prospect in the country by InterMat and is a two-time Maryland state champion. The Kitzmiller native attends Southern Garrett High where he wrestles at 140 pounds. He took third place at the NHSCA Junior Nationals last year and is projected to wrestle at 149 pounds in college.
Scheffel is another ranked prospect who is rated at No. 56 nationally by InterMat. He won the 160 pound class at the NHSCA Junior Nationals last year. The Oakland, Md., native also attends Southern Garrett High and is teammates with Ozias. Scheffell is a two-time state champion who has gone a combined 83-0 his past two seasons. He is projected to wrestle at 174 pounds in college.
Stephens is the younger brother of current Hokie Brian Stephens who attends St Paris Graham High. The Piqua resident is a three-time placewinner at the Ohio state championships, placing third at 145 pounds last year as a junior. He took second at 140 pounds as a sophomore and was fourth at 140 pounds as a freshman. He is ranked the No. 83 wrestler nationally by InterMat and enters his senior season with a career record of 121-22. He also took fourth at the Walsh Ironman and fourth at the Super32 Challenge as a junior. He is projected to wrestle at either 165 or 174 pounds in college.
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