Robie announces first recruiting class

BLACKSBURG – First year head coach Tony Robie has announced that four student-athletes have signed their National Letters of Intent to wrestle at Virginia Tech in the fall of 2018.

The class features two wrestlers from the state of Ohio and one grappler each from Virginia and New Jersey.

“I’m very pleased with the four Hokies that signed their NLIs this week,” Robie said. “With only two seniors leaving the program next year we knew it would be a small class. We went back into Ohio, an incredibly strong wrestling state where we’ve had a lot of success recruiting over the years, by adding Mitch Moore and Dakota Howard. I also expect Collin Gerardi and Hunter Graf to make our lower weights very competitive.”

Mitch Moore – Urbana, Ohio (St. Paris Graham)

Three-time Ohio state champion … No. 17 overall recruit in the class of 2018 by FloWrestling … Ranked No. 4 by FloWrestling at 138 pounds and No. 2 by Intermat at 145 pounds … Competed at FloWrestling’s 2017 “Who’s No. 1?” showcase … 2014 Ironman champion.

Robie on Moore

“Mitch will be competing for his fourth Ohio high school state championship this year and has placed at or near the top of every national event he has competed in. His accomplishments at both the state and national levels speak for themselves. Coming from one the top high school programs in the nation, he is college ready and I expect him to come in and make an immediate impact on our program.”

Dakota Howard – Berea, Ohio (St. Edward)

Ranked No. 10 by FloWrestling and No. 11 by Intermat nationally at 195 pounds … 2017 Ohio freestyle state champion … 2017 Ohio high school state runner-up at 195 pounds … Placed second at the 2016 Ohio state freestyle championship.

Robie on Howard

“I think Cody’s best wrestling is still in front of him. Coming to us out of St. Edward in Northeast Ohio, Cody’s style and his work ethic reminds me a lot of former Hokie and St Edward alum Ty Walz. Everyone that I have spoken to about Cody raves about how hard he works and how tough he is. If you watch him wrestle it’s obvious that he has a huge motor, so adding another minute on to the match at the college level is only going to benefit him. I’m not exactly sure what weight Cody will wrestle at in college but I think he fits well into what we’re all about here at Virginia Tech.”

Collin Gerardi – Powhatan, Va. (Powhatan)

Three-time Virginia state champion … Placed first at the 2017 Front Royal Rumble … Men’s junior VAWA freestyle state champion … 2017 All-Metro selection by the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Robie on Gerardi

“I have great relationship with Collin and his family and he’s been coming to our summer camps for years. Collin will be competing for his fourth Virginia State title this season and is among the best seniors in the state. Collin has dominated within the state and he’s been very close to breaking through at several national events. Our entire staff looks forward to helping him jump to that next level as a Hokie.”

Hunter Graf – Flemington, N.J. (Hunterdon Central)

New Jersey District 17 champion and Region 5 runner-up in 2017 … Three-time New Jersey state qualifier … 2016 New Jersey state eight place finisher at 113 pounds.

Robie on Graf

“I think after attending camp this summer Hunter and his family fell in love with Virginia Tech and we’re excited that he’s a Hokie. Growing up in New Jersey he is accustomed to great competition and he’ll be a nice addition in our lower weights. After seeing him at camp, I think that Hunter will develop into a very good Division I wrestler.”

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