Wrestling Signs Seven to National Letters of Intent
Lucas Hall, Austin Hiles, Drew Hughes, Nick May, Christian Rebottaro, Matt Santos and Jake Tucker to join Spartans next season.
EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan State wrestling program has announced that seven student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent and will join the team for the 2016-17 season.
Joining the Spartans will be Lucas Hall (Lowell, Mich./Lowell High School), Austin Hiles (Brecksville, Ohio/Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School), Drew Hughes (Lowell, Ind./Lowell High School), Nick May (Kalamazoo, Mich./Loy Norrix High School), Christian Rebottaro (Santa Cruz, Calif./Monte Vista Christian), Matt Santos (Saginaw, Mich./Swan Valley High School) and Jake Tucker (Chicago, Ill./Mount Carmel High School).
“This really is a tremendous recruiting class that will have a positive impact on the future of Spartan wrestling,” said MSU head coach Tom Minkel. “(Head coach designate) Roger Chandler deserves a lot of credit for bringing in some outstanding wrestlers who are committed to working hard and being successful both on and off the mat.”
“This Class of 2016 brings in a lot of experience and I look forward to working with each of them,” said Chandler, who will take over the head coaching duties following Minkel’s retirement at the end of the season. “They have all bought into the future and direction of Spartan wrestling. They’re all competitors at the highest level and want to put their signature on this program. This class has had a lot of success, which will bring a new expectation moving forward. I’m extremely excited in helping each of them get on that podium to become All-Americans and National Champions.”
Below is a look at the incoming student-athletes:
Lucas Hall (Lowell, Mich./Lowell High School)
Projected to wrestle at 125/133 pounds for the Spartans . . . Owns a 116-8 career high school record through his first three seasons . . . Ranked the No. 41 recruit in the country and No. 5 in his weight class for the Class of 2016 according to Associated Wrestling Press . . . Ranked No. 21 in the nation for the Class of 2016 by Wrestling USA Magazine (120 pounds) and Wrestling Insider Newsmagazine (126 pounds) . . . Ranked No. 2 in the state of Michigan at 119 pounds for the Class of 2016 and No. 7 overall by MichiganGrappler.com . . . Two-time state champion and three-time state place winner . . . Lowell is currently ranked among the top 50 teams (No. 20) in the InterMat Fab 50 high school team rankings . . . Has helped lead Lowell to back-to-back MHSAA Division 2 state championships . . . Went 39-1 as a junior en route to winning his second straight MHSAA Division 2 state title at 119 pounds; defeated Noah Schoenherr of Bay City Western in the championship match by major decision, 14-0 . . . In the 2015 Division 2 team final, pinned Eaton Rapids’ Isaac Coolidge in the first match at 119 pounds in just 14 seconds as Lowell defeated the Greyhounds, 40-16, to win its second state title in a row . . . Went a perfect 37-0 to win the Division 2 state championship at 112 pounds as a sophomore in 2014; pinned Bryan LaVearn of Ortonville-Brandon in the championship match (2:19) . . . In the 2014 Division 2 team final, pinned Emilio Sanchez of St. Johns (1:35) as Lowell defeated the Redwings, 35-34, to win the state championship . . . Collected a 40-7 record as a freshman and placed fourth at the 2013 MHSAA Division 2 state tournament . . . Took third at 2014 FloNationals . . . Two-time winner of the Grappler Fall Classic (2012 at 98 pounds; 2013 at 105 pounds).
Chandler on Hall: “Lucas is a natural competitor that shows up when the bright lights are on. He will do great things as a Spartan.”
Austin Hiles (Brecksville, Ohio/Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School)
Projected to wrestle at 157/165 pounds for the Spartans . . . Helped lead Brecksville-Broadview Heights to the 2015 Ohio High School Athletic Association Division 1 State Championship with a 32-30 victory over St. Edward; recorded a pin in the final at 152 pounds to help the Bees with the state title . . . Brecksville-Broadview Heights is currently ranked among the top 50 teams (No. 48) in the InterMat Fab 50 high school team rankings . . . Ranked No. 18 in the nation at 152 pounds for the Class of 2016 by Wrestling USA Magazine . . . Three-time state qualifier . . . Took third place at the 2015 OHSAA Division 1 state tournament; beat Brice Locklear of Olmsted Falls in the third-place match, 5-4 . . . Two-time qualifier for Cadet Nationals and earned Cadet All-America honors in 2015 at Fargo, North Dakota . . . Was a 2015 gold medalist at the AAU Jr. Olympics in Hampton Roads, Virginia . . . Took first place at the 2013 Las Vegas Freak Show Tournament at 143 pounds . . . Two-time runner-up at the Brecksville Holiday Invitational . . . Placed sixth at the 2014 Beast of the East at the University of Delaware.
Chandler on Hiles: “Austin has a lot of experience and wrestles for one of the top high school programs in the country. His experience and work ethic will transition well to college.”
Drew Hughes (Lowell, Ind./Lowell High School)
Projected to wrestle at 165 pounds for the Spartans . . . Owns a 120-4 career high school record through three seasons . . . Ranked the No. 28 recruit in the country for the Class of 2016 according to Associated Wrestling Press . . . Ranked No. 5 in the nation at 160 pounds for the Class of 2016 by Wrestling USA Magazine, No. 8 by Wrestling Insider Newsmagazine and No. 9 by InterMat . . . Ranked the No. 1 wrestler in the state of Indiana at 160 pounds by IndianaMat.com . . . Three-time state place winner . . . Went a perfect 44-0 as a junior to win the 160-pound 2015 Indiana state title; recorded two falls, a technical fall and a decision in his four matches at the state tournament . . . Pinned Darden Schurg of Crown Point in 3:06 in the championship match . . . Collected a 37-2 record and placed fifth at 138 pounds in the 2014 Indiana state tournament as a sophomore . . . Took second at 120 pounds as a freshman at the 2013 Indiana state tournament with a 39-2 record . . . Placed fourth at the Super 32 Challenge in 2014 and 2015 . . . Junior Folkstyle runner-up finisher in 2014 and 2015.
Chandler on Hughes: “Drew’s experience and success at the national level is going to bring leadership and a high quality of success that we have been looking for at Michigan State.”
Drew Hughes photo by A.J. Mast, Times of Northwest Indiana
Nick May (Kalamazoo, Mich./Loy Norrix High School)
Projected to wrestle at 184/197 pounds for the Spartans . . . Listed in the “Elite 50” for the Class of 2016 by MichiganGrappler.com . . . Earned special mention honors for his weight class for the Class of 2016 by Wrestling USA Magazine . . . Finished runner-up at 189 pounds as a junior in the 2015 MHSAA Division 1 Championships with a 48-4 record; became the first wrestler from Loy Norrix to reach the finals in 11 years . . . Named to the MichiganGrappler.com Southwest Regional Dream Team (third team) in 2015 . . . Two-time Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference Champion . . . Two-time SMAC All-Conference honoree . . . Two-time regional qualifier and 2015 regional champion.
Chandler on May: “Nick is a smart, strong, tough, and athletic wrestler who is will do everything necessary to accomplish his goals.”
Christian Rebottaro (Santa Cruz, Calif./Monte Vista Christian)
Will wrestle at heavyweight for the Spartans . . . Ranked No. 19 in the nation at heavyweight by Wrestling Insider Newsmagazine and No. 24 by Wrestling USA Magazine for the Class of 2016 . . . Won the 2015 Central Coast Section Championship . . . Placed fifth at the 2015 California Interscholastic Federation State Championships as a junior with a 5-2 record . . . Two-time Monterey Bay League Champion . . . Took second at the Fila Cadet Nationals in freestyle and fifth at Cadet Nationals in freestyle . . . Placed second in the Doc Buchanan Tournament at Clovis High School . . . Also plays football . . . Two-time Monterey Bay League Pacific all-conference selection for football and was named the league’s Most Valuable Player on defense, averaging 4.5 tackles for loss per game.
Chandler on Rebottaro: “Christian is just scratching the surface of what he will accomplish in wrestling. He’s a natural leader that is big and athletic. I’m looking forward to watching him bring national recognition to the program at heavyweight.”
Matt Santos (Saginaw, Mich./Swan Valley High School)
Projected to wrestle at 141 pounds for the Spartans . . . Owns a 142-9 career high school record through his first three seasons . . . Ranked No. 23 in the nation in his weight class for the Class of 2016 by Wrestling USA Magazine . . . Ranked No. 1 in the state of Michigan at 130 pounds for the Class of 2016 and No. 10 overall by MichiganGrappler.com . . . Won the 2015 MHSAA Division 3 state title at 130 pounds with a 58-1 record; pinned Kole Krauss of Grand Rapids Catholic Central in the championship match (5:42) . . . Led Swan Valley with 58 wins and 211 takedowns during the 2014-15 season . . . Took fourth place as a sophomore in 2014 at 125 pounds in Division 3 with a 58-2 record . . . Named the Saginaw News 2014 Wrestler of the Year and was also named to the Saginaw News Dream Team . . . Finished runner-up as a freshman in 2013 at 119 pounds in Division 3 with a 26-6 record; lost in overtime (3-2) to Jerry Fenner of Birch Run in the championship match . . . Three-time Tri-Valley Conference selection . . . Two-time Saginaw County Champion (did not compete freshman year due to injury) . . . Helped lead Swan Valley to the semifinals in the MHSAA Division 3 team championships in 2014 and 2015 . . . Two-time team captain . . . Went undefeated in the 2015 Virginia Duals to earn All-America honors . . . Garnered All-America status at the 2015 Disney Scholastic Duals . . . Two-time Michigan Grappler Challenge finalist; won the 135-pound title in 2015 to win the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler Award.
Chandler on Santos: “Matt has continually climbed the ladder of success throughout his career through hard work. I expect him to keep climbing that ladder of success at Michigan State.”
Jake Tucker (Lowell, Ind./Mount Carmel High School)
Projected to wrestle at 149/157 pounds for the Spartans . . . Ranked No. 18 in the nation for the Class of 2016 by Wrestling Insider Newsmagazine (152 pounds) . . . Placed third at the 2015 Grappler Fall Classic at 152 pounds with a 6-1 record . . . Won the 145-pound title at the 2014 Grappler Fall Classic . . . Went 15-1 as a junior and was ranked No. 4 in the state in his weight class before missing the remainder of the season with a knee injury . . . Finished fifth at the 2014 Illinois Class 3A meet as a sophomore at 132 pounds with a 40-10 record . . . Went 40-9 his freshman season while wrestling at 120 pounds . . . Two-time Chicago Catholic League Champion (2013, 2014) . . . Two-time IHSA Regional Champion (2013, 2014) and IHSA Super Sectional runner-up finisher . . . Placed seventh at the 2014 USA Wrestling Cliff Keen Preseason Nationals to earn All-America honors . . . Also earned All-America accolades at the 2013 USA Wrestling Cliff Keen Preseason Nationals in 2013 in the freshman/sophomore division . . . Two-time place winner at the Wisconsin Cheesehead Invitational (seventh in 2013; fifth in 2014).
Chandler on Tucker: “Jake is a student of the sport and loves what he is doing when he is on the mat. I expect him to bring that toughness he wrestles with to the Green & White.”