Back in late April LHW was pleased to announce that the then new Head Coach of Penn State, Cael Sanderson, had successfully landed two of the Keystone State’s top members of the class of 2010, the Alton twins. At that time, it was strongly believed that several of the incoming recruits that Sanderson had signed while at Iowa State would inevitably elect to follow him to University Park. A top that list was the consensus #1 recruit in the nation, St. Paris Graham’s (OH) David Taylor. This morning, after taking a few weeks to fully re-evaluate all of his options, the four-time State Champion made it official when he announced that he would indeed continue his education and wrestling career under the guidance of Sanderson as a member of the Nittany Lion class of 2013.
After being formally released from his letter of intent by Iowa State, Taylor, the 2009 recipient of the Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award, was rumored to have been giving strong consideration to either remaining in-state to attend Ohio State or becoming Stillwater bound to compete for legendary wrestler and coach, John Smith at Oklahoma State University. With the Cowboy campus being the spot of Taylor’s final official college visit, a plethora of OSU supporters were confident that they would be able to steal his services. However, when all was said and done, it was the two-time Asics first teamer’s close relationship with Sanderson that ultimately won out.
Commenting on the announcement that Taylor would be joining the Nittany Lions, the 2004 Olympic medalist was quoted as saying” David Taylor is the kind of athlete any coach would be proud to work with,” Sanderson continued. “We are welcoming an outstanding young man to our program that is as committed to academic excellence and his community as he is to succeeding on the mat. He is an impressive person and I am confident that our fans will enjoy watching David’s career unfold.” Given the extent of Taylor’s scholastic resume, Sanderson’s words can hardly be considered an exaggeration….In addition to the previously noted four state crowns, the newest addition to PSU is also a four-time Ironman champion (only person in the history of the tournament to earn this distinction), a former Beast of the East champion, a three time Cadet and double Junior National champion in the international styles under the Fargo Dome, as well as a United States representative (finished 8th) at the 20o7 Junior World Championship tournament in Beijing, China. But, perhaps most impressive of all for the wrestler with the 180-2 career record, is the 4.0 grade point average that he carries in the classroom….He is the epitome of the term, “student-athlete”.
Taylor will join fellow ASICS first teamer, Blair Academy’s Ed Ruth (who signed prior to the hiring of Sanderson), as well as Arizona native Luke Macchiaroli as members of Penn State’s first freshmen class during the Sanderson era….Ruth, who capped his scholastic career in impressive fashion by winning the NHSCA Senior National title at 171 pounds, had one of the most impressive calendar years ever seen by this journalist, originating with his title at the 2008 NHSCA Junior National tournament and including titles at the 2008 Ironman, a 3rd place finish at the Beast of the East, and a 2009 National Prep title. Before transferring to Blair, Ruth was also a two-time PIAA AAA State placewinner….Macchiaroli cruised to his third State title in 2009, winning the last two of those crowns in what some have described as “unchallenged” fashion.
As if things were not already going well enough for the Nittany Lions this offseason, another key addition for the 2010 season will be Iowa State transfer, Cyler Sanderson. Cyler, the youngest of the four Sanderson brothers had been a three year starter for the Cyclones and was the 2008 Big-12 Champion as well as a 2008 NCAA All-American, finishing 7th at 157 pounds. The Fine Arts major will enter Penn State with one year of eligibility remaining in his collegiate career. Carrying a career record of 82-26, Cyler will be expected to plug a rather sizable hole in the PSU lineup.
Note: As I write this article the word on the street continues to be that another top member of Pennsylvania’s unmatched class of 2010, Marshall Peppelman, is strongly considering making University Park his collegiate home. In the piece on the Alton twins, you may remember that I stated that I felt Peppelman may be Harvard bound. Yet, the most recent information coming out of PA indicates that the competition for his services may be down to a pair of schools—Penn State and Cornell….If this is true and Peppelman does find himself donning the Blue and White in 2011, the question becomes, how soon till the National title returns East for the first time in longer than I care to remember?
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE: High School Wrestling All-American and Nation’s Top Recruit David Taylor Commits to Penn State