If you are an avid reader of Lighthouse, it is likely that you recall that every other week it seemed that I was writing a press release announcing that another blue-chip recruit had committed to wrestle for coach Rob Koll and staff at Cornell University. In fact, so deep was the 2010 recruiting class that Earl Smith from D1collegewrestling.net ranked it as the #4 class in the nation…Following the finalization of such a talent class, one might make the assumption that 2011 would be a down year on the recruiting front. Nothing could be further from the truth as Cornell began its quest to turn in their third consecutive top-10 with last night’s breaking news that the #80 ranked recruit in the InterMat-100, Caleb Richardson, has given a verbal commitment to the reigning NCAA National runner-up, Big Red.
A Virginia AAA State Champion the past two years for Grassfield (2009 @103) and Cox (2010 @112), Richardson will complete his scholastic eligibility this coming season as a part of perennial powerhouse, Blair Academy. In making this transfer, the 2009 Junior National Freestyle bronze medalist, became the third Buc wrestler in the past two years to make Ithaca his new home. Last season, top-3 recruit Chris Villalonga (expected to start at 141 this season for the returning EIWA champs) and Jesse Shanaman selected Cornell over a plethora of interested suitors.
As gifted in classroom as he is on the wrestling mat, the rising senior carries a 4.1 grade point average, making him quite the hot commodity for the likes of fellow Ivy League institution, The University of Pennsylvania, as well as US News and World Report’s nationally ranked schools, Stanford and Lehigh. The Sun Devils of Arizona State, as well as Adams State College rounded out Richardson’s short list.
Entering his senior season with an overall record of 133-14, Richardson projects as either a 125 or 133-pounder at the next level. With the starters at both of these respective weight classes, Frank Perrelli and Mike Grey, each scheduled to be seniors in 2011, the potential is there for Richardson to break into the line-up immediately. With new teammates and fellow elite level student-athletes Evan Silver (3x Prep National Champion; #10 overall recruit in class of 2011), and junior Mark Grey (2x Prep National Champion; brother of the aforementioned Cornell upperclassman) serving as some of his possible workout partners this coming season, it goes without saying that Richardson will be sufficiently prepared to embrace the opportunity should it come his way.
On behalf of everyone at LHW, we sincerely congratulate this young man, his family, and coaches, as well as our friends in Ithaca… Rob Koll does not rebuild; he reloads !!!!