PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Brown University wrestling will welcome seven incoming freshmen to the program as part of the Class of 2021, Brown head coach Todd Beckerman announced on Tuesday.
"We are thrilled to announce our incoming recruiting class for the coming year, which is highly decorated and top-ranking," Beckerman said. "This has been a four-year process of building, branding, and marketing the program with each recruiting class. This class is a culmination of all that hard work."
The group includes wrestlers from across the upper and lower weights with a combined high school record of 1073-159 (.871 winning percentage). The contingent contains performers from the states of Illinois, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Massachusetts, and Ohio, who have achieved a total of five state titles, seven state finals appearances, and 20 state medals.
The members of the class include 184/197-pounder Nino Bastianelli (Marysville, Mich.), 285-pounder Evan Ellis (Greentown, Ind.), 125-pounder Charlie Faber (Glen Ellyn, Ill.), 133/141-pounder Hunter Kosco (Canal Fulton, Ohio), 174/184-pounder AJ Pedro (Methuen, Mass.), 165/174-pounder Bryce Rogers (Orlando, Fla.), and 285-pounder James Valentino (Elk Grove Village, Ill.).
"According to national publications, our 2017-18 recruiting class ranks in the top 10 in the country, with three top 100 recruits, multiple state championships, and more than 20 state tournament place finishers," Beckerman said.
"When recruiting, we look for individuals with high academic standards, a strong work ethic, and those that have a passion for our sport and competition," Beckerman said. "This incoming freshman class exemplifies those attributes and will have an immediate impact at Brown University – in the wrestling room and in the classroom."
Weight Class: 184/197 lbs.
Hometown: Marysville, Mich.
High School: Marysville
Prep Accolades: Won a Michigan State Championship as a senior … Placed at the state championships all four years … Came in sixth as a junior and sophomore and eighth as a freshman at the state championships … Compiled a 171-42 career record …Captained team all four years … Wrestled for head coach Rocky Palazzolo … Competed on the club level for Marysville Wrestling Club; gained All-America accolades … National Honor Society member.
Why Brown? "I chose Brown because of the high academic standards and challenges along with the opportunities that I will have beyond graduation. Because of the family atmosphere between the coaches and the student-athletes Brown is the place where I can conquer my goals and improve both those around me and myself."
Weight Class: 285 lbs.
Hometown: Greentown, Ind.
High School: Eastern Howard
Prep Accolades: Won an Indiana State Championship as a senior … Placed at the state championships three times … Gained 1A Wrestler of the Year honors … Compiled a 154-13 career record … Went 133-6 over his final three seasons, going 45-1 as a junior and 46-0 as a senior … Won Team MVP three times … Gained Academic All-State accolades twice … Wrestled for head coach Bob Jarrett … Competed on the club level for Central Indiana Wrestling Academy … Gained FloNational, USAW, and Scholastic Dual All-America honors … Also competed in football and track & field; earned All-State honors as a defensive lineman … National Honor Society member.
Why Brown? "Academically, obviously Brown is second to none. While making my college decision I was very realistic in the sense that someday I would walk off the mat for the last time, and life would be about more than just wrestling. By attending Brown, I get the opportunity to chase a national title while also receiving an education that will allow me to be very successful and make a real impact on our troublesome world. The support the entire wrestling squad received from the alumni and the networks that are able to be built was one of the most critical aspects of my college decision."
Weight Class: 125 lbs.
Hometown: Glen Ellyn, Ill.
High School: Glenbard West
Prep Accolades: Earned All-Conference honors three times … Won regional and sectional titles … Qualified three times and placed twice at the state championships … Compiled a 143-30 career record …Gained Glenbard West's Most Outstanding Wrestler award three times … Claimed a Rex Whitlatch Championship … Wrestled for head coach Nick Posegay … Competed on the club level for OPRF, Cadet FS/GR Team Illinois, and Illinois Outsiders … Won a Scholastics Duals national title … Earned Cadet Greco National All-America honors.
Why Brown? "I really connected well with the wrestling team and coaches. I believe this program has a lot of momentum and is going to do big things. I also loved the academics at Brown. Because of Brown's elite reputation, the network is very expansive and can help me meet some brilliant people."
Weight Class: 133/141 lbs.
Hometown: Canal Fulton, Ohio
High School: Northwest
Prep Accolades: Earned a Top-100 recruit ranking per InterMat … Ranked nationally in his weight class per FloWrestling …Finished as a Ohio state runner-up as a senior … Placed at the state championships all four years … Came in eighth at the prestigious Walsh Ironman Tournament … Garnered Fargo Freestyle All-American accolades … Compiled a 160-18 career record … National Honor Society Vice President.
Why Brown? "I chose Brown because of the Ivy League education, and I know graduating from Brown will set me up for the rest of my life. I also feel that the school and wrestling program will push me to excel in all aspects of my life."
Weight Class: 174/184 lbs.
Hometown: Methuen, Mass.
High School: Phillips Exeter Academy (N.H.)
Prep Accolades: Earned a Top-100 recruiting ranking per InterMat … Ranked nationally in his weight class per FloWrestling …Finished as a Prep National runner-up and New England champion in 2017 … Compiled an 80-8 career record … Earned five National High School All-America honors … Placed third at Beast of the East as a senior … Finished in sixth at the USA Wrestling Fargo Freestyle National Championships and fourth at Beast of the East as a junior … Won Prep New England titles in 2014 and 2015 … Placed third at prep Nationals in 2014 and 2015 … Wrestled for head coach Dave Hudson.
Why Brown? "I chose Brown because I know that by surrounding myself with the goal-oriented and driven people at this school, I can achieve my goals academically and athletically at a place I felt at home as soon as I set foot on campus."
Weight Class: 165/174 lbs.
Hometown: Orlando, Fla.
High School: Lake Highland Prep
Prep Accolades: Earned a Top-100 recruiting ranking per InterMat … Ranked nationally in his weight class per FloWrestling … Garnered the Dave Schultz Excellence Award for the State of Florida … Won three Florida state titles … Placed at the state championships all four years …Compiled a 236-22 career record …Captured a prestigious Super 32 championship belt his senior year … Won NHSCA titles as a junior and senior … Placed at the NHSCA as a sophomore, junior, and senior … Wrestled for head coach Mike Palazzo.
Why Brown? "I chose Brown because it was a place where I know I will thrive in all areas of my life. I connected really well with the wrestling team and coaches the first time I set foot on campus, and I knew right away this was the place for me."
Weight Class: 285 lbs.
Hometown: Elk Grove Village, Ill.
High School: Saint Viator
Prep Accolades: Won an Illinois Sectional title and ESCC Conference title as a senior … Earned three regional championships … Qualified three times for the state championships … Gained All-ESCC three times … Captained team for two years … Compiled a 129-26 career varsity record … Went 37-2 as a senior and 25-5 as a junior … Won Team MVP honors all four years … Wrestled for head coach Jason Churak … Also played football; started for three years on the offensive and defensive lines … National Honor Society member … Four-time All-Area Academic Wrestler.
Why Brown? "My college search was focused on choosing a college with prestigious academics, as well as somewhere that I could continue my wrestling career. Brown offered both of these. The open curriculum that Brown offers will also give me the opportunity to expand my knowledge in other areas that would benefit my post-college career path. From the first day of my visit I felt very welcomed and knew that I would be at home at Brown."