Jordan Thomas to be a Wolverine
By Jeff Chaney
More help is on the way for the University of Michigan wrestling team.
After a few down seasons, the Wolverines are in the middle of a resurgence that saw them wrestle their way back into the Top 10 of the NCAA Division I rankings.
Michigan was ranked No. 8 as of this past weekend and lost a tough dual to Big Ten rival and seventh-ranked Illinois on Sunday.
The future looks even brighter for Michigan with the recruiting class – a class that includes Greenville's Jordan Thomas, a two-time state champion; St. Johns' Taylor Massa, a three-time undefeated state champion; Portage Central's Angelo Latora; Rossi Bruno from Florida; and Corey Lester from Missouri.
Thomas saw this resurgence before it actually started, and he verbally committed to the Wolverines in September of 2010.
“ I have always been a Wolverine fan and always loved it there,” said Thomas, who took a 190-3 career record into this past weekend's competition. “I feel their facilities are the best in the country and their academics are second to none.”
Next year's recruiting class will join an already talented roster that includes red-shirt junior Ben Apland at heavyweight, red-shirt sophomores Eric Grajales at 149 pounds and Dan Yates at 165, and red-shirt freshman Max Huntley at 197.
All of those wrestlers are currently ranked in their respective weight classes.
Thomas also loves the coaching staff - head coach Joe McFarland and assistant coaches Sean Bormet, Donny Pritzlaff, and Kyle Massey.
“ If we work hard, and I know that we will, we should compete for a national championship,” Thomas said. “They are pretty good now, and we have a good recruiting class coming in.”
The Wolverines will get a tireless worker in Thomas, who is coached on the mat in Greenville by coach Paul Johnson.
“ Jordan has forgot more wrestling than I know,” said Johnson, who led the Yellow Jackets to a Division 2 state championship in 2008. “I have him show moves to all the kids in our room. He is a coach on the mat for me.”
Thomas is proving that he is already primed to take the next step by winning big matches this year, like the 5-2 victory over Lowell's Gabe Dean.
Dean, a state champion, will be wrestling at Cornell University next year.
“ Jordan is a phenomenal athlete, and one of the most technically sound I have ever coached,” Johnson said. “He is quick, strong, and when he does make a mistake, never quits.”
And next year, he'll be a Wolverine.
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