RECRUITING RANKINGS - CLASS OF 2014
Top 10 Spotlight #1 - #5
By Steve Widzinski
High School Analyst
#5 Logan Marcicki
School: Detroit CC
State Placement (1-X-2)
Career Record: 110-20
Projected College Weight: 174
College Choice: Indiana
2010 GFC National Runner-Up
2011 5-2/5-2 Cadet GR/FS Duals
2011 Cadet GR National Runner-Up
2011 Cadet FS All-American (8th)
2011 GFC National Champion
2012 Junior GR/FS Central Regional Champion
2012 FILA Cadet FS All-American (6th)
2012 GFC National Champion
2013 FILA Junior GR All-American (6th)
2013 Junior FS Central Regional Champion
2013 3-2/4-2 Junior GR/FS Duals
2013 Junior FS All-American (4th)
Perhaps the most polarizing recruit in this class, the first three years of Logan Marcicki’s High School career have been a wild ride to say the least.
Even prior to entering High School Marcicki was already known for his national success, and that trend did not subside. Heading into his senior year Marcicki is a 3X Fargo AA, 2X FILA AA and 3X GFC Finalist among a number of other impressive accolades.
Throughout Marcicki’s career, the biggest concern has been consistency. No one has ever questioned his ability, but at times watching him has been a bit of a roller coaster ride. Most notably, as a returning state champion he was eliminated from regionals in 2012.
One thing I love about Marcicki is how he has battled through adversity. Despite suffering some pretty demoralizing defeats, on each occasion he has gone on to improve as a wrestler and ultimately further his success.
Marcicki also erased many doubts regarding his consistency in Fargo this summer. Along the way to a 4th place finish Marcicki battled through an absolutely brutal gauntlet, defeating state champs from IA, VA, AZ, TN & WY, a MN runner-up, a NY 3rd place finisher, and a nationally ranked PA state placer.
One of the more unorthodox wrestlers in the state, Marcicki is known best for his deadly pinning skills, particularly his signature bundle. However, what some may not realize is how much more of a well-rounded wrestler Marcicki has become over the past year or so.
From neutral he has always been a great upper body wrestler. Marcicki has tremendous strength, and does a great of using of his using his long reach to dig out underhooks and gain inside position.
In the past he almost always looked for a throw from his upper body ties, but Marcicki has done a nice job of developing several more efficient attacks such as a nice knee pick and high single.
Defensively Marcicki’s struggles to protect his legs at times, but this is another area where he has made big strides (no pun intended). He has always had a great sprawl, but in the past would often come up in his stance or walk into shots.
Marcicki has done of a good job of tightening up his stance and improving his head-hands defense, but he still can be a bit flat-footed, and as a result struggles to wrestle in space against more agile opponents.
On top Marcicki is an absolute terror and does an extremely effective job of utilizing his length. As a freshman he relied quite a bit on his bundle, but now is far more multi-dimensional from the top position.
Marcicki runs a really effective chop-breakdown, and once he has an opponent flat on their belly he tends to keep them there. He is most effective when he can get tricep control and run his crossface cradle series, but Marcicki has a number of additional tools on top including a good hammerlock series as well as an effective tilt that he developed last season.
He is not one to score many reversals or get in flurries on bottom, but Marcicki is an efficient wrestler from the down position. His length makes him tough to ride for long periods of time, and he does job of working his way up with a methodical tripod standup.
Looking Forward: I really like the way that Marcicki is trending heading into his senior year. Over the past 12 months he has made a lot of noticeable improvements, and has become far more polished and controlled.
With his long frame, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Marcicki grow into a 174 or even an 184lbr in college. As I mentioned previously most of his struggles come against opponents who are highly agile and light on their feet. By moving up a few weight classes Marcicki may be able to negate some of those issues.
All in all I really like Marcicki as a prospect, and see him as a wrestler capable of competing for All-American honors down the road. His vast national experience should help immensely with the transition to college wrestling, and he has already proven himself capable of battling through adversity.
#4 Jordan Cooks
State Placement: (3-1-1)
Career Record: 122-9
Projected College Weight: 165
2011 Flonationals All-American (5th)
2011 Cadet TOC National Champion
2011 Undefeated Grand River Rumble
2012 FILA Cadet FS All-American (6th)
2012 1-1/4-2 Junior GR/FS Duals
2012 GFC All-American (6th)
2013 6-1 America’s Cup Duals
2013 3-0/3-1 Junior GR/FS Duals
There aren’t many kids who look more graceful on a wrestling mat than Jordan Cooks. You don’t have to watch him wrestle long to figure out he’s special.
From the moment he hit mats as a freshman it was clear Cooks had tantalizing potential. Over the past three years he has built on that potential, and now enters his senior season as one of the state’s most highly sought recruits.
On the national level Cooks has enjoyed plenty of success as well, and it has helped him to garner positive recruiting buzz heading into his final year of High School. This summer both Intermat and Flowrestling ranked him as one of the country’s top 100 senior recruits.
Cooks has never been one to shy away from elite competition, and over the course of his career has compiled a broad national résumé. Most notably, Cooks has been an All-American at Flonationals, FILA Cadet Freestyle Nationals, and the Grappler Fall Classic. Additionally, he had a great showing at the Junior Duals this summer, with his only loss coming in Greco to the eventual Junior National Champion Davonte Mahomes.
Aesthetically, what Cooks does on the wrestling mat is a thing of beauty. He combines freakish athleticism with polished technique, and as a result hits some of the smoothest, nastiest stuff you’ll ever see at the High School level.
Despite being extremely quick and explosive on his feet, Cooks generally prefers to wrestle at a moderate pace. He doesn’t give his opposition much space to operate, and patiently waits to capitalize off of their mistakes. Cooks has an awesome feel for his opponent’s weight/pressure along with lightning-quick reaction time, so this approach tends to be highly effective for him.
Because of his neutral skills Cooks often prefers to wrestle on his feet, but he has proven that he can be a solid situational rider as well. Although he is rarely one to work for a turn, Cooks does have deadly crotch-lift return that he does a great job of converting into back points from the top position.
On bottom Cooks is still a work in progress. At times he can get stuck underneath a good rider, but he has gotten much better at avoiding those situations with explosive pressure back off the whistle. However, once broken down flat Cooks still struggles to get back to his base at times.
Looking Forward: Cooks is a dynamite college prospect capable of wrestling just about anywhere in the country. Success may not be immediate, but with continued development Cooks has a realistic shot to contend for All-American honors before his days are done.
The biggest thing I would like to see him improve on is being able to consistently create his own offense. Thanks to his deadly counter-attacks it hasn’t been too much of a problem for him at the High School level, but I don’t think that will be the case against college opponents who tend to be more conservative and positionally sound.
Cooks is already among the best I’ve ever seen at finishing single legs. If he can improve his ability to move an opponent and setup shots in space it’s scary to think how lethal he could become on his feet.
His mat work will need to improve too, but I think that will come with time. He’s rarely been forced to rely on his mat skills at the High School level, but as that changes I expect Cooks to develop into a far more polished mat wrestler within the first couple years of his collegiate career.
#3 Cole Weaver
State Placement: (2-1-1)
Career Record: 163-7
Projected College Weight: 133/141
College Choice: Undecided
2010 GFC National Runner-Up
2011 6-2/3-0 Cadet GR/FS Duals
2011 Cadet GR All-American (4th)
2011 Cadet FS All-American (4th)
2011 GFC All-American (3rd)
2011 5-2 Super 32 Challenge
2012 6-1 NHSCA Duals
2012 Cadet GR/FS Junior Regional Champion
2012 6-0/6-1 Cadet GR/FS Duals
2012 Cadet GR National Champion
2012 Cadet FS National Runner-Up
2013 Junior GR/FS Western Regional Runner-Up
2013 2-1/3-1 Junior GR/FS Duals
2013 4-2 Junior FS Nationals
You hear the words “grinder” and “tough” thrown around a lot when describing wrestlers, and as a result they lose some of their meaning. With that being said, no High School kid I have ever watched embodies those terms more than Cole Weaver.
He may not have much flash or frill, but Weaver’s greatest weapon is between his ears. No matter the opponent Weaver walks onto the mat with a quiet intensity that can’t be taught. I swear, the kid has ice water in his veins.
Weaver’s track record of performing under pressure dates back to the 1st annual Grappler Fall Classic in 2010. He entered the tourney as a relatively unknown freshman, but made waves nationally with a signature win over the country’s then #1-ranked 103lbr, Phil Laux of Iowa.
Since then Weaver has gone on to establish himself as one of the country’s elite wrestlers in all three styles. His most notable achievement came in the summer of 2012 when Weaver was a double finalist in Fargo. In both finals matches Weaver wrestled tight bouts against Seth Gross of MN, winning in Greco but falling Freestyle.
There’s nothing too extraordinary about what Weaver does on the mat, but it’s how he does it that makes him great. He is extremely physical, but it doesn’t deter him from maintaining great position, or wrestling with savvy and patience far beyond his years.
From neutral Weaver is an awesome hand fighter, constantly working to gain inside control. And although he is very physical and aggressive, Weaver maintains excellent head-hands defense that has stymied plenty of high-caliber opponents in the past.
Offensively Weaver is at his best in front headlock position. From there he has impressive patience, and rarely gives up elbow control. Weaver has an especially nasty far-side pick from his front headlock, and showed it off last year in a dominant win over 3X State Champ Ken Bade of DCC.
If not the most explosive, Weaver’s attacks from neutral are certainly efficient. He does a great job of staying square and controlling elbows, so it’s pretty rare to see his opponents score off of counters.
Although generally quite methodical, Weaver also has a deadly cradle that he can lock up from just about anywhere when in need of some big points.
As is the case on his feet, everything Weaver does on the mat physical, patient and technically sound. On top he applies heavy and persistent pressure, systematically wearing guys out, breaking them down and then working for a turn. Also, Just like in neutral Weaver finds a lot of cradles on top, and that is his most dangerous weapon.
From the down position Weaver is very traditional and effective. He is quick to get pressure back, and does a good job of gaining wrist control and getting to his feet for quick escapes. His base is extremely strong, so it’s rare to see him spend too much time on his belly.
Looking Forward: As history has taught us there truly is no such thing as a “sure-thing” recruit, but Weaver is pretty darn close. There are tons of variables that go into collegiate success, many of which cannot be controlled. Nonetheless, I see Hall, Garcia and Weaver as the three virtual locks in Michigan’s class of 2014.
Weaver simply fits the mold of a great college wrestler. Just about every aspect of his game should translate very well at the next level. He will likely come in as a 133lbr, but long-term I think there is a good chance he winds up at 141.
A redshirt may be in the cards depending where he lands, but I think Weaver is capable of competing right away should he be called into action. He’s sound enough positionally, is extremely comfortable wrestling close matches, and most importantly has a rare combination of guts and poise.
#2 Drew Garcia
School: Detroit CC
State Placement (2-1-1)
Career Record: 145-11
Projected College Weight: 174
College Choice: Cornell
2011 Cadet Folkstyle National Champion
2011 7-0/6-2 Cadet GR/FS Duals
2011 Cadet Greco All-American (3rd)
2011 Cadet FS All-American (5th)
2011 GFC National Runner-Up
2012 Junior FS/GR Central Regional Champion
2012 FILA Cadet FS All-American (3rd)
2012 Cad Pan American International Champion
2012 GFC National Champion
2013 5-1/4-2 Junior GR/FS Duals
2013 Junior FS All-American (7th)
Since breaking into the High School ranks Drew Garcia has always wrestled well beyond his years. Every time he hits the mat Garcia seems to be completely zeroed in. Never does he lose control of a match, show any signs of weakness, or allow his emotions to get the best of him.
For a kid that is still eight months away from graduating High School Garcia strikes me as being incredibly mature. Judging by his recent decision to compete at Cornell in the Ivy League it is a pretty safe assumption that Garcia’s laser-focus on the mat carries over to the classroom. Hence, character and work ethic should not be too great of a concern.
He’s extremely well traveled, competing at the country’s most prestigious events each and every offseason. In 2012 Garcia even took on some elite international competition, earning a gold medal at the FILA Cadet Pan American Championships. Most recently, Garcia earned JR FS AA status in Fargo this summer, losing only to a pair of wrestlers ranked #1 country.
I can’t say enough about how poised Garcia is on the mat. It really feels like watching a machine sometimes. He wrestles at a fast and aggressive pace, but manages to do so without sacrificing position or making mental mistakes. You almost never see him break his stance, and I love the way he maintains his patience and avoids frustration in tough matches.
Garcia’s head-hands defense makes him extremely difficult to score on, and as a result he capitalizes on a lot of mistakes made by opponents. This is especially true in the 3rd period, and Garcia’s impressive combination of mental/physical stamina has been the deciding factor in quite a few big matches over his career.
Offensively, Garcia is one of the most efficient wrestler’s I’ve ever scouted. He doesn’t force anything that’s not there, and when he does attack an elite foe it is with high percentage stuff such as high singles, slide bys, drags, etc.
Garcia’s mat work is predicated on the same concepts as his neutral game: persistence and efficiency from whistle-to-whistle. He is an excellent rider, and although he is not especially aggressive from the top position he does of a great job of capitalizing on mistakes and picking up back points when an opportunity presents itself.
You don’t see Garcia wasting much time on bottom. He does a great of exploding off the whistle, and very few 171lbrs across the country can keep him from getting to his feet. He doesn’t do anything too fancy or reverse guys to their back often, but that is because his consistent pressure-back and ability to get wrist control makes Garcia an escape machine.
Looking Forward: It’s just flat out hard to see some kids failing at the next level. Drew Garcia is one of those kids. He has a lot of work ahead of him, but Garcia seems to possess all the intangibles that can make or break a collegiate career.
His superb match management will be a huge asset, and Garcia’s wealth of experience competing against elite national and even international competition will a go a long way towards easing his transition. He may wind up wrestling at 189lbs for lineup purposes in his final High School season, but Garcia will most likely be at 174lbs for the long haul.
One improvement that I think Garcia will need to make is his second-level leg defense. Because his hand-heads defense is so great he hasn’t needed to fiend off too many deep shots at the High School level, but that will likely change his first year in college.
That one observation comes after watching a lot of film and nitpicking though. Garcia heads into his senior year as one of the most polished and well rounded recruits to come through Michigan in a long time.
#1 Zac Hall
School: St. Johns
State Placement: (1-1-1)
Career Record: 146-2
Projected College Weight: 141/149/157
College Choice: Michigan
2010 Cadet FS All-American (7th)
2010 GFC National Champion
2010 Super 32 All-American (6th)
2011 Cadet FS All-American (3rd)
2011 Cadet GR All-American (3rd)
2011 GFC National Runner-Up
2011 Super 32 All-American (7th)
2012 Junior FS Central Regional Champion
2012 FILA Cadet FS National Runner-Up
2012 Junior FS National Runner-Up
2012 GFC National Champion
2012 Intermat JJ Classic National Champion
2013 Undefeated Junior FS/GR Duals
2013 Junior FS All-American (5th)
Newsflash – wrestling is pretty hard. A lot can go wrong over a high school wrestler’s four years of competition. Whether it is injuries, academics, pressure, or personal distractions, there are plenty of roadblocks just waiting to derail a promising career.
That makes it all the more impressive when a kid as highly touted as Zac Hall lives up to the hype and fulfills his potential. Hall joins former St. Johns teammate and future U of M teammate Taylor Massa as just the second wrestler in Michigan Grappler history to hold a #1 class ranking from the beginning of his freshman year through the start of his senior year.
What’s more, despite being a member of one of the most loaded recruiting classes in the past decade, there has never been any doubt about Hall’s status as Michigan’s elite Class of 2014 prospect. He has steadily improved every year, and shows no signs of tapering off or burning out.
Despite already committing to the University of Michigan, Hall continues to be one of Michigan’s most active wrestlers on the national scene. He has earned AA status in Fargo each summer of his High School career, and is one of only two 3X finalists in the history of the Grappler Fall Classic.
Not only does Hall have elite skills that will allow him to excel at the next level, but all signs indicate that his character is through the roof as well. I’ve never heard a bad word spoken about him, and his success on the mats can also be found in the classroom. One of Hall’s primary reasons for choosing U of M was their world-renowned pre-medicine program.
On his feet Hall is the best in the state, hands down. It’s not even a debate as far I’m concerned. I would even go as far as to say his neutral offense is the best of any kid I evaluated since I began compiling recruiting rankings in 2011.
What I like most about Hall’s game is that he does not rely on any particular attack. Instead, he scores points by constantly moving forward, and using his furious hand movement to gain position. From there, Hall does a great job of seeing angles, and doesn’t hesitate to capitalize.
His lightning-quick level changes allow Hall to get deep penetration at will, and he finishes his attacks at an extremely efficient rate thanks in large to his silky-smooth transitions. What especially impresses me is that even when Hall doesn’t get the takedown he keeps his hips square and maintains elbow control so that opponents almost never score off of his shots.
Hall’s mat work is proficient, but rarely necessary. He almost always opts to put foes on their feet rather than ride. When he does wrestle from the top position Hall is not much of a turner, but he does a nice job of preventing hip separation and avoiding any funk.
From the down position Hall is especially efficient. Nothing he does is too out of the ordinary, but he gets great pressure back and his movement is constant. Hall always seems to wrestle with a sense of urgency on bottom, and that will be a big asset at the next level.
Looking Forward: Hall is an interesting prospect in several regards. It appears he still has a quite a bit of growing to do, and could wind up anywhere between 149-165 before his days in Ann Arbor are done.
It remains to be seen whether or not he will take a redshirt, but I see Hall as a kid capable of contending for D1 AA status his first year on campus. He has a tantalizing combination of freakish athleticism and wrestling savvy, and with several of his former St. Johns teammates already in the room at U of M it should be a relatively seamless transition.
I’m sure Hall will need to make some adjustments at the next level. Specifically, he will be forced to spend more time wrestling on the mat than he is accustomed to against High School opponents. With that being said, he is as close to a “sure thing” as there can be in the Big 10.
At no point in his career has Hall’s progress shown any signs of slowing, and heading into his senior year there is no telling how high his ceiling goes.
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