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ICYMI: Penn State lands No. 1 recruit in the nation for 2025

Penn State just landed the No. 1 recruit in the nation for the 2025 cycle. What does this mean for the Nittany Lions’ dominance moving forward?



Penn State wrestling, No. 1 recruit in the nation, PJ Duke
Penn State head coach Cael Sanderson, left, high-fives wrestler Drew Hildebrandt after his major decision win at 125 pounds during a NCAA Big Ten Conference wrestling dual against Iowa, Friday, Jan. 28, 2022, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa. 220127 Penn St Iowa Wr 033 Jpg

The Penn State Wrestling dynasty continues to roll along, as Cael Sanderson picked up another major commitment last night. The Nittany Lions landed PJ Duke, the No. 1 recruit in the nation for the 2025 cycle. What does the commitment mean for the program, and what are the expectations moving forward for Penn State wrestling?

No. 1 recruit in the nation PJ Duke picks Penn State wrestling

PJ Duke, the No. 1 recruit in the nation for the 2025 class, has decided to take his talents to State College. Duke currently wrestles at 150 pounds and projects to wrestle at 157 when he arrives in Happy Valley.

Penn State currently has Levi Haines at 157, who was an NCAA finalist last season as a true freshman. There also is 2024 No. 6 overall recruit Joe Sealey, who could wrestle at 157. There will be plenty of teammates to train with as Penn State wrestling continues to solidify the middle of its lineup. PJ Duke, who currently wrestles at powerhouse Minisink Valley High School (NY), will join former teammate Zack Ryder, a member of the 2024 Penn State recruiting class.

Recruiting Dominance

Duke’s commitment marks back-to-back classes where Penn State wrestling has landed the No. 1 recruit in the nation. This commitment builds off an already stacked 2024 class, that is already the best in the country.

The Nittany Lions currently have the No. 1 (Luke Lilledahl), No. 5 (Zack Ryder), No. 6 (Joseph Sealey), No. 10 (Connor Mirasola), No. 13 (Mason Gibson), and No. 21(Cole Mirasola) nationally ranked wrestlers across all weight classes committed for 2024. The Penn State wrestling program has a lot of momentum on the recruiting trail, including stacking wrestlers at similar weight classes.

Quest for a 3-peat for Penn State

Penn State wrestling enters the 2024 season as a heavy favorite to win a third straight national championship. If accomplished, it would be the 12th 3-peat in NCAA wrestling history and the 3rd in Penn State history. The other two occurrences were 4-peats under Cael Sanderson between 2011-2014 and 2016-2019.

The Nittany Lions have a wrestler ranked in the top 20 in all 10 weight classes entering the season. Eight of those 10 wrestlers rank in the top 3 of their respective weight classes. Penn State will have 4 wrestlers ranked No. 1 to enter the season: Levi Haines (157), Carter Starocci (174), Aaron Brooks (197), and Greg Kerkvliet (HWT).

The Nittany Lions will have an opportunity this season for multiple individual national champions, all while putting up a monster team score at the NCAA Tournament in March.

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Patrick is the Social Media Director and a staff writer for Basic Blues Nation. He covers Penn State football, wrestling, basketball, and ice hockey. Patrick is a Penn State alum, graduating in 2020. The Sweda family started getting Penn State Football tickets in 1966 and Patrick has attended over 170 games in his lifetime. He currently lives in Lancaster County Pennsylvania with his dog Newman.


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