Pennsylvania state champion Nick Hodgkins tops CMU wrestling recruiting class

He just might be the cherry on top of the 2011 Central Michigan wrestling recruiting class.

Who is he?

His name is Nick Hodgkins, a senior at Wyomissing High School in Pennsylvania. And now he’s officially a CMU wrestler, after signing a letter of intent to join the program for the 2011-12 season.

"I felt more comfortable there than any other school I visited," Hodgkins said of CMU in an interview with the Reading (Pa.) Eagle Press. "I really liked the school and I really liked the coach."

And his new coach is excited to have him.

“He keeps coming and coming and coming,” said head coach Tom Borrelli. “He’s very good on top and that bodes well for success in college wrestling.”

Hodgkins proved over and over that he was in an elite class of high school wrestlers. He finished 45-0 en route to his second Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association title last year, his senior season.

His execution was consistent throughout his high school career. He finished second at the state tournament as a freshman, won his first title the following year, took third as a junior and regained his title to cap his senior season and a 164-8 career record.

Despite his success and praise from his new coach, Borrelli sees room for improvement.

“He really needs to just mature as a college athlete,” he said. “He needs to just become more physical and refine his techniques. He’s a good scrambler, but he’s a bit unorthodox.”

His success is apparent, but he is joining a program that has won 10 consecutive Mid-American Conference tournament championships. So, how soon can his impact be felt?

“It’s really going to be based on how things go in the first month or two of the season during regular season practice,” Borrelli said. “We’ve got a really good situation. He’ll probably be a 149-pounder. We have a good class coming in, but we have a lot of good guys in the room at that weight. We'll play it by ear.”

Hodgkins is arguably the cream of the crop of the recruit class, but he is not alone. CMU also landed Zach Horan of Nazareth Area High School and Mike Ottinger of Parkland High School, both located in Pennsylvania.

“We’re very, very excited to have each one of these guys joining our program,” Borrelli said. “I know it’ll be a highly-ranked recruiting class. There’s a lot of development with this group of young men. We think they can be very, very competitive if they continue to develop.”