MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University wrestling coach Craig Turnbull has added Alex Thompson to the 2014-15 recruiting class.
“With the addition of Alex (Thompson), we have been able to put together what is one of the top recruiting classes in the country,” says Turnbull. “This is one of the finest recruiting classes we have been able to put together in some time.”
Thompson joins the class of James DeKrone, Zeke Moisey, Christian Monserrat, Austin Shaffer and Joseph Wheeling.
“We were very fortunate to have Alex choose to come to WVU. He was a New Jersey state champion and moves very well for a heavyweight,” Turnbull says. “He is someone that is a potential NCAA champion.”
In his final season at Haddon Heights, Thompson posted a record of 38-0 with the program’s single-season pin record of 25 on his way to the New Jersey state title at heavyweight. Thompson's remarkable season earned him The Inquirer's South Jersey Wrestler of the Year award, and he was the first wrestler from Haddon Heights to earn a state title.
“Alex just really exploded in his sophomore season,” says Chris Ormsby, Thompson's high school coach. “He won more than 20 matches as a sophomore, 30 as a junior and then almost 40 as a senior.”
The 6-foot-4, 275-pound Thompson originally was committed to the University of Delaware to play football, but decided to pursue wrestling instead.
“Football and wrestling go hand-in-hand, especially with heavyweights,” Ormsby says. “Linemen in football are doing a lot of hand fighting, which helps with wrestling technique.”
Fellow Mountaineer recruit Moisey, out of Bethlehem, Pa., has continued to impress in his high school career, winning the 21st Beast of the East Tournament in December. As the No. 2-seed, Moisey tallied three falls on his way to the championship bout against the top-seeded Matt Kolodzik of Blair Academy. After finding himself in a 4-1 hole early, Moisey scored a reversal at the end of the second period and a third-period takedown to clinch the 7-4 decision. Moisey was awarded the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler Award.
“He (Moisey) was already ranked in the top five, but he defeated the No. 1-ranked wrestler in the country on his way to the Beast of the East title, and led the tournament with the most team points earned,” Turnbull says.
Monserrat, out of Methuen High School in Massachusetts, has improved his high school career record to 177-2. Monserrat is 22-0 this season with 19 pins and two technical falls.
Wheeling, native of Erie, Pa., claimed the Pennsylvania King of the Mountain Tournament title at 113 pounds earlier this season.
The Mountaineers (9-2, 0-1 Big 12) are in action on Saturday, Jan. 18, against No. 4 Oklahoma State (3-3, 0-1 Big 12) at 7:30 p.m., at the WVU Coliseum.
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