Here’s a nightmare for the nation’s Division I wrestling coaches.

Imagine Penn State head coach Troy Sunderland getting all the top Pennsylvania recruits for the next three or four seasons. Oklahoma State and Minnesota’s reign at the top might just come to a crashing halt.

Consider these numbers:

• Four of the 20 NCAA finalists in 2007 call Pennsylvania home.

• Each of the 10 weight classes in Auburn Hills had at least three wrestlers from Pa. The 133- and 157-pound bracket had eight native Pennsylvanians.

• A total of 57 wrestlers from Pennsylvania qualified for the NCAAs in 2007.

Problem is, every mat coach in the nation knows about the fertile grounds of the Quaker State.

“I wanted to get away, like a lot of guys,” said Oklahoma State senior 133-pounder Coleman Scott. “I wouldn’t say the (Pa.) schools don’t recruit hard enough, it’s more of guys just wanting to go somewhere else and see what they can do.”

This Sunday, No. 3 Oklahoma State will face a Penn State squad that starts at least six Pennsylvanians. The fifth-ranked Nittany Lions (2-0) face Lehigh on Friday night before traveling to Stillwater for a 2 p.m. dual at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

PSU is among four schools from the state of Pennsylvania ranked among this week’s Top 25 — Edinboro (15), Pittsburgh (19) and Penn (22).

Lock Haven, Bloomsburg, Clarion and Millersville also field D-I wrestling programs.

“There are a lot of choices (in Pa.) but for me it was about going someplace where I felt like I could get the best coaching possible,” said Scott, who is 8-1 after last Sunday’s 1-0 win over Oklahoma’s Brian Shelton.

The Cowboy 133-pounder, from Waynesburg, is one of three Pennsylvanian’s currrently ranked No. 1. Penn State senior Phillip Davis (2-0) leads the list at 197 with Pitt’s Keith Gavin No. 1 at 174.

Scott certainly isn’t the first Pa. native to show up in Stillwater — Pittsburgh’s Teague Moore was an NCAA champion in 1998 — and won’t be the last — Easton’s Jordan Oliver, a 2007 signee, is the second-rated 125-pounder in the country.

PSU finished 10th last March in Auburn Hills, but Sunderland has one of his best teams in years.

Davis lost in the NCAA semifinals as a junior and to O-State’s Jake Rosholt in the 2006 NCAA finals.

Senior 125-pounder Mark McKnight could be one of the best wrestlers to never earn All-America status. As a freshman at Buffalo in 2004, McKnight beat eventual two-time champ Matt Valenti of Penn in the first round but came one win short of the top eight.

A year later, McKnight drew Michigan State’s Nick Simmons in the first round, falling 3-1. He would win four matches before falling a match short of AA status.

After a transfer and a redshirt year, McKnight ran into OU’s Sam Hazewinkel in the second round of the 2007 NCAAs.

Jake Strayer, currently ranked third at 141, finished seventh at the NCAAs as a sophomore 133-pounder. He was named the Big Ten wrestler of the week after his 6-1 win over Hofstra’s Charles Griffin.

Sophomore Dan Vallamont was one win from finishing top eight at 149 pounds last season. He’s 9-0 and ranked No. 10 at 157 this week.

Another sophomore, 149-pounder Bubba Jenkins, was an NCAA qualifier at 157 last season.

OSU is 11-4-1 all-time against PSU. It’s the first meeting between the programs since a 32-6 Cowboy win at G-I in 2000.



No. 3 Oklahoma State (5-0) vs No. 5 Penn State (2-0)

(OSU listed first)

125 — Ben Ashmore (RS-Fr., 8-2) vs Mark McKnight (Sr., 2-0, #6); 133 — Coleman Scott (Sr., 8-1, #1) vs Mike Eagen (Fr., 1-5) or Tim Haas (Sr., 0-1); 141 — Nathan Morgan (Sr., 10-1, #6) vs Jake Strayer (Jr., 6-1, #3); 149 — Quinten Fuentes (RS-Fr., 7-3) vs Bubba Jenkins (Soph., 7-0, #4); 157 — Newly McSpadden (Jr., 9-1, #20) vs Dan Vallimont (Soph., 9-0, #10); 165 — Jake Dieffenbach (Sr., 4-0, #12) vs Dave Rella (Soph., 6-3); 174 — Brandon Mason (Jr., 7-1, #4) vs David Erwin (Soph., 15-1) or Mark Friend (Jr., 8-2); 184 — Cody Hill (RS-Fr., 8-1) vs Philip Bombarger (Jr., 7-1, #19); 197 — Clayton Foster (Fr., 8-1) or Jared Shelton (Jr., 6-1) vs Phillip Davis (Sr., 2-0, #1); 285 — Jared Rosholt (Soph., 10-0, #8) vs John Laboranti (Jr., 14-1) or Stefan Tighe (Soph, 4-1)

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