The Minnesota wrestling program has added another gem to it 2008-09 recruiting class.
Cambridge-Isanti High School product Tony Nelson, the nation’s top-ranked prospect at 215 pounds, signed a National Letter of Intent with the Golden Gophers Friday, head coach J Robinson announced.
The 2009 Minnesota Class AAA state champion, Nelson posted a 47-0 record as a senior, including a staggering 35 wins by fall. He also captured the 2009 National Wrestling Championship in the 215-pound class, going 6-0 during the tournament with three pins. In the national championship match, Nelson pinned his opponent in 30 seconds.
“We are really happy that Tony has decided to stay in state and attend the University of Minnesota,” head coach Robinson said. “He is everything you are looking for a state champion, a national champion and the valedictorian of his high school class. How could you ask for anything more?”
Nelson was a state tournament place-winner as a junior and a sophomore, finishing as the runner-up in 2008 after recording a third-place finish in 2007. He also won more than 40 bouts in each of the final three seasons of his prep career, going 44-3 as a junior and 41-6 as a sophomore.
In all, Nelson concluded his high school career with an impressive 141-18 record as a prep, including 80 victories by fall, and was named an academic All-American for his success in the classroom.
In addition to his prowess on the mat, Nelson also starred on the gridiron as a standout defensive end and linebacker. The 2008 Mississippi Eight Conference Linebacker of the Year, Nelson collected 112 tackles, including 20 for losses, as a senior and earned all-metro and all-conference accolades and received honorable mention all-state recognition from The Associated Press. He finished his three-year football career with 259 tackles.
The addition of Nelson, to go along with Thursday’s re-signing of Olympian Jake Deitchler, could push Robinson’s 2008-09 recruiting class to the top of the national recruiting rankings.
Heading into the week, the class already included Jake Kettler (Ramsey, Minn.), Alec Ortiz (Newberg Ore.), Bart Reiter (Gilbertville, Iowa), Pat Smith (Chaska, Minn.), Kevin Steinhaus (Pennock, Minn.), David Thorn (St. Michael, Minn.) and Danny Zilverberg (Wayzata, Minn.) as well as Jake Filkins (Prescott, Wis.) and Austin Waliullah (Rockton, Ill.), who inked Acceptance of Admission forms with the Gophers.
The class was ranked No. 6 in the nation according to W.I.N magazine prior the addition of Nelson, Deitchler, Filkins and Waliullah.