Minnesota today announced that Steve Bleise, a two-time NCAA qualifier while at Northern Illinois, will join the Gophers this fall.
Bleise was a part of the Husky program for three years, redshirting in 2014-15 before competing for NIU the past two seasons. Bleise was one of Northern's top performers both years in the lineup, starting with a 27-10 redshirt freshman season that saw him ranked as high as No. 10 nationally at 141 pounds during the season and earn a No. 13 seed for the NCAA tournament. Bleise followed up on that rookie campaign with an outstanding sophomore season last winter, going 29-10 wrestling at 149 and winning three matches at NCAAs. Bleise led the Huskies in wins each of the last two seasons, and was either first or second on the team in dual wins, dual points and major decisions both years.
Prior to his collegiate career, Bleise was four-time, all-state selection wrestling for Chelsea (Mich.) High School. He lost just one match during a 45-1 junior season before an undefeated run to the state title as a senior.
Bleise brings two remaining years of eligibility with him to Minnesota.
Bleise is now the eighth wrestler signed by Minnesota in its incoming class. He will join Augsburg transfer Owen Webster, as well as six high school signees (November signees Jakob Bergeland, Alex Crowe and Brent Jones and April signees Jake Allar, Bailee O'Reilly and Tyler Watterson). Check out our releases on Webster, the November signing class and the April signing class.
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