BUFFALO, NY - The Buffalo wrestling coaching staff has announced three more outstanding talents to the 2011-12 recruiting class, further making the argument that the incoming freshman class will be among the best in all of Division I. Four-time New York state champion Arik Robinson, 2011 California state runner-up Justin Lozano and two-time Michigan champion Justin Heiserman signed on to become a Bull, adding depth and filling important needs for the team.
"It's the sign of a good program to add diversity from different states. We have wrestlers from at least seven different states now on the team, and every different state has its own style," said head coach Jim Beichner. "When you bring that diversity in, the wrestlers begin to teach each other and you want that to make them all better."
The team now has four recruits ranked among the top 100 in the nation, with only Big 10 members Ohio State and Wisconsin with more.
"We have six guys committed to us that are ranked in the top ten in their weight classes and we think they will make a huge impact on this team," said assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Frank Beasley. "Not all of them were 'need' weight classes but they were 'wants' because they're all so good."
Robinson, from Peru High School in upstate New York, recently became just the fifth wrestler ever to win the state title in each of his four years of high school. After winning the title this past season, he also earned the honor of Most Outstanding Wrestler. As a junior, he finished fourth at the NHSCA High School Nationals, and in other national tournaments, Robinson won the 2011 Eastern States Classic after winning previously in 2009 and finishing third in 2010. For his career, Robinson owns a 180-10 record with 108 pins.
"He's one of the very best to ever come out of New York state," said Beasley. "He's tough and very hard nosed and we're very happy to have him, we just couldn't pass up one of the best wrestlers ever to come out of New York."
After finding success in the NCAA tournament with Wolverine State natives Andrew Schutt and Brett Correll, the Bulls will also welcome in Michigan standout Justin Heiserman. Ranked as the top 189-pound wrestler of all Division III high schools in the state, Heiserman is also the ranked the ninth best senior in Michigan by Michigan Grappler and will likely compete at 197 pounds for UB.
During his career at Dundee High School, Heiserman was a two-time state champion and also was a runner up, earning a spot in the finals three times in his four years while finishing with a 192-27 career record. At the Disney Duals in 2010, he went undefeated for a gold medal win and earned All-American status after finishing eighth at the NHSCA Senior Nationals.
"We really feel that he can be a difference-maker for us, both academically and athletically," Beichner said. "We're very happy to welcome him to the program."
Justin Lozano joins the team from West Coast power Selma High School, where he recently finished second at the CIF State Championship in the 171 pound division, improving from a fifth-place spot as a junior. Intermat has ranked him as the 13th-best wrestler at 171 pounds and the seventh-best senior at that weight. The Open Mat sees him as the ninth-best prospect at 174 pounds.
"He brings a different style and mentality from the West Coast," Beasley said. "It diversifies the team a little bit. He has traveled all over the country and has wrestled some of the best guys in the country."
At the NHSCA Junior Nationals, Lozano placed second, improving from a third-place finish at the Sophmore Nationals. In the prestigious Super 32 tournament, Lozano finished fourth in 2009 and in Selma's lone participation in the Reno Tournament of Champions, Lozano finished sixth as a freshman. In his career at Selma, Lozano won 157 matches.
"We're happy to add these three to a class of what we believe to be between nine and twelve wrestlers," Beichner said. The biggest thing is that we'll cover eight different weights with this incoming class and that's what we needed. We feel that this recruiting class will end up being the best recruiting class that this program has ever seen. We hope each recruit will positively effect us socially, academically and athletically."
Beichner also announced that junior Desi Green is no longer a part of the wrestling program. Green was dismissed from the team due to multiple violations of team and university policies.
#1 – 189 pound wrestler in Division III by Michigan Grappler
#9 – Overall Michigan senior in 2011
#18 – 189 pound wrestler in the country by intermatwrestle.com
Honorable mention at 189 pounds by theopenmat.com
Also recruited by Michigan and Minnesota
Top 20 ranking in WIN Magazine and Wrestling USA Magazine
#5 – 112 pound wrestler in the country by Wrestling USA Magazine
#8 - 112 pound wrestler in the country by intermatwrestle.com
#17 - 112 pound wrestler in the country by theopenmat.com
#92 – Overall recruit in the nation by intermatwrestle.com
#13 – 171 pound wrestler in the country by intermatwrestle.com
#9 – 174 pound prospect in the 2011 class by theopenmat.com
#77 – Overall recruit in the nation by intermatwrestle.com
Top 10 – Wrestling USA Magazine
Top 10 – WIN Magazine