May 29, 2009
DeKALB - Another pair of high school state champions, along with two state championships qualifiers, will be joining the 2009-10 Northern Illinois wrestling team, head coach Dave Grant announced Friday.
Grant added four total grapplers to this year's recruiting class, bringing the total list of signees to seven. The final crop includes Curtis Blaydes (Beverly, Ill./De La Salle Institute), Matt Mougin (Columbus Junction, Iowa/Columbus), Trevor Parlberg (Crystal Lake, Ill./Central) and Shane Rosenberry (Elizabethtown, Pa./Elizabethtown Area).
"We were looking for the all around package, guys that were great academically and have credentials," Grant said. "With each of these additions, we found that."
Blaydes and Mougin each hold state championships. Blaydes went an amazing 37-0 en route to the Illinois state title as a senior. He also won both the Reno and Dvorak Tournament, and is ranked 16th in the nation at 285 pounds by InterMatWrestle.com.
"Curtis had an undefeated season this year, a really great senior year," Grant said. "He is a very athletic and a very physical wrestler. He's got great size to him, and when we get him on our lifting plan, we could see big things."
Mougin won the Iowa State Championship, and followed that by earning Asics High School All-American status. A three-time placewinner and likely 149-pounder, Mougin is ranked 22nd in the nation at his weight by Wrestling U.S.A. Magazine.
"It's been a while since we recruited out of Iowa," Grant said. "(Assistant coach) Dominick (Moyer) has a good understanding of the state. Mougin is probably a 149 pounder. It's a great wrestling state, and him being a state champion is a great credential."
Rosenberry took fifth place at the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association State Championships as a senior, and qualified his junior year. Rosenberry will likely fit into the Huskie line-up at 197 pounds.
"He placed fifth in Pennsylvania, but his weight bracket there was very competitive," Grant said. "He's a big physical wrestler with a high ceiling."
Rounding out the class, Parlberg is another two-time state qualifier. Parlberg, who could fit in at either 184 or 197 pounds for NIU, placed third in Illinois as a senior, and qualified for the championships as a junior.
"Parlberg wrestled 171 in high school and he's still growing into his body," Grant said. "I think as he moves up weight classes he'll be more effective. When he gets in our weight program, he's probably at 184 or maybe as big as 197 and I think he'll be even more effective there."
The foursome joins Zach Neibert (Dayton, Ohio/St. Paris Graham), Jon McGookey (Sandusky, Ohio/Perkins), and Zack Benzio (Connellsville, Pa./Connellsville Area), who signed on in the fall.
"Overall, it's just a great class full of outstanding individuals," Grant said. "We feel they are very coachable, are good athletes and students, and we look forward to bringing in and teaching them our system."