NIU Adds Four to 2014 Signing Class



May 29, 2014

DEKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois University wrestling team has added four signees to their 2014 recruiting class, head coach Ryan Ludwig announced Thursday.
In this latest quartet, the Huskies signed three Illinois natives and one Missouri native, bringing their class total to eight.
"My staff and I are really fired up to work with this group," Ludwig said. "Each individual in this class is a proven winner on the mat, in the classroom and in their daily habits. That's what it takes to be a champion."
Of the new additions, NIU got three area wrestlers in Zachary Benkovich (Rockton, Ill./Hononegah), Chris Garcia (Aurora, Ill./Montini Catholic) and Bryce Gorman (Manhattan, Ill./Lincoln-Way Central), all three of whom advanced to the Illinois state tournament. Rounding out the group is Missourian and school-record-setter Austin Repp (Gray Summit, Mo./Pacific).
These four join Alijah Jeffrey (Marion, Iowa/Linn-Mar), Steve Bleise (Chelsea, Mich./Chelsea), Austin Eicher (Fenton, Mich./Hartland) and Quinton Rosser (Fairfield, Ohio/Archbishop Moeller). Bleise and Jeffrey both went undefeated and won state titles in 2013-14, while Eicher won his second state title in Michigan and Rosser placed fourth in Ohio.

Class of 2014 Signees



Hometown (High School)

Zachary Benkovich


Rockton, Ill. (Hononegah)

Chris Garcia


Aurora, Ill. (Montini Catholic)

Bryce Gorman


Manhattan, Ill. (Lincoln-Way Central)

*Alijah Jeffrey


Marion, Iowa (Linn-Mar)

*Steve Bleise


Chelsea, Mich. (Chelsea)

*Austin Eicher


Fenton, Mich. (Hartland)

Austin Repp


Gray Summit, Mo. (Pacific)

*Quinton Rosser


Fairfield, Ohio (Archibishop Moeller)

*Signed in November 

Rockton, Ill.
Hononegah HS
165/174 Pounds
High School: Three-time first team all-conference honoree and state qualifier at Hononegah High School... Finished his career with a 105-27 record... Won the Northern Illinois Conference-10 and regional titles at 160 pounds as a senior, while placing second at regional and advancing to his third Illinois state tournament appearance... Also won the Sycamore Invitational and placed third at the Dvorak Memorial Invitational Tournament in 2013-14... Finished his junior campaign with a 29-8 mark en route to conference and regional titles... Went 31-10 as a sophomore, while placing second at conference, first at regional and third at sectional... Started for three seasons on HHS' football team... Won the Brad Lynde Leadership Award following his senior year.

Personal: Born May 1, 1996... Son of James and Laura Benkovich... Admires Wayne Gretzky.

Aurora, Ill.
Montini Catholic HS
149 Pounds
High School: Four-time conference, regional and sectional champion at Montini Catholic High School... Captured state titles as a junior and senior... Finished his high school career with a combined record of 165-38 for the Broncos... Finished his senior season with a 41-7 record en route to conference, regional, sectional and state titles at 145... Won the Dvorak Memorial Invitational Tournament and finished second at the Cheesehead Invitational in 2013-14... Named a team captain prior to his senior year... Posted a career-best 44 wins as a junior at 138 pounds... Won the conference, regional, sectional and state tournaments in 2012-13... Earned a runner-up finish at the state tournament as a sophomore and third as a freshman.

Personal: Born May 6, 1996... Son of Renato and Carolina Garcia... Intends on majoring in business administration.

Manhattan, Ill.
Lincoln-Way Central HS
174/184 Pounds
High School: Four-time varsity letterwinner and two-time state qualifier at Lincoln-Way Central High School... Finished with a career record of 132-21 with the Knights... Named to the all-area and all-conference teams as a junior and senior... Placed fourth at the 2014 Illinois state tournament at 170 pounds... Compiled a 46-3 record as a senior, while winning the regional and sectional tournaments... Earned his first-career state tournament berth as a junior, placing fourth at 170... Capped his junior campaign with a 45-5 record, taking first at the regional and sectional tournaments and second at conference... Advanced to sectionals as a sophomore.

Personal: Born Feb. 3, 1996, in Joliet, Ill... Son of Steve and Carol Gorman... Active community volunteer.

Gray Summit, Mo.
Pacific HS
174/184 Pounds
High School: Four-time conference, three-time district and two-time state champion at Pacific High School... Finished his career with a 203-15 record and 155 pins with the Indians... Named to the all-conference team all four years, in addition to earning team MVP three times and all-state twice... Holds the school record in career wins, pins and team points... Went 58-0 with 48 pins at 170 as a senior en route to capturing conference, district and conference tournament titles... Won all four matches via pin at the 2014 Missouri state tournament... Set single-season school records in wins, pins and team points in 2013-14... Helped PHS win the Four Rivers Conference team title as a junior and senior... Placed third at the state tournament as a sophomore at 145 pounds... Won the conference title at 145 pounds as a freshman... Took fifth place and All-American honors at the NHSCA Senior Nationals in 2014 and the NHSCA Freshman Nationals in 2011.

Personal: Born Dec. 18, 1995, in St. Louis, Mo... Son of Keith and Krisi Repp... Active community volunteer... Enjoys golf.



Frazier Corner Promotions Follow The Huskies Fan Guide Recruits Shop