Nov. 26, 2013
DEKALB, Ill. - Northern Illinois University head wrestling coach Ryan Ludwig announced the signing of four wrestlers Tuesday.
The signees come from three different states and all have multiple state tournament appearances to their credit.
"This is a talented, hard working and hungry group of wrestlers," Ludwig said. "Coach (Dominick) Moyer, Coach (John) Helgerson and I focused on identifying those who had strong academic resumes to compliment their wrestling abilities. Each one of these incoming Huskies comes from strong wrestling family backgrounds whose philosophies mirror that of this program. We are really looking forward to watching them compete in their senior years and getting them on the mat with us in the fall."
Two of the four signees, Steve Bleise (Chelsea) and Austin Eicher (Fenton), hail from Ludwig's home state of Michigan, with Bleise coming from the same high school as the Huskie boss. Additionally, fellow signees Alijah Jeffery and Quinton Rosser come from wrestling hotbeds in Iowa and Ohio, respectively.
Class of 2014 Signees
Name Weight Hometown (High School)
Alijah Jeffery 125 Marion, Iowa (Linn-Mar)
Steve Bleise 149 Chelsea, Mich. (Chelsea)
Austin Eicher 141 Fenton, Mich. (Hartland)
Quinton Rosser 184 Fairfield, Ohio (Archbishop Moeller)
High School: Three-time varsity letterwinner and two-time team captain at Linn-Mar High School... Holds a 134-15 record, including 83 pins, through three seasons... Named to the all-conference and all-area teams each of his first three seasons... Finished his junior season with a 47-4 record and 30 pins en route to conference and sectional titles at 120 pounds... Placed fifth at the state tournament in 2013... Helped the Lions claim conference and district championships, along with a fifth-place team finish at state in the 2012-13 season... Claimed third place at the state tournament as a junior and a sophomore... Finished the 2011-12 season with a 45-6 record and 29 pins... Went 42-5 as a freshman, notching 24 pins in the process... Won the 120 weight class at the 2013 USA Wrestling Preseason Nationals with a perfect 6-0 record... Took first place at the 2012 InterMat JJ Classic and eighth at the 2011 Fargo Freestyle Nationals... Currently ranked 13th nationally by Amateur Wrestling News, 16th by InterMat and 17th by Flo Wrestling.
Personal: Born Nov. 2, 1995, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa... Son of Brian Jeffery and Jen Roberts... Undecided on a major... Enjoys playing disc golf... Admires MMA fighter Jon "Bones" Jones.
Ludwig's Take: "Alijah is a cat and can really move. He is tough on top and likes to throw up points. My staff has liked him since we first saw him compete a couple years ago. He has wrestled with and beaten the best in the country. He is among the elite lightweights nationally."
High School: Three-time varsity letterwinner and team MVP at Chelsea High School... Earned all-state, all-area and all-conference honors each of his first three seasons... Maintains a 127-14 record through three seasons... Went 45-1 as a junior with the Bulldogs en route to a second-place finish at the state tournament... Placed fourth at the state tournament in 2012, posting a record of 30-6 as a sophomore... Helped CHS to a district team championship in 2013, along with runner-up finishes in 2011 and 2012... Finished with a 52-7 record as a freshman, setting Dexter High School's record for most wins in a season... Took fifth place at the state tournament in 2011... Earned a spot on the 2013 junior duals all-star team with a 10-2 overall record... Competed in the USA Greco-Roman Nationals in 2013... Attended the same high school as NIU head coach Ryan Ludwig.
Personal: Born July 5, 1996, in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho... Son of Carl and Kathleen Bleise... Plans on majoring in management... Volunteers as a youth wrestling coach... Enjoys wakeboarding and tubing.
Ludwig's Take: "Steven is from my hometown and I understand where he is at right now and where he can be in college. He is a student of the sport and will develop quickly at the next level with the level of competition he will see daily. He is currently trained by my old high school coach who does a great job of instilling conditioning and mental toughness."
High School: Three-time varsity letterwinner and team MVP at Hartland High School... Garnered all-state, all-area and all-conference laurels each of his first three seasons with the Eagles... Maintains a 164-9 record through three seasons at HHS... Won the state title at 130 pounds in 2013, completing the season with a 52-1 record... Finished his sophomore campaign with a 52-4 record on his way to taking second place at 119 pounds in the state tournament... Set a school record for most wins by a freshman with 60 in 2011... Helped Hartland advance to the team state semifinals each of the last three seasons... Placed fourth at 112 pounds at the state tournament as a freshman... Ranked 14th in the state across all weight classes by MichiganGrappler.com... Earned top five finishes at five national tournaments, including winning a gold medal at the 2011 Disney Duals... Named the HHS team captain for the 2013-14 season.
Personal: Born Dec. 8, 1995, in Flint, Mich... Son of Darrel and Cindy Eicher... Undecided on a major... Volunteers as a coach for the Hartland Youth Wrestling Club... Enjoys fishing.
Ludwig's Take: "Austin is hungry to succeed and serious about his training. He is just scratching the surface of his potential and he has the tools to develop into a major player at the next level. He comes from a great wrestling family and meshes well with some of the Michigan guys on the team."
Archbishop Moeller HS
High School: Two-time all-area and all-conference honoree from Archbishop Moeller High School... Collected all-state honors as a junior after going 30-9 and placing second at the state tournament at 182 pounds... Won the Greater Catholic League title at 182, in addition to finishing second at the district and sectional tournaments in 2013... Won the Ohio All-Catholic tournament and placed second at the Southwest Ohio Wrestling Coaches Association tournament in his junior season... Finished his sophomore campaign with a 29-19 record with 14 pins... Took third at the GCL tournament in 2012 before placing fourth at districts and second at sectionals to qualify for the state tournament... Two-time Academic All-Ohio honoree... Ranked 10th at 182 pounds by Wrestling USA magazine.
Personal: Born March 10, 1995, in Cincinnati, Ohio... Son of Jason and Jeannie Rosser... Undecided on a major... Active community volunteer.
Ludwig's Take: "Quinton is an extremely intelligent and focused young man. He knows the value of hard work and has a motor that does not stop. We feel his best wrestling is ahead of him and that he is destined for greatness here at NIU."