Gophers ink three Minnesotan wrestlers

by Dane Mizutani

And the rich get richer.

The top-ranked Gophers wrestling team, which is fresh off three wins in Fargo, N.D., announced Monday the addition of three in-state recruits.

Jake Short, Nick Wanzek, and Nate Thomas have all signed National Letters of Intent and will wrestle with the Gophers next season.

Short, a three-time Minnesota state champion at Simley High School, is the No. 1 high school wrestler in the nation at 145 pounds. He also enters his final season as the No. 8 senior in the country and boasts a career record of 189-20. Short has helped Simley win three of its five consecutive state titles.

Short will join Wanzek, his high school teammate, on the Gophers. Wanzek, a two-time Minnesota state champion, was also a key contributor in Simley's state tournament run. Wanzek is ranked fourth in the nation at 170 pounds  entering his senior season and shoulders a 174-30 career record.

Nate Thomas rounds out the trio of early commitments for the Gophers. Thomas is a two-time Minnesota state finalist and claimed the Class AA 103-pound championship as a freshman. He moved up to 112 pounds as a sophomore and finished as the state runner-up for Kasson-Mantorville High School. Thomas missed most of his junior campaign with an injury, but he’s back for his senior season.

Minnesota tends to redshirt most of its freshmen in their first year with the team, but current 174-pound stud Logan Storley  bucked that trend last season when he competed as a true freshman.