WADSWORTH — The first thing that stands out about Jordan Earnest is family.
So when the Wadsworth senior went shopping for a college to continue his academic and wrestling careers, Earnest did so with discerning taste.
Schools like Ohio University, Cleveland State, Duke, Appalachian State and Clarion showed interest.
The Bobcats won in the end and will have the services of the UWW (Fila) national champion and state placer next fall.
“It was like family,” Earnest said. “Just seeing how close the team was, when I went there, the team was all hanging out and they were joking beforehand and playing games.
“That’s what we like to do at Wadsworth. The coaches are really close with the kids. They’re able to joke around kind of like what (coach John Gramuglia) does with us.”
A coach like Ohio’s Joel Greenlee didn’t hurt the recruitment process, as the former Northern Iowa standout heavyweight has excellent credentials.
Greenlee was a national runner-up in 1989 and finished fourth in 1988. He holds school records for career winning percentage (.878, 127-16-4) and dual victories for a career (58) and season.
A runner-up for the 1992 U.S. Olympic team, he was a three-time placer at the World Team trials.
“It’s really exciting,” Earnest said. “A lot of coaches teach a lightweight style of wrestling, so some coaches don’t know how heavyweights do it. The fact Coach Greenlee was a decorated heavyweight has me really looking forward to learning specifically things I’ll be able to use more.”
Part of the new wave of heavyweights, Earnest weighs 235 pounds and is looking forward to putting on muscle while learning the ropes.
That’s why he’s not sweating a redshirt as Devin King and Zack Parker battle in their senior seasons.
The plan is to hit as many open tournaments as Earnest can before challenging Cale Bonner for a starting spot as a redshirt freshman.
“I was going to be there five years anyways because I was going to get my MBA,” said Earnest, who plans on majoring in engineering or business. “I just wanted a year to grow more.
“I’m going to take advantage of it as much as possible. I’m going to get in as many workouts with the team as possible and drill with all those redshirt seniors and learn from them. I want a good drill partner to push me. I can focus on lifting more.”
Earnest, who carries a 3.7 grade-point average, isn’t a slouch. The All-Gazette selection was a Walsh Ironman placer and finished fourth at state while going 42-8 with 27 pins.
“I’m a hard worker and I have the credentials to match that,” Earnest said. “I’m the newer forms of heavyweight. Heavyweight used to be whoever could get the heaviest. Now, it’s who can go faster and keep up with the bigger guys but can still keep up with the lighter guys.”
Contact Brad Bournival at email@example.com.