‘Crootin never sleeps, so they say.
Such was the case late Tuesday night when the top-ranked high school wrestling in the country at 182 pounds, Travis Wittlake, flipped his commitment from Penn State to Oklahoma State.
Wittlake, an Oregon native and 2016 Cadet World bronze medalist at 76 kilograms, initially committed to the Nittany Lions in April while on his visit during Blue-White weekend. He is FloWrestling No. 2 ranked high school wrestler in the country pound-for-pound. Wittlake qualified for the 2017 Cadet World championships before an injury forced him out of the competition.
While Wittlake’s loss is a surprise, it may not be too consequential.
In Wittlake’s sted at the 2017 Cadet World Championship was Maryland native Aaron Brooks. All Brooks did was go out and dominate his way to world championship and it just so happens that young Mr. Brooks recently visited Penn State the week of the Penn State-Michigan football game alongside current commit Roman Bravo-Young and future target Kurt McHenry.
Brooks is ranked second behind Wittlake at 182 and 14th in the pound-for-pound rankings. Many also consider Brooks to be a potentially equivalent, if not better prospect to Wittlake who has been in an environment more suitable to success early in his career. Both project to 174 or 184 pounds in college and are class of 2018 prospects, though Brooks plans to defer a year and spend next year at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs similar to what current Penn State wrestler Mason Manville did in 2016-2017.
Should Brooks choose to join the Nittany Lions, as I believe he may, that timeline would place him on campus in 2019-2020, the year Penn State will likely be looking to fill the spot vacated by one Mr. Bo Nickal at 184 pounds.
So, we’d like to wish Travis Wittlake the best of luck at Oklahoma State where he will undoubtedly succeed under coach John Smith, and to Aaron Brooks, we simply say “sup?”