Three prep standouts – Minnesotans Jake Allar and Bailee O’Reilly, along with South Dakotan Tyler Waterson — inked National Letter of Intents on Wednesday to wrestle for the Gophers starting next season.
Allar is the latest St. Michael-Albertville (Minn.) High School grad to make the 45-minute drive from the outskirts of the Twin Cities metro area to the Gopher Wrestling room. He will join fellow Knights Tommy Thorn and Mitch McKee on next year’s roster. Allar won his second Minnesota state title last month, following his 152-pound title from his junior season with a championship at 170 pounds as a senior. Allar made a splash on the national scene last year when he won the 2016 junior national freestyle championship in Fargo wrestling at 160 pounds. As a Greco competitor, Allar wrestled for the national team at the 2015 Cadet World Championships.
O’Reilly, the oldest of five boys in his family that all wrestling for Goodhue (Minn.) High School, is a two-time Minnesota state champion, just like Allar. O’Reilly won a 152-pound title during his junior season before winning the 160-pound title a few weeks ago, becoming the first wrestler in his program’s history to win multiple state championships. Outside of the state, O’Reilly recently took third at USA Wrestling junior folkstyle nationals wrestling at 170 pounds, a follow-up to a 2016 performance at USA Wrestling junior folkstyle nationals in which he finished as the runner-up at 160. He also took third recently at National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA) Senior Nationals, wrestling at 160.
Waterson can match his fellow signees with two state titles and add one more to the mix, though his all came in his native South Dakota. Waterson won a state title as an eighth-graded before back-to-back runner-up finishes the next two seasons. He returned to the top of the podium as a junior, capturing the 126-pound title before adding a 138-pound championship this spring as a senior. Waterson departs Spearfish (S.D.) High School as a five-time state finalist, three-time state champ and a state junior Greco and freestyle champion. He is the only wrestler to ever win four Mid Dakota Monster tournament titles, which he won in addition to winning two titles at the national Rumble on the Red tournament.
Todays three signees join three signees from the November signing period: Jakob Bergeland, Alex Crowe and Brent Jones. For more information on that trio, check out this article from GopherSports.com on Nov. 10.