MINNEAPOLIS – The Minnesota wrestling program added six members on National Signing Day as Silas Dailey, Wyatt Duchateau, Koy Hopke, Charlie Millard, Jack Nelson and Jed Wester all signed National Letters of Intent, head coach Brandon Eggum announced.
“Our coaching staff is excited to announce a big chunk of our 2024 recruiting class,” Eggum said. “Building off of last year’s class, this local crew from Minnesota and Wisconsin is coming into their time at the ‘U’ with big expectations. This is a top-5 recruiting class that is full of young men who love the sport of wrestling and are looking to develop into the best wrestlers and people they can be.
“Their accomplishments on the mat and in the classroom are incredibly impressive. We have a couple of 4.0 students, a world champ, multiple All-Americans and many state championships in this group. They are like-minded in the way they wrestle with an aggressive attacking style and with their ability to beat top opponents throughout the country. This group has done that consistently throughout their careers and are eager to do it here, as well.”
“We will also be adding some other guys in our later signing period to really complete this top-ranked class,” Eggum added.
Dailey is a native of Cascade, Wis., and attends Plymouth High School. He won the 2023 Wisconsin Division II State Championship at 170 pounds after taking third place the previous season. As a freshman, he claimed third place at 145 pounds. Dailey finished his junior campaign with a record of 48-2 and improved his three-year mark to 102-7. WisconsinGrappler ranks Dailey as the No. 1 wrestler in Division II at 175 pounds, while WIWrestle has him as the No. 12 pound-for-pound wrestler in the state. He was a past All-American at Cadet Fargo Nationals.
“Silas was our latest commitment from Wisconsin,” Eggum said. “He is club teammates with Charlie Millard and Wyatt Duchateau, as well as current Gopher Ethan Riddle. He is tough on top and has an incredible grip. Silas comes from a tight-knit family and we are excited that he’ll be able to add to our family atmosphere here in Minnesota.
“We anticipate him to come in and develop his already great skills. With the coaching and training partners he’ll be surrounded with, you’re going to see Silas do big things throughout his time here. We are thankful he is a Gopher.”
Duchateau joins the Gophers from Hartland, Wis., and Arrowhead High School. Duchateau is a two-time Wisconsin state champion as he won at 145 pounds for Division I last year thanks to a pin in under a minute, while in 2022 he captured the crown at 132 pounds as a sophomore. MatScouts puts Duchateau at No. 88 on its 2024 Big Board, while he is the top-ranked Division I wrestler at 150 pounds according to WisconsinGrappler. WIWrestle tabs him eighth in the pound-for-pound rankings in Wisconsin.
“We feel that Wyatt is one of the best kept secrets throughout the nation in this class,” Eggum said. “He is a scramble and cradle master who has won back-to-back state titles in Wisconsin. Wyatt has battled through some injuries throughout his high school career but has attacked rehab and is as healthy as ever entering his senior season. Wyatt will be a staple in the middle of our line up for years to come.”
Hopke comes to the Gophers as one of the top recruits in the country. A native of Amery, Wis., and Amery High School, Hopke is ranked fourth overall on MatScouts’ 2024 Big Board. He is also WIWrestle’s top pound-for-pound wrestler in the state of Wisconsin. Hopke is a three-time Division II State Champion in Wisconsin at 220 pounds and finished his junior season at a perfect 53-0 to leave his prep record at an unblemished 126-0. He won his most recent title behind three pins and a total of just 1:05 on the mat. On the national scene, Hopke won the triple crown in 2021 as he was the 16U champion in folkstyle, freestyle and Greco-Roman. In addition, Hopke was the 2022 Under-17 freestyle world champion and he followed that this past July by winning the freestyle heavyweight title at the 2023 Junior Nationals Championships.
“Koy Hopke is coming to Minneapolis with the aim of continuing our unmatched tradition of producing the best heavyweights in the world,” Eggum said. “He is already a world champ and the best high school heavyweight in the country, his accomplishments on the mat speak for themselves, but Gopher Nation also should know Koy is an amazing person and an incredible student. He will be a leader on and off the mat for us. We are extremely excited to pair him with our already talented upper weights to make the back end of our lineup a nightmare for our Big Ten opponents.”
Millard is the fourth Wisconsin native to join Minnesota for the 2024-25 season. He hails from Mequon and attends Homestead High School. Millard is ranked 23rd on MatScouts’ Big Board, sixth on the pound-for-pound rankings from WIWrestle and No. 1 at 165 pounds for WisconsinGrappler. As a freshman he placed fourth at the Wisconsin Division I State Tournament at 138 pounds, moved up to 152 pounds as a sophomore and claimed second place then broke through with a state title last season at 160 pounds. Millard is a multi-time All-American at Fargo Nationals.
“One of the best wrestlers to come out of a great 2024 Wisconsin class, Charlie Millard is a foundational part of our top-ranked group,” Eggum said. “We love everything about Charlie Millard. He wrestles an attacking and aggressive style, he can ride and turn and is a great scrambler. Charlie has an amazing personality and absolutely loves the sport of wrestling. He’s improved so much as a wrestler, we believe that development will continue here and help Charlie accomplish great things at the U.”
A product of Mound Westonka High School, Nelson calls Minnetrista, Minn., home. Ranked 108th on MatScouts’ Big Bard, he is a three-time state champion and a four-time state qualifier. He won the Class AA 126-pound title as a junior this past year after taking the crown at 120 pounds as a sophomore and the 106-pound title as a freshman in 2021. He also reached state as an eighth grader in 2020. Nelson entered his senior year with a prep record of 143-19.
“Jack was one of our first commitments in this class,” Eggum said. “He is already a three-time Minnesota state champion and will be going for his fourth this season. Jack is a three-sport athlete who also has trained year round in wrestling. He is long and great on top. We are impressed by his work ethic and commitment to the sport of wrestling. Jack loves Gopher Wrestling, there’s something to be said about guys who grow up wanting to be a Gopher. It is fun to help that dream come true and then to prepare them to get their hands raised in the Pav.”
Rounding out the class is Wester from Annandale, Minn., and St. Michael-Albertville High School. Ranked 181st overall by MatScouts in the 2024 class, he is the defending state champion at 160 pounds in Class AAA, while he also came in second as a sophomore at the same weight, second as a freshman at 145 pounds and fifth at 120 pounds as an eighth grader. Through his junior season, he held a high school record of 181-32.
“Jed hails from Minnesota powerhouse Saint Michael, Minn.,” Eggum said. “He has some great accomplishments and some big time wins. Jed’s athleticism and ability to scramble are at an elite level. He is a student of the sport who is constantly looking to evolve and grow as a wrestler and person. Jed is a strong wrestler in many positions who will come in and grow into a tough Big Ten wrestler. We are extremely thankful to have him part of this class.”