By Matt Diano
While most of the East Coast spent the early hours today fretting the impending damages that will accompany the wrath of Hurricane Sandy, one man, Columbia University head coach Carl Fronhofer, was no doubt smiling ear to ear this morning when he received word that premier big man, Garrett Ryan, had opted to verbally commit to the Lions as a part of their 2013 recruiting class. The addition of Ryan comes less than one week after the Ivy League Institution landed 2012 NHSCA Junior National Champion, Chris Araoz, to bolster the lineup down low. Now with Ryan on board, EIWA foes have every reason in the world to fear Columbia’s bookends for years to come. While still very early in the recruiting season, as the #76 overall prospect in the current senior class, it is possible that the Scottsdale, Arizona native will end up being the crown jewel of the class.
The 170-pound 2012 Arizona state champion, after posting a pair of fifth place showings in his first two years on the Horizon High School varsity at 145 and 160 pounds, respectively, Ryan made the decision prior to the start of his senior campaign to transfer to Pennsylvania prep powerhouse,Wyoming Seminary for the 2012/2013 season. He cited the quality of workout partners and the more competitive national schedule among other factors in expressing his sentiments that the Scott Green-led program will best position/prepare him for success on the next level. His commitment to Columbia is the second huge one in the past four days for the Blue Knights, as teammate Eric Morris (the #21 rated senior) decided upon Harvard as his future destination late last week. In doing so, Ryan became the third blue chipper this fall to select the New York City based school, joining the aforementioned Araoz and 2012 120-pound NYS DI bronze medalist Matt Leshinger in representing the first wave of talented student-athletes flocking to the EIWA conference member.
Experiencing something of a David Taylor growth spurt (in reference to Penn State’s current returning national champion who jumped several weights in a short period of time and still enjoyed unmatched success), the bigger Ryan gets, the better he seems to perform. In fact, despite the 50 pound difference in weight classes, Ryan would complement his state title last season by becoming a double All-American on the Junior level, finishing fourth in Greco-Roman and fifth in Freestyle at 220 pounds. He would also earn gold medals in both international styles at the FILA Cadet National Tournament, affording him the privilege of representing the Red, White, and Blue at the FILA Cadet World Tournament this past August in Baku, Azerbaijan. Here, he would add one final bullet point to a successful summer resume, finishing fifth in FS. Ryan will head into his swan song as the #5 ranked wrestler in the country at his weight class, per FloWrestling.
A 3.97 student with monster scores on the the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), as that special breed of dual threat (killing it in the classroom as well as on the wrestling mat), Ryan had his pick of top notch academic colleges/universities, choosing Columbia over the likes of fellow Ivy League members, UPenn and Princeton, as fellow as nationally acclaimed universities Cal Poly and Northwestern. With 2012 Junior World representative (finished 10th), Wyatt Baker, only a sophomore, already on the Lion roster, the path to the starting lineup will not be an easy one for Ryan. However, in much the same way that the move to Wyoming Seminary fit his interests from a developmental standpoint, so too will the opportunity to go toe-to-toe with Baker and Columbia assistant, Hudson Taylor (3x NCAA All-American for the University of Maryland).
This article was originally published on http://www.gothamcitywrestling.com