Nov. 15, 2012
COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Mizzou wrestling program announced on Wednesday that five future student-athletes have signed their letters of intent, including the addition of J'Den Cox, the No. 3 wrestler from the 2013 class, according to FLO Wrestling. The five gentleman joining the Mizzou wrestling program for the 2013-14 season are the previously mentioned J'Den Cox (Columbia, Mo.), J.J. Johnson (Hanahan, S.C.), Joseph Lavallee (Reno, Nev.), B.J. Toal (Sidney, Ohio) and Parker Von Egidy (Marshville, N.C.).
"Ranking wise it'll be a highly ranked recruiting class. That stuff is important but it isn't the most important," said Head Coach Brian Smith. "The thing we feel comfortable with is that these men believe in what `Tiger Style' is about, from the academics side to what we do off the mat and in the community. They really like that stuff and they also understand that it is a big commitment in the way we train, and the great thing is they've all already bought into our philosophy."
This years recruiting class is ranked 2nd in the nation by FLO Wrestling and 3rd by Intermat. Here's a look at the Tigers' incoming class of 2013.
J'DEN COX - Columbia, Mo.
Overall Record: 149-3
High School Coaches: J.D Coffman, Ben Smith Assistant
Noteworthy Accolades: Won state at 171 pounds as a freshman... Went undefeated as a sophomore at 215 pounds...2011 Fargo Asics Nationals Cadet Greco Roman Champion (215)... Took 3rd in the 2011 Fargo Asics Nationals Cadet Freestyle (215)...Went undefeated at the 2011 USAW Cadet Duals 215-pound freestyle... 2012 MSHSAA State Champion at 220 pounds with another undefeated season... 2012 USA All-Tournament Team Freestyle... 2012 USA All-Tournament Team Greco Roman... 2012 MO/USA Greco Roman 220-pound Champion... 2012 MO/USA Freestyle State 220-pound Champion... 2012 Fargo Asics Nationals 220-pound Junior Greco Roman 3rd Place... 2012 Fargo Asics nationals 220-pound Junior Freestyle Champion... 3 time Hickman High School Outstanding Wrestler
Smith's Take: "I've known J'Den since he was four years old. He used to sit in my office and read books when his older brothers were competing for the Columbia Youth Wrestling Club. I coached him in football in the 6th and 8th grades (`So I made him the football player he is today,' Smith jokes). He's grown up in Columbia, and if he isn't already the best recruit in the nation, we think he should be. With him deciding to stay home with Mizzou says a lot about our program. He knows he can become a national champion here and reach his Olympic aspirations that he has set for himself. He has a bright future and is probably the highest ranked recruit we have ever brought in. His goal isn't just to be a great wrestler, but he wants to win multiple national titles and make an Olympic team and win a gold medal, and our program has what it takes to get him there."
J.J. JOHNSON - Hanahan, S.C.
Overall Record: 145-7
High School Coaches: Ray Adkins
Noteworthy Accolades: Took 2nd at State in the 103 weight class as a freshman... Took 2nd again as a sophomore at 112 pounds... Was a NHSCA All-American 8th at 122 pounds...Won state at 120 pounds as a junior... NHSCA All-American 2nd at 113 pounds... Fargo Nationals JR division freestyle All-American 4th at the 105 weight class... He took 1st at the Southeast Regionals in Freestyle and Greco... As a junior was the High School Sports Report 2AA Wrestler of the Year.
Smith's Take: "J.J. is a talented kid that (Assistant Coach) Sammie Henson discovered at a camp a few years ago. He's placed at some national tournaments and has placed either first or second in every season in high school."
Coach Henson's Take: "We believe that his work ethic fits in with what Tiger Style is all about. With his attitude he will have a lot of success in his career."
JOSEPH LAVALLEE - Reno, Nev.
Overall Record: 152-9
High School Coaches: Jeff Thomac, Josh Kievi, Steve Howe, Joe Lavallee
Noteworthy Accolades: Three time State champion once at 125 pounds and twice at 145 pounds... 2009 Nevada State Triple Crown Champion... Reno World of Wrestling 18-under 119-pound Champion...In 2010 he was the Nevada USA Free Style and Folk Style State Champion in the 140-pound class...At the 2010 USA Cadet Nationals he took 3rd in Greco and Freestyle at 140 pounds...In 2011 he was the USA Nevada State 145-pound Freestyle and Folk style Champion... 2011 FILA Cadet 63KG Freestyle National Champion...Took 5th at both the Asics Junior Nationals Freestyle in the 140-pound class and at the Cadet World Championships 63KG in 2011...In 2012 he was the USA 152 Folk Style State Champion.
Smith's Take: "Joey is a top-100 recruit who has competed all over the country in many of the top tournaments in the nation. He's really committed to the sport and likes the big-time atmosphere of Mizzou Wrestling. He is a future 149 or 157 competitior, He chose Mizzou after visiting several other top Division I programs. He's one of the best kids off of the west coast, and we're really excited about what he can bring to the table in the future."
B.J. TOAL - Sidney, Ohio
Overall Record: 86-9
High School Coach: Ty Morgan
Noteworthy Accolades: 2012 Ohio State Champion at 182 pounds...2012 Ohio Freestyle State Champion...2012 Super 32 Runner Up at 182 pounds...2011 Ohio State Runner Up at 170 pounds...
Smith's Take: "B.J. is unfortunately going to be seen as the younger brother of junior NCAA qualifier Zach Toal right now, but he is the younger brother not the little brother. He walks around at 200 pounds and has been in the state finals of Ohio the past 2 years now, and is going for his second straight state title this year in a very talent-rich state. B.J was also the runner up at the prestigious Super 32 Tournament a month ago. With Zach already on the team, we've realized how great the Toal family is in general. He'll add to an unbelievable recruiting class with top-100 recruits and outstanding upperweights. As a senior in high school, B.J. already looks like a college wrestler. He's physical and gets after it, and we can't wait to get him in the room and watch him add to our history of upperweights."
PARKER VON EGIDY - Marshville, N.C.
Overall Record: 169-15
High School Coaches: Head Coach Todd Stokes, Jamie Belk, John Collins, Jim Swayney
Noteworthy Accolades: Took 6th at NC States as freshman...Two-time North Carolina State Champion... 2nd at Fargo Cadet Freestyle at 170 pounds in 2011... 6th at Super 32 at 170 pounds in 2011... 7th at FLONationals at 170-pound weight class in 2012... 6th at Super 32 at 170 pounds in 2012.
Smith's Take: "He continues to the already successful pipeline we have with North Carolina. With Tony DeAngelo and Boomer Boyd already in the room from the Tar Heel state, he's another one of our top-100 recruits coming in. The thing my coaches like most about Parker is his work ethic. He loves to train hard and get after it. When he came on his visit, the thing he was most excited about was the way our guys were working at practice. All he talked about was getting in here and training with these guys in this atmosphere. That's the kind of kid we want. He was like a kid on Christmas morning, and he wants to be a part of the commitment we have here."