Recruiters hot for Chriswell

It seems Brent Chriswell is quite the popular person these days. And not just with the ladies or his South Kitsap classmates.

Chriswell, a senior who is also the 171-pound defending Class 4A state wrestling champion, has worked his way onto a wish list of many of the nation’s top colligate wrestling programs, as evidenced by the number of visitors he and his family have entertained recently.

In the past two weeks, Chriswell has had face-to-face visits with head coaches from Oklahoma, Boise State, Purdue, Oregon State and Fresno State.

Minnesota’s coaching staff ventured into Port Orchard last summer, while Michigan called this past week inquiring about the talented senior and may visit soon.

“I want to say there have been 11 schools total that have been calling him and stuff like that,” South wrestling coach Chad Nass said. “But those are the ones that have actually come out, and I think he’s narrowing it down to one of those schools.”

But the Wolverines, along with the rest of the country, might want to hurry. Chriswell has already scheduled a couple of recruiting visits, hitting Oklahoma this weekend, where he will take in the Sooner’s Big 12 football opener against Kansas State tonight before taking a trip down to Fresno State next week.

Chriswell, who was on his way to Norman, Okla., Thursday afternoon and was not available for comment, will take at least four recruiting trips, Nass said. And he seems pretty intent on making his decision soon after the last one.

“I really don’t envy Brent’s situation because everyone that comes out, as soon as they leave, I’m thinking, ‘That’s the school. That’s the one,’” said Nass, who has sat in on all of Chriswell’s visits. “And then the next one comes and it’s like, ‘Oh, that’s the school,’ and you have to remember that the other school was out here two days ago.

“I think it’s going to come down for him when he goes on the visits,” Nass said. “He’s been impressed with all of the schools, and each of them has something a little bit different to offer, but they all have great packages in terms of academics and athletics.”

Nass said most NCAA Division 1 schools have just 9.9 scholarships per year and most of those end up being spread out over an entire team, with most recruits just getting partials. So it’s important to sign during the early-signing period because most of those offers will be taken by the end of the high school wrestling season.

Nass said he expects a decision before the first day of practice on Nov. 14.

“(Brent’s parents Wade and Sharon) really want this to be his decision,” Nass said. “And I completely agree with that. But I’m here to offer up any advice if he asks, and I’ll give him my honest opinion. But I’m not going on any of the visits with him, so it’s going to be his decision.”

Nass, who won a state title his senior year at South and wrestled colligately at Pacific Lutheran University, has made up a questionnaire for Chriswell to take with him on recruiting trips that he hopes will help him get the information he needs to help me make a decision.

“The bottom line is, he’s the one that going to be moving away from home and be wrestling in the program,” Nass said. “So it’s important that it’s the right fit for him. What’s the right fit for him may not be the right fit for anyone else, so he’s going to have to go with his heart and what he feels.”

That’s going to be the difficult part, Nass said. Each school that has come by has been impressive.

Everyone seemed to be sold on Minnesota after a visit last summer, especially since the Gophers have won two NCAA titles in the past fives years. But then Purdue coach Jessie Reyes stopped by and stole some thunder from his Big 10 rival.

The next day saw Oklahoma coach Jack Spates selling a program that has finished third in the nation the past three years.

“You really get a sense from these coaches, and the people involved in their programs, why their programs are so successful,” Nass said. “It’s because they are really neat, classy guys. And who wouldn’t want to wrestle for them or be part of their programs? I’ve just been blown away.”

With just 10 weight classes at the colligate level, Nass said he can see Chriswell going at 174 pounds, but more likely would reach the 184-pound class.

But with the workout programs and Chriswell being in his physical prime, moving all the way up to 197 pounds isn’t out of the question, either.

But the bottom line is Chriswell will most likely end up going to a top 10 program next year and the choice will not be an easy one.

“It’s probably been more fun for me than the parents because I don’t have to make the decision,” Nass said. “I know Brent as an individual and it’s going to be very hard for him to tell some of these people thanks but no thanks. He’s building a relationship with these people and it’s going to be tough for him. I don’t envy him for that, it’s going to be tough on him.”

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