Nebraska wrestling coach Mark Manning knew about Destin McCauley even before he got to high school.
Now Manning is looking forward to coaching McCauley, one of the nation’s top recruits.
“Destin is a good fit for us,” Manning said of McCauley, who signed a letter of intent with the Huskers. “He’s talented and he’s used to winning. He’s won at every level he’s competed at.”
McCauley will be 21 years old when he competes for the Huskers next season. McCauley, who is projected to wrestle at 149 pounds, spent the last two years at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., as he attempted to make the 2012 U.S. Olympic team.
Before that, McCauley was one of the most accomplished wrestlers in Minnesota high school history. He won six state titles at Apple Valley High School, won his last 98 matches and finished his prep career at 286-7 with 197 pins.
And before moving to Minnesota, McCauley grew up in South Dakota outside of Sioux City. Manning is from Vermillion in southeast South Dakota.
“He’s familiar with a lot of guys on our team,” Manning said. “It’s a good place for him to develop as a person and a wrestler.”
McCauley also has been a Junior World Team member in addition to winning the Junior National Freestyle title. At the 2012 FILA Junior Nationals, McCauley defeated five opponents, including two-time All-American Hunter Stieber of Ohio State in their championship match.
McCauley, who pledged to Wisconsin while in high school before switching his commitment to Iowa State, trained with another member of NU’s recruiting class at the Olympic Training Center, Pat Downey. Downey, a two-time state champion in Maryland at 184 pounds, was a runner-up at last year’s Junior World Championships.
“Those guys can be difference-makers right away,” Manning said.
Others in NU’s 2013-14 recruiting class are Colton McCrystal of Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, and Anthony Abidin of Dix Hlls, N.Y., who won the national junior college title last year at Nassau Community College.
They join a Husker team that was led by a strong sophomore class — Robert Kokesh placed third at nationals at 174 pounds, James Green was seventh at 157 and Jake Sueflohn was one win short of placing at 149.
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