Cael Sanderson's hoarding of the PA class of 2010 continues unabated. Last week, 125 lb PIAA state champ Sam Sherlock announced he will attend Penn State. Sherlock wanted to take his five official visits before making a final decision but…
"Coach Sanderson needs a 133-pounder and he wants me to start as a true freshman," said Sherlock, a two-time WPIAL and one-time PIAA champion. "It was a tough decision, but it's hard to say no to the greatest wrestler in NCAA history. His accomplishments as both a wrestler and coach are just crazy."
"I seriously considered taking my five visits," said Sherlock, who had a score of 1,270 on his SAT. "I did make an unofficial visit to Penn State last winter and watched a football game from the sideline. I just loved the university. But that was before coach Sanderson was hired. When I got a chance to meet him in my living room, I knew Penn State was where I wanted to go."
So yeah, this recruiting thing sure is hard for Cael, Hell even Sam's dad couldn't help being a little star-struck.
"My parents just loved him. In fact, my dad joked that he still has college eligibility and wanted to know if coach Sanderson needed a heavyweight."
While getting kids to come to Penn State may not be all that difficult these days for Cael, it appears he does his homework before deciding on a kid.
"Recruiting is just doing your homework. You can't go online and look up what Web sites are ranking recruits. You've got to spend time watching them and pay attention to how they react when they win and when they lose.
"I'd rather watch a kid lose a match when I'm trying to figure out if he's a guy who will fit well in our program, because that's when you can see if a kid hates losing.
"Did he keep fighting to the end, or did he just put his head on the mat and just let it go? How did he react and how did he respond to certain situations," he said.
Of course Cael's final evaluation is done with a little more of a hands-on approach.
Once those recruits are on campus, Sanderson said, he has his own way of evaluating them. One way is long, intense wrestling sessions -- as long as 45 minutes -- with him.
…If you wrestle a kid hard for 45 minutes straight, seven minutes all of a sudden becomes nothing.
That's painful just reading that, I wouldn't last one minute and I'm not in bad shape, but to most high school wrestlers that's probably close to heaven.