Illini sign top recruit

By Jon Gluskin

The Illinois wrestling team received encouraging news Wednesday, with the signing of Sean Reynolds – the No. 12 recruit in the nation.

Reynolds is the No. 2 recruit for his weight class at 145 pounds. He was an Illinois state champion his junior year at Providence Catholic High School and is from Frankfort, Ill.

Reynolds is coming off of an undefeated season at Providence Catholic, where he won 48 consecutive matches and competed in the state championships at 140 pounds. He has made it to state all three years he has wrestled.

He has a career record of 133-15 and was a Freestyle National All-American in 2002 and 2003, and was a Junior Freestyle National runner-up last year.

Head coach Mark Johnson is excited about the news, and said that Reynolds is in line to make an immediate impact next season.

“He’s very, very intense when he wrestles,” Johnson said. “He doesn’t let you breathe when he’s out there. He’s relentless. He just knows how to handle fatigue and he doesn’t get tired out there. He’s everything you want as a wrestler.”

Reynolds chose Illinois over Iowa. Johnson said Reynolds’ decision to come to Illinois was aided by a “comfort-factor.”

Reynolds has known the program well for a number of years. His older brother Donny is a sophomore on the team (165). Johnson also said Reynolds cares strongly for academics, which was a plus for Illinois.

“Recruiting is really the name of the game,” Johnson said. “That’s one of the reasons we’re as good as we are. It’s an easy place for me to sell.”