Oct. 7, 1999

Columbus, Ohio – Ohio State University wrestling’s 1999 recruiting class has been recognized as No. 1 in the nation by Amateur Wrestling News. The class includes five wrestlers who were named high school All-Americans by AWN, two of which were tabbed as No. 1 in the country in their weight classes. The five All-Americans combined for 10 state championships during their high school careers.

“This is truly the best recruiting class in Ohio State wrestling history,” coach Russ Hellickson said. “To have the level of wrestlers coming in this fall is fabulous.”

The class is led by first-team All-Americans Jeff Ratliff and Tommy Rowlands. Ratliff is a three-time state champion from Marion Harding High School in Marion, Ohio. He plans to wrestle in the 133-pound weight class. Rowlands is a two-time state champion from Bishop Ready High School in Columbus, Ohio. He recently finished fourth at the 1999 Junior World Championships. He plans to wrestle as a heavyweight.

The other All-Americans in the class are John Clark, Ryan Hieber and Jesse Leng. Clark is a two-time state champion from Canton, N.Y., who will wrestle at 157 pounds. Hieber went 49-0 on his way to a state championship as a senior at Galion High School last year. He will wrestle at either 165 or 174 pounds. Leng is a two-time state champion from Hinckley, Ohio, who will wrestle at 125 pounds for OSU.

The wrestling team begins its season at the Michigan State Open on Nov. 13-14 in East Lansing, Mich. The Buckeyes practice at Larkins Hall, Monday through Friday from 3-5:30 p.m.