Penn State’s wrestling received two major commitments. The Lions landed brothers Erik and Mason Gibson on Saturday.
Erik signed a national letter of intent to wrestle for Cornell last December. However, it is unclear whether he has ever joined the Big Red. Anyway, his time there is now over. It’s unclear, however, when he might start competing with the Nittany Lions. He projects himself as a 157-pound wrestler in college. It’s a weight Penn State currently has Terrell Barraclough starting at, with star freshman Levi Haines waiting in the wings.
Erik Gibson did not wrestle in his final two high school seasons at Bishop McCort due to a postseason ban the school received. But, he is highly decorated, having been a two-time PIAA State Place winner and also a U.S. Marines Corps Junior National All-American in Greco-Roman and Freestyle.
“After a ton of tough decisions, I have decided to wrap up my time at Ithaca and reverse my commitment to Penn State University,” Erik Gibson wrote on Twitter. “Bravo to everyone who helped me get to where I am today. None of this would be possible without all of you.
Mason Gibson is one of the most sought after rookies in the class of 2024 in the country. He was previously verbally committed to Cornell. He was a five-time Pennsylvania Junior Wrestling champion and won the prestigious Super 32 tournament as eighth. He later finished second at the 2021 PIAA State Championships at 120 pounds. Penn State will likely put him at 133 pounds in college. FloWrestling calls him the No. 30 pound-for-pound wrestler in the nation, regardless of year. And, it ranks #3 at 126 pounds by the same outlet.
“Love it or hate it – I’m staying home,” Mason Gibson wrote on Twitter.
Penn State stacked the class of 2024
Both engagements are big wins for Penn State. Head coach Cael Sanderson’s team already has commitments in the Class of 2024 from New York 182-pound Zack Ryder and Florida 160-pound Joseph Sealey, who rank seventh and 13th, respectively, in Flo’s pound-for-pound rankings.
The Lions are back this weekend at the Black Knight Invitational. Fifteen wrestlers from Penn State will be in Sunday’s tournament. Then next Tuesday. three Lions, Carter Starocci, Aaron Brooks and Greg Kerkvliet, will compete in the NWCA All-Star Game in Austin, Texas. These matches do not count towards any of the contestant’s college records, but will have an impact.
“I think if you’re a competitor, every game is the same whether it counts or not,” head coach Cael Sanderson said. “I mean, it still counts, right? As we have seen in the past, coaches use these matches for National Tournament standings. They did this at Mark Hall a few years ago.
“The people who go there are competitors. Everyone is competitive. I think it’s about growth and, you know, whether you win or lose, we’re going to get better and figure things out and improve in all areas. It should be awesome. We are happy to go there. High level matches. So that’s exciting.