Ohio State Wrestling Signs Top Recruit

By Danielle Warner | Nov. 10, 2005, 12 a.m. (ET)
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State wrestling team and head coach Russ Hellickson announced the signing of Lance Palmer Thursday. Hellickson adds the projected 141-pounder, who is a three-time Ohio state champion and has a 106-5 career mark.

A two-time Most Valuable Wrestler at St. Edwards High School in Cleveland, Ohio, Palmer is only the second wrestler in Ohio High School Athletic Association history to pin his way through the sectional, district and state tournaments. Last season, 24 of Palmer's 33 wins came via fall at 125 during his junior campaign. Palmer also had a notable showing at the 2005 Junior Nationals, finishing third. As a sophomore in 2004, Palmer garnered his second state championship title in the 112-weight division after posting a 32-4 record and 21 falls. Palmer captured his first state championship in 2003 (103 pounds) during his freshman year after recording a mark of 41-1 and notching 16 falls.

"Ever since I was young, I have wanted to wrestle at Ohio State," Palmer said. "I have been good friends with the guys on the team, so I'm coming into a friendly environment."

Hellickson, who is entering his 20th season as Buckeye head coach, is eager for Palmer to showcase his swagger and passion for the sport.

"His intensity and success at every competition level makes him one of the top wrestlers in the nation," Hellickson said.

Palmer also owns numerous honors, including the 2004 and 2005 St. Edwards Most Pins Award (2004 - 21, 2005 - 24). Named Outstanding Wrestler in 2004 and 2005 after winning two-consecutive titles at the Medina Invitational (MIT), Palmer was a two-time Cliff Keen National Champion. Palmer also was a 2002 U.S. Freestyle National Champion and a member of the 2000 World All-Star Team.

"Lance is one of the best recruits in the country," Mitch Clark, Ohio State assistant coach, said. "Lance also is a likable guy. His personality fits well with our team. He is one of the hardest working guys when it's time to focus."

With Hellickson offering Palmer the lone scholarship available for the 2006-07 season, Hellickson is confident Palmer will make an easy transition from the high school scene to the collegiate ranks.

"Lance will have a big impact on our team," Hellickson said. "He is a very powerful and strong wrestler with an aggressive style. He may be the most prepared high school wrestler we have recruited."

Hellickson also credits Clark for recruiting one of the top high school wrestlers in the country.

"Mitch Clark is mostly responsible for Lance and his family joining the OSU family," Hellickson said. "The Palmer family is very supportive and we all are glad he is on board."

After years of preparation, Dwayne Palmer is excited about his son's pending career at Ohio State.

"It has been a lifelong dream for Lance since he was 9 years old to compete for the Buckeyes and to see him reach his goal is icing on the cake," D Palmer said. "Russ and the coaching staff are a great group of people. We are a tight-nit family and we live the sport. We wanted to make sure Lance received a great education and found a secondary family in OSU wrestling."

Lance Palmer (Senior, St. Edwards High School) - Three-time Ohio high school state champion (2003, 2004 and 2005) … second wrestler in Ohio high school wrestling history to pin his way through the sectional, district and state tournaments … owns a three-year high school career record of 106-5 … has 61 high school career falls … two-time most valuable wrestler at St. Edwards high school (2004 and 2005) … recorded the most pins on high school squad in 2004 (21) and 2005 (24) … 2004 Ohio Division I State Duals MVP … 2004 Asics IronMan National Champion … 2003 Beast of the East Champion … third at the 2005 Junior National Tournament … U.S. Triple Crown National Champion at 75 pounds … Born Feb. 7, 1987.