The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling team added three signees to its top-25 recruiting class head coach Heath Eslinger announced today. With this trio of student-athletes set to attend UTC, the Mocs will welcome seven new wrestlers to the Scenic City in the fall.
Chattanooga already has commitments from four student-athletes in the early signing period. Highlighted by high school state champions Marvin Lopez (Cleveland, Tenn.) and Nick Soto (Spring Hill, Fla.), to go with Virginia Tech transfer T.J. Mitchell (Lawrenceville, Ga.) and prep wrestler Austin Sams (Fairfield, Ohio), the Mocs' fall class ranked No. 23 in the nation according to Wrestling Insider News (WIN) Magazine. Click here for a full recap of the early signing class.
This newest group of signees is led by the top wrestler in Georgia in Hunter Barnes (Blue Ridge, Ga.). Barnes is projected as a 197-pounder at the collegiate level. He won the last two state titles at 171 and was the Sean Hage Award winner as last year's most dominant wrestler in Georgia.
Alex Kooser (Dayton, Ohio) is the second Ohioan in this class to move south to Chattanooga. He finished in the top eight in the state tournament in each of the last two years. He is projected to compete at 149 at the collegiate level.
Josh Lampe (Fairdale, Ky.) rounds out the group. He is a two-time state champion from St. Xavier High School in Louisville, Ky. He has also placed in the top-6 at the FloNationals in each of the last two years.
"We have some talented wrestlers coming in with this class," stated Eslinger. "They are all going to have to work hard to crack the lineup, but they have the ability to push our returners in the wrestling room. They are also accomplished in the classroom and will help build our program, both on and off the mat."
Hunter Barnes - 197 - Blue Ridge, Ga. - Gilmer County HS
Two-time state champion for Gilmer County High School in Ellijay, Ga. ... led the Bobcats to back-to-back state championships ... wrestled for coaches Sam Snider ... went 148-9 in his prep career ... perfect 48-0 as a senior when he repeated as the 171-pound champion ... won the Sean Hage Award as the state's most dominant wrestler as a senior ... wrestled less than four minutes in the state tournament as a senior with four first period pins ... went 33-2 as a junior ... four-year starter on the football team and led the team to the state playoffs as a senior quarterback ... PERSONAL ... Full name is Christian Hunter Barnes ... son of Jerry and Cindi Barnes ... has an older sister, Cydney, and an older brother, Whit ... plans to major in Education.
Alex Kooser - 149 - Dayton, Ohio - Oakwood HS
Finished in the top-8 in the state in each of the last two years at Oakwood High School in Dayton, Ohio ... went 42-5 and placed fifth as a senior ... won four titles during senior season ... wrestled for head coach Gary Kesler ... was 37-10 as a junior, including an eighth place showing in the state tournament ... won a total of 13 tournaments during his prep career ... was on the Team Ohio Junior Olympic Team ... also lettered in soccer for two seasons ... PERSONAL ... Full name is Alex Kelly Kooser ... son of Kelly and Ellen Kooser ... born Aug. 7, 1992 ... oldest of three with two younger brothers, Dylan and Mason ... plans to major in Criminal Justice.
John Lampe - 165 - Fairdale, Ky. - St. Xavier HS
Two-time state champion from St. Xavier High School in Louisville, Ky. ... Posted a 120-8 record in high school, including a perfect 47-0 mark as a senior ... placed fifth and sixth in the FloNationals in the last two years, respectively ... wrestled for head coach James Kraezig ... first in the county in each of the last three years ... made the Principal's List all four years of high school ... earned the Ryken Underclassman Award in 2009 ... PERSONAL ... Full name is John Alexander Lampe ... born June. 19, 1993 ... son of Jeff and Shelley Lampe ... oldest of five with two brothers, Justin and Dominic, and two sisters, Maria and Angela ... plans to major in History.