Anthony Ashnault and Nick Suriano were humungous additions to Rutgers Wrestling in their own respective timelines and were integral to making the Scarlet Knights a wrestling powerhouse. While Suriano has one more season to win his second national title, head coach Scott Goodale and company have their eyes set on another prized addition. This one, would put them in the National Title race this season.
Meet AJ Ferrari: the No. 1 pound for pound wrestling recruit in the United States.
He’s been all over the place. Currently, he resides in Allen, Texas where he will finish his high school career. Previously, he was wrestling for New Jersey power Blair Academy before transferring to Bergen Catholic. He was dominant in both places, but was ineligible for the individual postseason in 2019 due to his late transfer. While he was wrestling at both 195 and 220 pounds, the case can be made he would have been the favorite to take home a state title.
Since his move back home to Texas, there has been tremendous speculation as to where he will end up. There’s no question, he loves Jersey.
Had a phenomenal first official visit with the Rutgers Scarlet Knights or the University of New Jersey.— AJ Ferrari (@mrfasttwitch) June 10, 2019
So should AJ Ferrari be a Scarlet Knight and rep NJ and Italian Americans?
⚔️ #rutgerswrestling #scarletknights pic.twitter.com/F9OkouzGRY
The other schools on his list include Oklahoma State, Penn State, Ohio State and Nebraska. He has already received visits from Oklahoma State and Nebraska, while Rutgers was his first official visit to a campus.
Had a great visit today with one of my biggest mentors who I have looked up to from a young age. Oklahoma State University Head Coach and 6-time Consecutive World and Olympic Champion John Smith came over our house and had a special conversation with me and my family. pic.twitter.com/cgmE9F7CEb— AJ Ferrari (@mrfasttwitch) May 9, 2019
Had a great day today with the University of Nebraska Head Wrestling Coach Mark Manning. He got the full Ferrari experience! We showed him everything from our Wrestling Room to the Workout Garage. Can’t wait to see you June 14th - 16th for our Official Visit at Final X - Lincoln. pic.twitter.com/5U6jra6pd9— AJ Ferrari (@mrfasttwitch) May 22, 2019
The Rutgers fans seem excited and will do anything they can to get Ferrari on campus.
Come be our next national champ. If theres one thing I can tell you for sure. RU might be the only school in the country where the wrestlers are the most popular athletes on campus— Yianni Gouvitzis (@rutgersfan_1980) June 10, 2019
Even wrestlers such as NJRTC and 86 KG World Team member Pat Downey and incoming 2020 commit Connor O’Neill are making their case.
new jersey = mecca of wrestling!!! i’ve been everywhere & NOWHERE does it like @RutgersU so the question isn’t should YOU come, its really this; R U ready to be a superstar⁉️— Pat Downey (@iAmPatDowney) June 10, 2019
⚔️— Connor O’Neill (@connor_oneill20) June 10, 2019
The biggest accolade for Ferrari is his international experience at the Cadet level. He finished as a Cadet Bronze Medalist at the 2018 World Championships. It’s safe to say he’s ready.
How does he fit in the Rutgers Wrestling room? Or should I say, soon to be finished, state of the art, BRAND NEW Rutgers Wrestling room?
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Had a phenomenal first official visit with the Rutgers Scarlet Knights or the University of New Jersey. It was awesome to get to see the new athletic facility, tour and to experience the RAC at Final X and to meet some Rutgers Alumni and students and to really get a feel for what Rutgers has to offer. New Jersey and more specifically, Rutgers, has a special group of people with a special mindset. Thank you to all of the Rutgers Wrestling Coaching Staff - Scott Goodale, Donny Pritzlaff, John Leonardis, and Joe Pollard, and to NJ RTC athlete Pat Downey and former Rutgers wrestler Nick Gravina for making this visit exceptional. And a huge thanks to all of Rutgers Athletics and everyone who supports Rutgers for the opportunity to compete in the Big 10. ————————————— So should AJ Ferrari be a Scarlet Knight and rep NJ and Italian Americans? ⚔️ #rutgerswrestling #scarletknights
At the moment, Ferrari projects as a 197 pound prospect, but that in no way means he can’t bulk up to roughly 235-245 pounds to be a collegiate heavyweight. He spent time at 220 pounds in high school, so it is doable, and the kid is phenomenal athlete. At either weight, Ferrari would be given an opportunity to compete for either spot. With his potential, he could contend as an All-American immediately. He’s that sought after.
Ferrari also loves his Italian pride. So much so, recent graduate and 4x NCAA Qualifier Nick Gravina hosted Ferrari on his visit to campus this past weekend. If you readers remember, I coined Gravina as the “Stone Cold Eye-Tal-Ee-An.” Why not continue the tradition?
If Rutgers looks this good in the offseason, just imagine what he might see during the 2019-20 campaign.
Awesome setup at Rutgers for Final X! pic.twitter.com/X4NLfJw4Wv— SJanicki Photo (@SJanickiPhoto) June 7, 2019