Just weeks before the school year was set to begin, Rutgers wrestling received quite the back to school gift on Friday. In a unexpected move, two-time state champion Dean Peterson announced on his Instagram page that he will unenroll from Princeton and attend Rutgers instead.
Peterson was included when Princeton announced its incoming class this summer. Regardless of why he left the program, it’s an unexpected gain for head coach Scott Goodale with Rutgers announcing his signing on Friday night. He will be immediately eligible to compete for Rutgers this season and is expected to wrestle at either 125 or 133 pounds.
At St. John Vianney, Peterson won the the state title at 113 pounds as a sophomore and at 120 pounds as a junior. He sat out last season as a senior due to having surgery to repair a deviated septum. Pat Mineo of The Wrestling Room Forum was the first to report the news and below is Peterson’s explanation for the decision.
The #1 ranked 126 lber in the country, #MeanDean Peterson, will not compete in NJ this season due to injury... Wishing him the best in his recovery and look forward to seeing him @tigerwrestling next year! pic.twitter.com/CWBfAgvqqB— The Wrestling Room (Pat Mineo) (@MrPatMineo) March 2, 2021
Entering last season, Peterson was ranked as the top recruit at 126 pounds by FloWrestling for the entire 2021 recruiting class. He finished no. 17 nationally overall in the 2021 class per FloWrestling. He finished his high school career at 108-2 and a 72 match unbeaten streak.
Adding a top local talent like Peterson to an already stacked roster is significant. Rutgers returns three All-Americans in Sebastian Rivera, Jackson Turley and John Poznanski. Two-time NCAA qualifier Billy Janzler is also back, while the program has added transfers Greg Bulsak (Clarion) and Nicholas Raimo (Arizona State).
Rutgers also welcomed a 2021 recruiting class that includes Michael Cetta, Joey Olivieri, Dylan Weave, Kyonte Hamilton and Anthony White. FloWresting claimed that with the addition of Peterson, Rutgers’ 2021 recruiting class would have finished in the top ten nationally.
The competition at each weight class within the program for this coming season is impressive and should only intensify throughout the season. The wrestling room at the APC just got even better now with the arrival of Peterson.