Many high school wrestlers go to Fargo, N.D., to get better. Elyria’s Jordan Crace walked out with a college scholarship.
While the senior was already on Michigan State’s radar, his All-American performance with Spartans coaches in attendance last week at the U.S. Marine Corps Junior Freestyle Nationals in Fargo took him over the top and they made him their first recruit of the 2019 class.
“It means a lot that they were there,” Crace said. “It shows how much they’re actually there to support me. I’m not even on their team and they’re showing me this much. It means a lot to me. It shows that Fargo is the best of the best. If you perform there, you get (coaches) that will hit you up. That’s how it all starts.”
It was tough to ignore Crace’s performance at nationals after he opened an incredible run by beating five state champions and eventually finished sixth.
That’s nothing new for Crace, who’ll begin his senior year with the Pioneers as a state champion, state placer and Ironman finalist.
For Crace, who has a 3.0 grade-point average and plans on majoring in neurology, Michigan’s State’s strong academic program made the difference in his going with the Spartans over Indiana.
When the call came, Crace canceled his official visit with the Hoosiers and will head to Michigan State in the fall of 2019 as a projected 141-pounder.
“Since the first time I went out there and took a visit, it was awesome,” Crace said. “I felt very comfortable there. I felt like even if (Indiana) would have offered me, it wouldn’t have changed the fact that I wanted to go to Michigan State.”
When he gets to East Lansing, Crace should draw competition from incumbent Jaden Enriquez, who was a California state champion and national champion at Tulare High School.
He’ll also battle Alex Hrisopoulos, who was a 200-win, two-time state champion from Oxford High School in Michigan.
Competition is nothing new for Crace, who has wrestled a top-flight schedule his entire high school career.
“I’m really excited to get out there,” said Crace, who plans on wrestling at 138 for Elyria. “Every match will be a contested match. Everybody is going to be tough. If they want me to go out and start freshman year, then I’ll start freshman year. Whatever they want me to do, I’m excited for the competition.
“I’m a hard worker. Whenever you give me a task, I’ll go out and do it. Whatever it takes, I’ll give my all every time. The guys in the practice room are always battling with each other, so every time you come out of the room you’ll be a little better.”
- Elyria dismisses two wrestlers from team
- Wrestling: Elyria's Farouq Muhammed advances to final day at Fargo
- Wrestling nationals: Experience on big stage a plus for area contingent
- Wrestling: Elyria keeps rising as Mick Burnett finishes second at nationals and Jordan Crace and Colin Noel secure All-American status
- Mick Burnett keeps rolling, becomes first Elyria High wrestler to make Cadet freestyle national finals
- Wrestling: Team Ohio, loaded with area talent, likes its chances at upcoming nationals
- State Wrestling: Elyria comes up empty, goes 0-for-3 in title matches; St. Edward's Bryce Hepner of Avon champion at 126 pounds
- High school wrestling: Dual team state tournament nothing new for Elyria, which makes its fourth straight appearance today
- High school wrestling: Elyria's fourth appearance at dual team state tournament is a short one as Pioneers fall to La Salle in first round