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Univ. of Nebraska signs seven for 2001-02 season



Lincoln, Neb.--Nebraska Head Wrestling Coach Mark Manning announced Friday that he has received seven letters of intent during the spring signing period, which includes two junior college and five high school athletes. Scott Burnett and Nathan McClain come to Nebraska after both notched top-five finishes at the National Junior College Championships last season for Iowa Central. Burnett took third place at 133 pounds, and according to Manning could contend for a starting position next season at either 133 or 141 pounds. McClain, a heavyweight, finished third and is expected to redshirt. Both athletes have two years of eligibility remaining. A native of Decauter, Ill., Nate McMillin is a two-time state champion from Mt. Zion High School and is rated as the No. 3 160-pound recruit in the nation by InterMat. Expected to redshirt next season at 157 pounds behind NCAA finalist Bryan Snyder, McMillin took first at the National High School Senior Championships April 8 at 152 pounds. Rated as the 11th-best recruit at 160 pounds by InterMat, Jacob Klein will compete at 165 pounds for NU after winning three Kansas state titles at Kapaun-Mt. Carmel High School. A third-place finisher at last month's High School Nationals, Klein is expected to redshirt behind NCAA qualifier Tony Denke at 165 pounds next season. Manning returned to his home state of South Dakota to find Josh Rave and B.J. Padden. Rave, who won two state titles for Washington High School in Sioux Falls, S.D., took third at Junior Freestyle Nationals last summer and is rated as the No. 9 recruit at 112 pounds. Padden is a three-time state champion for Harding County High School and took eighth at High School Nationals last month at 171 pounds. Rounding out the spring class is Omaha Westside product Jason Zakaras. A two-time state placewinner, Zakaras took the 171-pound championship this season. "I think our recruiting class reflects our needs for our program as far as depth goes," Manning said. "We are bringing some young talent and great competitors into our wrestling program. This group as a whole are not only outstanding wrestlers, but great students and citizens." In addition to his first recruiting class at Nebraska, Manning returns seven starters, three NCAA qualifiers and one All-American from last year's squad that finished eighth at NCAA's and posted a dual record of 11-6. 2000-01 Recruiting Class Name/Projected Weight Class/Hometown/High School or Junior College Scott Burnett, 133/141 pounds, Elyria, Ohio/Iowa Central** Jacob Klein, 165 pounds, Valley Center, Kan./Kapaun-Mt. Carmel Nathan McClain, Heavyweight, Flora Vista, N.M./Iowa Central** Nate McMillin, 157 pounds, Decatur, Ill./Mt. Zion B.J. Padden, 174/184 pounds, Buffalo, S.D./Harding County Josh Rave, 125 pounds, Sioux Falls, S.D./Washington Justin Ruiz, 197 pounds, Murray, Utah/Taylorsville* Jason Zakaras, 174 pounds, Omaha, Neb./Omaha Westside *Signed During Fall Early Signing Period **Two years of eligibility remaining
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