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First Recruit in Poeta Era

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  • First Recruit in Poeta Era

    Less than a week after elevating Mike Poeta to the head coach of Illinois' Fighting Illini the program received their first win on the recruiting trail. One of Illinois' top high school sophomores has decided to stay in-state and wrestle for the home team. Late last night, Kannon Webster (Washington, IL) announced via social media that he would wrestle for Illinois after his graduation in 2023. Webster is currently ranked 11th in the nation at 113 lbs by MatScouts and was an Illinois 2A state champion in 2020 as a freshman. Prior to his freshman year of high school, Webster was a third-place finisher at the Cadet World Team Trials in freestyle and Greco-Roman. Later in the summer of 2019, Webster went on to take third in Fargo in both styles in the 16U division. Last weekend, Webster was fifth at the Cadet WTT's while competing at 55 kg's.

    At this point, Webster looks to be a 125/133 lber for the Illini. That could certainly change as there will be more than two years before he officially steps on the campus for Poeta's team. Illinois is relatively young at their lightweights as 125 lb starter Justin Cardani was a sophomore in 2021 and All-American Lucas Byrd was a redshirt freshman at 133.

    The commitment from Webster could be symbolic for the early days of Poeta's regime. Most observers, including this one, stated that the first-year head coach would have to reel in a couple more big fish from within Illinois' border to climb up the Big Ten ranks.
    "It's not the six minutes, it's what happens in those six minutes"

  • #2
    Look this commitment is all Medlin. Pretty sure Kannon's dad wrestled at Missouri but the Medlin connection is really close. Pretty sure Kannon has been on one of the training trips to Russia with Medlin. All in all though it is a nice start for the Poeta era.

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    • #3
      Webster is a stud, go Illini

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      • #4

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        • #5
          Excellent addition to the team. He could definitely grow into a 133 pounder by the time he graduates, maybe even 141 if he bulks up.

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          • #6

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            • #7
              In the Lucas Byrd interview on the IRTC channel on Rokfin, I learned something about recruiting. With the way the transfer portal is working in the NCAA nowadays, some of the first recruits of the Poeta era were the members of the current team. Byrd, himself, said that he was anxious when he heard about Coach Hef's retirement. What was he going to do? That anxiety went away when Poeta was announced.

              GO ILLINI!!!

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              • #8
                Willie said that IL got a transfer from NC State named Joe Roberts at 157/165. Anyone have any details on Joe? Looks like he has three years left...

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Gantry View Post
                  Willie said that IL got a transfer from NC State named Joe Roberts at 157/165. Anyone have any details on Joe? Looks like he has three years left...

                  Joe Roberts is a past state champion (Montini) and state placer (Yorkville), I'm assuming he'll compete with Luke Odom for the 157 starting spot next year for the Illini. I'm pretty sure he has 4 years of eligibility left.

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                  • #10


                    .
                    Coming back home!

                    In more good news, the ILLINI will be wrestling duals at the Assembly Hall (aka State Farm Center). My avatar is now perfect. Also, there are a ton of ILLINI and IRTC guys showing up for the U23 team trials. Lots of familiar names. Wrestling begins this weekend, and you can see it on Flo.

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                    • #11
                      Are we going to hire an assistant coach or just roll with one short like the basketball team appears to be doing?

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                      • #12
                        Second-Ranked Christian Carroll Picks Illinois

                        Earl Smith, Site Editor
                        6/4/2021

                        As of today, only three wrestlers from the Class of 2023 have committed to wrestle at DI schools. Two of those have committed to new Illinois head coach Mike Poeta. Christian Carroll (New Prairie, IN) has joined Kannon Webster (Washington, IL) as current sophomores that have given verbals to the Illini.

                        Carroll was injured as a freshman so he may have snuck under the radar for some last year. Once healthy, Carroll took the nation by storm winning the Super 32 at 195 lbs. In the finals, he took out eventual Cadet Freestyle World Team member Gavin Nelson, 3-1. Around the same time, Carroll won the Grappler Fall Classic at 215 lbs. Christian was not able to compete during the high school postseason as a sophomore in Indiana, because of questions surrounding a transfer.

                        Carroll is currently ranked second in the nation at 220 lbs by MatScouts. It's also likely that he'll fall in the top-five among the Class of 2023 in MatScouts next Big Board update. Since he's a well-built 220 lber as a sophomore in high school, it's safe to say that Carroll projects as a heavyweight at the next level. That could work out well for the Illini as current starter Luke Luffman will be a sophomore in 2021-22. He'll be able to finish up while Carroll redshirts in 2023-24.

                        With a pair of strong recruits leading the way in the Class of 2023, Poeta has shown that Illinois may be a new force to be reckoned with on the recruiting trail.
                        "It's not the six minutes, it's what happens in those six minutes"

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                        • #13
                          That's awesome, go Illini

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                          • #14
                            Holy ****!

                            This fellow is Andrew Howe after a laboratory accident exposed him to Gamma Rays.

                            Coach Poeta is on fire!

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                            • #15

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