Devin Skatzka had never been to Indiana University before Saturday.
It only took one trip, however, for the Richmond senior to know that’s where he wanted to spend his college years.
On Sunday, Skatzka committed to wrestle for Indiana while on an official visit. He also considered Virginia Tech, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, North Carolina State and Pittsburgh.
“It was a really nice campus; really clean, and all the facilities were really impressive,” Skatzka said Sunday while on the road back to Richmond. “They’re in the Big Ten, which is really nice.”
Skatzka is a three-time state champion and could become the 19th wrestler in Michigan history to win four state titles this coming season. He has a career record of 139-13, and was 40-3 this past season, one in which he won the state tournament by pinning each of his opponents in the first period.
He’s ranked No. 12 in the country at 160 pounds by FloWrestling, and is a two-time FloNationals All-American, having placed third this past season.
And as a three-sport athlete, he has the potential to get a lot better at the next level as he begins to focus solely on wrestling.
“If Devin only focused on one sport, he’ll be at a different level,” Richmond coach Brandon Day said. “He’s awesome right now. You look at the top guys at his weight right now, they’re wrestling year-round. Devin will be better.”
Added Skatzka: “I think I could make a pretty big jump. I haven’t really been too serious in the weight room, either. I feel like that will help, just focusing on that one sport. I’ll have a lot more time to really commit to wrestling.”
If he does make that jump, he should have an opportunity to wrestle on the national stage, as the Big Ten is widely considered the country’s best wrestling conference.
“It’s awesome from a wrestling perspective,” Day said. “Me and (Skatzka’s father and Richmond assistant Dennis Skatzka) talked about it. There’s eight automatic bids (per weight class) from the Big Ten, so that was big, too.
“Devin wants to be an All-American.”
Skatzka will likely head to Indiana as a 165 pounder, with the possibility of growing into 174. Indiana has three 165 pounders on its roster, and all are underclassmen. The Hoosiers are young all over, however, as the roster features just three seniors.
Two members of the freshman class are from Michigan — Cole Weaver of Hudson and Logan Marcicki of Detroit Catholic Central — and Nick Simmons, a four-time Michigan state champion at Williamston, is on the coaching staff. Skatzka said the Michigan ties were factors in his decision.
Now that his decision is made, Skatzka can focus more on his senior year in high school, which has started off strong. Skatzka is a star running back and linebacker on Richmond’s 5-1 football team. He was a First-Team All-Blue Water Area selection a year ago, and was recently named the No. 3 player on the Times Herald’s Top 25 football players list.
“I got it done with, so now I don’t have to worry about (the recruiting process),” Skatzka said. “I can just play the sports that I’m doing. I don’t have to travel (to schools) after playing my football games.”
Contact Paul Costanzo at (810) 989-6251 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @PaulCostanzo.