EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan State wrestling head coach Roger Chandler has announced that five student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent to join the team for the 2017-18 season.
Joining the Spartans will be Nathan Atienza (Livonia, Mich./Livonia Franklin High School), Chase Beard (Allegan, Mich./Allegan High School), Jaden Enriquez (Tulare, Calif./Mission Oak High School), Cole Nye (Harrisburg, Pa./Bishop McDevitt High School) and Brad Wilton (Mason, Mich./Mason High School).
“These guys they really take care of many of our weight class needs that we’ve been trying to address as far as depth and immediate impact guys. And I believe every one of them will be able to contribute to our program in a big way. ” MSU head coach Roger Chandler said.
Here’s a closer look at the incoming Spartan wrestling student-athletes:
Nathan Atienza (Livonia, Mich./Livonia Franklin High School)
Projected to wrestle at 157 or 165 pounds for the Spartans ... Will be a four-year letterwinner at Livionia Franklin High School for head coach Dave Chiola ... Is a three-time team captain ... Owns a 161-14 record through three seasons, including going 57-0 at 145 pounds as a junior, winning conference, district, regional and state titles ... Ranked No. 1 in the state of Michigan at 145 pounds for the Class of 2017 and No. 12 overall by MichiganGrappler.com ... Progressed from eighth-place in state as a freshman, to second as a sophomore to winning the state title as a junior ... A three-time all-state honoree and a two-time state finalist ... A three-time district champion ... Earned Super 32 All-American accolades ... Finished in fifth-place at the USAW Cadet All-American, as well as sixth in the GFC All-American and eighth-place at the Super 32 All-American ... Son of Armand and Susan Atienza ... Older brother, Jordan, is a junior wrestler at Central Michigan ... His father wrestled in high school ... Was a member of Livonia Franklin HS student congress.
Chandler on Atienza: “Nathan Atienza has been one of the best high school wrestlers in Michigan for the senior class and I think he’s going to bring a lot of intangibles to the program. Looking forward to seeing him wear the Green and White.”
Chase Beard (Allegan, Mich./Allegan High School)
Projected to wrestle at 285 pounds for the Spartans ... Will be a four-year letterwinner at Allegan High School for head coach Murray Rose ... Is a three-time team captain ... Owns a 113-13 record with 64 career pins ... Ranked No. 3 in the state of Michigan at 285 pounds for the Class of 2017 and No. 14 overall by MichiganGrappler.com ... Was state runner-up at 189 pounds with a 57-3 record as a sophomore, before missing his junior season with an injury ... Finished fifth at state as a freshman after logging a 56-10 record ... A two-time district champion and two-time regional champion ... Recipient of the 2015 Tim Horn Outstanding Wrestler Award ... Went undefeated at the Disney National Duals ... Also lettered in football and baseball at Allegan HS ... Son of Lance and Cindy Beard.
Chandler on Beard: “Chase Beard is an extremely hard worker who competes very hard. Looking forward to watching him grow into a great college wrestler.
Jaden Enriquez (Tulare, Calif./Mission Oak High School)
Projected to wrestle at 141 pounds for the Spartans ... Will be a four-year letterwinner at Mission Oak High School under his father, Zee Enriquez, who is his head coach ... Is a four-time team captain ... Owns a 133-16 record ... Ranked No. 1 at 138 pounds by thecaliforniawrestler.com ... Posted a 28-2 record in an injury-shortened junior season ... Finished second at the CIF State Championships at 132 pounds after posting a 54-4 record as a sophomore ... Also placed second at the NHSCA Sophomore National as well as second at the Cadet World Team Trials (Greco) ... Was fourth at the CIF State Championships at 132 pounds as a freshman after registering a 51-10 mark ... Won the 2014 NHSCA Freshman Nationals, the USAW Folkstyle Nationals and the USAW Greco Nationals, while finishing second at both the USAW Freestyle Nationals and the Cadet World Team Trials (Greco) ... Earned first-team All-Central Valley accolades ... Also a three-time letterwinner in football and a two-time letterwinner in track & field ... Earned second-team all-county honors in football playing linebacker ... Son of Zee and Bridgett Enriquez ... Brother also wrestles and sister plays soccer and softball ... Was High Honor Roll honoree at Mission Oak HS.
Chandler on Enriquez: “Jaden Enriquez has had a very successful high school career as well. He’s been very successful at multiple national level events and we fully expect him to be a Big Ten contributor to Spartan wrestling.”
Cole Nye (Harrisburg, Pa./Bishop McDevitt High School)
Projected to wrestle at 197 pounds for the Spartans ... Will be a four-year letterwinner at Bishop McDevitt High School for head coach Dean Shields ... Is a two-time team captain ... Owns a 115-25 record ... Was State AA champion at 220 pounds as a junior after posting a 42-5 mark ... A two-time first-team All-State AA selection, as well as a two-time first-team All-Mid Penn Conference honoree ... Named to the District 3 Wrestling All-Star team ... Went 7-1 at the NHSCA Duals Team Diesel Tournament ... Participated in the Disney Duals National Championships ... Was runner-up at 220 pounds at the Super 32 Tournament ... Finished third at the USAW NE Regional ... Currently ranked No. 9 by Intermat, No. 14 by The Open Mat and No. 16 by FloWrestling ... A two-time letterwinner in football at Bishop McDevitt ... Son of Harry and Julie Nye ... Father, Harry, played football at Tennesse-Chattanooga and East Stroudsburg University ... Earned Honor Roll accolades at Bishop McDevitt HS.
Chandler on Nye: “Cole Nye comes from the wrestling rich tradition state of Pennsylvania. He as well has had a lot of success at the national level and state level, where he’s won a state championship. He will bring stability at 197 for our program.”
Brad Wilton (Mason, Mich./Mason High School)
Projected to wrestle at 184 or 197 pounds for the Spartans ... Will be a four-year letterwinner at Mason High School for head coach Brian Martel ... Is a three-time team captain ... Owns a 126-19 record ... Ranked No. 3 in the state of Michigan at 189 pounds for the Class of 2017 and No. 19 overall by MichiganGrappler.com ... Was state runner-up after logging a 49-3 mark as a junior at 189 pounds with 32 pins ... Placed sixth in state as a junior at 189 pounds after posting a 49-9 mark with 31 falls ... Was a two-time all-state and all-conference honoree ... Earned All-American honors at the Disney Duals with Team Michigan Blue ... A three-time letterwinner in football ... Was an all-conference selection in football ... Also a two-time all-state fisherman at the bass fishing state championships ... Son of Gregory and Lisa Wilton ... Mother, Lisa, is Assistant Director of MSU Alumni Donor Relations.
Chandler on Wilton: “Brad Wilton is a local kid, from 20 miles south of campus. He’s grown up a Spartan his whole life and has recently, in the last few years, has really blossomed into a very good wrestler and we look forward to watching him don the Green and White.”
Now at 2-4 overall and 0-2 in B1G action, the current Spartans are coming off their first home dual against Minnesota on Dec. 9, in which they nearly upset the 18th-ranked Gophers before the visitors had a late rally for the 20-17 win. MSU returns to multiple-match days by heading to Reno, Nev., to compete in the 2016 Reno Tournament of Champions on Sunday, Dec. 18, before the Holiday break. The Spartans resume action and opens the New Year at home hosting Iowa on Sunday, Jan. 8 at 1 p.m. at Jenison Field House.