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November 30, 2007

Young Guns

Boise State's 2008 wrestling recruits



BOISE, Idaho; Boise State University head wrestling coach Greg Randall has announced the signing of Michael Cuthbertson, Josh Strait and Bradley Sweet to national letters of intent. Earlier this month Randall announced the signing of Jason Chamberlain, Randy Larson and Brian Owen to national letters of intent bringing this years Boise State signing class to six.

# 1 - JASON CHAMBERLAIN

Jason Chamberlain, of Springville High School, in Springville, Utah, is the No. 1 ranked high school wrestler in the country at 135 lbs according to Wrestling USA Magazine. Chamberlain is also the 2007 Junior (Freestyle) National Champion and additionally he was the runner-up for the Greco-Roman Junior National title in 2007 as well.

Chamberlain is a three-time Utah State champion (112 pounds as a 9th grader, 125 pounds as a sophomore, and 140 pounds last year as a junior) and he is a virtual shoe-in to become one of the very rarest of rare high school wrestlers - that being a FOUR time high school State champion.

Chamberlain is entering into his senior year with an overall high school record of 149 wins vs. only 3 losses. He lost 2 matches during his freshman, or ninth grade, year (he later avenged both of those losses). Chamberlain's only other high school loss was as a Sophomore at the 2005 Reno Tournament of Champions (He placed 3rd in his weight class in 2005 at the Reno T.O.C.). Jason is also a former F.I.L.A. cadet freestyle national champion. Chamberlain's also won the nationally respected Reno Tournament of Champions in 2006 at 135 lbs.

In 2007 Jason was selected by the Wrestling USA Magazine and IntermatWrestle.com's Utah Editor as the Utah Junior Wrestler of the Year. In 2006, he was also named as the Utah Sophomore Wrestler of the Year, and, likewise, in 2005, he was named as the Utah Freshman Wrestler of the Year.

Along with excelling on the wrestling mat, Chamberlain is also an outstanding student with a grade-point-average of 3.75 and he is a member of the National Honor Society. He plans to study human body and physical exercise at Boise State. His high school coach is Justin Judkins.

Jason Chamberlain signed a national letter of intent on Wednesday, November 14, 2007, to wrestle for Boise State University. Chamberlain, had several other college options, however he decided that Boise State University would be the best fit for him.

"I'm really excited to go up there and move up to the next level," Jason said.

Chamberlain chose the Broncos for a variety of reasons. His mother Chris said that he liked the school's health-science program, the quality of the wrestling team, the coaching staff, and the overall environment that the school provides. Another thing that was important to Chamberlain was the fact that Boise State was supportive of his plans to serve an LDS mission.

"We feel that Boise State has everything Jason needs to be successful," said Jason's mother Christine. "He fits in with the team and is good friends with all the guys, and being a part of this winning team will give Jason a chance to compete for a national title. He will have a lot of support to leave on a 2 year LDS mission during his college years."

"There's an LDS environment and they encourage me to go on a mission," he said. "I'll be closer to home and be able to see my family a lot."

Boise State showed its support for Chamberlain when he won the national championship at Fargo, N.D., last summer as the Boise State coaches lined the mat to cheer him on. Chamberlain appreciated the gesture and verbally committed to Boise State University later that same week.

Boise State coach Greg Randall said that Boise State would provide the family, team, environment, and friends, Chamberlain needs to succeed at the next level.

"I know the team really well and I feel like I fit in," Chamberlain said. "I feel like I can live up there and be comfortable there."

The Broncos also boast a strong coaching staff with Randall, a former pupil of the legendary Dan Gable, and Chris Owens, who starred at Oklahoma State.

Before he enrolls at Boise State following his senior year, Chamberlain will look to complete a second straight undefeated season, win his fourth consecutive Utah state championship, and defend his title at the Reno Tournament of Champions, as well as compete in the 2008 Fargo Senior National tournament.

You can view several videos of Jason Chamberlain, made last summer at the Fargo HS Junior National tournament, at the URLs below:

Video 1
Video 2
Video 3
Video 4


# 2 - BRIAN OWEN

Brian is a senior this year at University High School in Spokane, Washington, and he is also ranked # 3 in the entire nation among high school Senior wrestlers at 125 pounds according to both W.I.N. Magazine and Amateur Wrestling News. Nate Moore of Iowa City, Iowa and Jordan Oliver of Easton, PA., are the only two high school Senior wrestlers who are ranked ahead of Owen at 125 lbs. Additionally REV Wrestling has Brian Owen ranked # 19 in the entire nation among ALL high school Senior wrestlers this season (from ALL weight classes).

Brian has lost only three matches during his entire high school career and yet he is a two-time Washington State runner-up. In other words two of his three losses, that he has incurred in three years of high school wrestling, have occurred in the State championship match at his weight class. Brian did, however, capture one State of Washington High School Championship. He won his Washington 4-A State championship as a ninth grader at 103 lbs.

As a high school Sophomore Owen was the Washington State 4-A runner-up at 112 lbs (despite the fact that he was wrestling with a broken vertebra in his back at the time). Last season, as a high school Junior, Brian finished as a State runner-up for a second straight time, losing 2-1 in the Washington State 4-A finals at 125 lbs, to Trevor Powell of Lewis & Clark High School.

Owen suffered a broken back during the summer just prior to his high school sophomore year. Despite the injury, he wrestled that season and finished second at the extremely competitive Tri-State (Washington - Idaho - Montana) wrestling tournament two years ago and he placed second at the 2006 Washington State 4A tournament.

"It was a case where we knew he couldn't injure himself further by wrestling," said Owen's coach and uncle, Don Owen. "It was a case of whether or not Brian could deal with the pain."

Brian has had surgery and is in good health these days. However, in a sport, and at a weight class in which a premium is placed on flexibility, Owen has two vertebrae fused in his back.

At the 2007 Fargo High School Junior National tournament Brian Owen placed second in the freestyle division, and third in the Greco-Roman division, at 119 lbs. Brian is also a two-time winner of the annual Tri-State tournament. Brian also won the FILA Cadet Greco-Roman National championships in 2005 at 119 lbs, and he also placed 4th at the FILA Cadet Freestyle National championships that same year (2005).

Brian is the younger brother of current Boise State volunteer assistant coach, and former University of Minnesota and Boise State University wrestler, Tom Owen. Brian's high school wrestling coach is also his uncle Don Owen. Brian Owen is also an outstanding high school student with a 3.40 GPA.


# 3 MICHAEL CUTHBERTSON

Michael Cuthbertson, Scottsboro High School , of Scottsboro, Alabama, was the recipient of the 2005 Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award for the State of Alabama. Michael was also named to USA Wrestling Magazine's Academic All-American wrestling team as well. Michael also earned All-American honors at the 2005 Fargo Junior Freestyle tournament. The latter is a very significant achievement because only two high school wrestlers from the State of Alabama have ever achieved All-American status at that tournament and he's one of them.

Michael Cuthbertson compiled an overall record of 175 wins and only 4 losses in his high school wrestling career including an astounding total of 140 wins by FALL. Additionally Michael Cuthbertson won FIVE - count em' - FIVE Alabama State wrestling championships in high school. Which means that he won his first Alabama State wrestling championship when he was only in the EIGHTH grade!!! And he was competing against kids who were as much as five years older than he was at that time.

Cuthbertson placed 8th at the 2005 Fargo National Freestyle tournament at 171 lbs behind some very familiar names to college and high school wrestling fans such as Brent Chriswell (now at Arizona State) and Clayton Foster (of Idaho - now at Oklahoma State) and David Craig of Florida (NOTE - He competed at 160 lbs for high school competition that year and was at 171 lbs for the Fargo tournament).

"I feel that the offer placed before me by Boise State will allow me to excel in many areas of my life. I will do all in my power to justify the confidence Boise State has placed in me.", said Cuthbertson. He noted that he put a lot of thought and prayer into his decision. "Ultimately, Michael's choice came down to the wrestling room", said his father, Bob Cuthbertson. He added, "Michael had good offers from a number of schools that could provide quality educations, but the chance to have former NCAA All-Americans Greg Randall and Chris Owens, and 165 lb NCAA Champion Kirk White as coaches had a great influence on his decision. He also likes the facts that High School Sr. Nationals Champions are almost common there, and the stable of great wrestlers at or near his projected 165 weight class is impressive. He mentioned wrestlers Tyler Sherfey, Nate Lee, and signee Kirk Smith as just a few with whom he looked forward to working out.

Michael said that he appreciated the interest given to him by so many schools, across the country, and then he added that "Boise State was the perfect fit for him".

Cuthbertson was also an outstanding student in high school. He maintained a 3.89 GPA in high school. Michael Cuthbertson was also a member of the National Honor Society in high school as well as an Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America and a 2004 Alabama Boys State Representative. Michael also was awarded the 2005 Jackson County Youth of the Year award (Awarded by the Greater Jackson County Chamber of Commerce). He plans to major in Physical Therapy while at Boise State. He plans to enroll at Boise State for the 2008 winter semester and begin wrestling with the Bronco Wrestling Club.

P.S. Michael has two younger, twin, brothers (Kyle and Chase Cuthbertson) who have won four Alabama High School State championship themselves and they will both be Seniors this season. Kyle Cuthbertson recently (last summer) placed second at 152 lbs at the NHSCA (National High School Coaches Association) Junior National championships.


# 4 RANDY LARSON

Randy Larson of Hermiston High School in Hermiston Oregon was the runner-up at the 2006 Reno "World" Championships at 160 lbs. Randy also took third place last season at the Oregon 5-A State wrestling tournament at 160 lbs. He lost 3-1 in the 2007 State 5-A Semi-final round to Wayne Stearns of West Albany High School and then pinned his opponent in the match for third place. As a high school Junior last season Randy took 1st place at the Pacific wrestling tournament and he also took 1st place at the Inland Empire wrestling tournament. He also placed 5th at the extremely competitive Tri-State wrestling tournament which pits the best high school wrestlers from Washington, Montana and Idaho against one another.

Randy is the younger brother of Jeremy and Kyle Larson - both of whom wrestle/wrestled for Oregon State University. Jeremy Larson won a PAC 10 championship as a Senior last season at 174 lbs and Kyle, who will be a Senior for Oregon State this season, was the starter last season for Oregon State at 141 lbs. Kyle was projected to be one of the best in the PAC 10 last season (He was the # 3 Seed at 141 lbs at the 2007 PAC 10 tournament), however, he was hampered by a knee injury that he suffered just prior to the PAC 10 tournament last season. Kyle is projected to be Oregon State's starter this season at 149 lbs.

Randy Larsen signs Letter of Intent


# 5 BRAD SWEET

Brad Sweet, a Senior this season at Graham-Kapowsin High School in Graham, WA., is the first high school wrestler from his high school to ever win a Washington State championship and he did it as a Junior last season. Which is not too surprising since the High School was only in it's second year of existence when he won the State championship. However, Brad's State championship in wrestling for his high school is also the only individual State championship that any athlete from his high school has won.

Despite suffering a dislocated rib during the last wrestling season, Sweet finished with a record of 30-0 at 145 pounds. Sweet took first place at the Everett Classic, the Yakima and Shelton Invites, the SPSL meet, regionals and the 4A state tournament at 145 lbs.

He was motivated to wrestle by watching Dan Pitsch (Spanaway Lake coach) and Pat Pitsch (two-time Pac-10 champion for Arizona State) compete at Spanaway Lake. "Both of them were two-time state champs," Sweet said. "That's my goal."

Brad Sweet is not only an outstanding high school wrestler but he is also an outstanding football player. He stands 6' 1" tall and weighs in around 165 lbs for football. He plays as a defensive back for his high school football team. He is so good at football that he was named to SPSL 4A South All-League 2nd Team Defense last season as a Junior and he was recently named to the SPSL 4-A South All-League 1st Team Defense this season as a Senior.


# 6 Josh Strait

from Arimo, Idaho and who attended Marsh Valley High School. Strait posted a career record of 155-11 for a 93.4 winning percentage during his four-year high school career. He is a two-time state of Idaho champion winning the 103 pound title as a freshman, and the 135 pound weight class his senior season. Strait was also a very successful freestyle and Greco wrestlers during his high school days.

He is a seven-time USA Wrestling regional champion in both classifications, and earned five All-American honors at the USA Wrestling National Championships.

Strait is also an outstanding student graduating with a 3.97 GPA while being named an Idaho Top Scholar his senior year.



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