Seven Gophers wrestling recruits signed national letters of intent last week, including one whose brothers have already wrestled for Minnesota.
Tommy Thorn of St. Michael, Minn., will become the third member of his family to wrestle for the Gophers starting next fall.
Thorn, the youngest of four siblings, is a three-time Minnesota high school champion, a two-time member of the FILA Cadet World Team and winner of a Junior Freestyle National Championship.
His oldest brother, Mike, wrestled for the Gophers from 2006 to 2011 and was a two-time All-American. His middle brother, David, is a redshirt senior on the squad and earned All-America honors last season.
“They’re a family that wrestling’s important to,” head coach J Robinson said, “not only to the family as a whole but to each individual.”
The trio’s father, John Thorn, was an All-America wrestler for Iowa State in the early 1980s.
The Thorns started wrestling around age 5 and have followed the Gophers since they were kids.
Mike Thorn said he also followed Iowa State but was more of a Gophers fan.
Mike was a three-time state champion at St. Michael-Albertville High School and said Iowa State didn’t recruit him very hard.
He signed with the Gophers in 2005, and David Thorn signed with them three years later.
Minnesota head assistant coach Brandon Eggum coached the brothers’ club team when they were younger. He said all three are high-energy, offensive wrestlers.
Robinson said Tommy is the quietest of the three but has the potential to be as good as or better than his brothers.
“He’s used his station where he is third in line, [and] I think he’s used that very well to learn a lot of lessons,” Robinson said. “So he’s at a different point than they are.”
Tommy’s brothers won’t be far away when he starts his Gophers career next fall. Mike Thorn is a financial advisor in the Twin Cities and said he comes to all of the Gophers’ matches. David is planning to become a graduate assistant for the team after he graduates in May.
Tommy was the first verbal commitment of this year’s class, Eggum said, and he’s joined by six other wrestlers.
Gophers recruit Ethan Lizak, a Schnecksville, Penn., native, is the No. 2-ranked 120-pound high school wrestler in the nation, according to InterMat.
Arlington, Minn., native Nathan Rose is a two-time Minnesota high school champion and is the second-ranked 195-pound high school wrestler, according to InterMat.
Virginia native Jack Bass, Illinois native Stephen Polakowski and Minnesotans Will Balow and Skyler Petry make up the rest of the class.