Jaret Lane has gotten plenty of inside information on the Lehigh University wrestling program.
All of it helped convince him that Bethlehem is the place for him.
Lane, who is No. 9 on PA Power Wrestling’s list of seniors for 2018, announced his decision in an exclusive interview on Friday, a day before he publicly disclosed the choice.
The state champion at 113 pounds from Southern Columbia will join his older brother, Kent Jr., on the Mountain Hawks.
“I think the big factor was it was easy for my family,” said Lane, who is 134-8 entering his senior season. “I know a lot of the guys on the team already. They made a good offer. The whole package, I guess you could say.”
Lehigh’s academic reputation was a factor, as was the Mountain Hawks top-flight coaching staff of Pat Santoro, Brad Dillon and John Hughes.
“They’re just an all-around great coaching staff,” Lane said. “Great coaches, great people. They care about the academics and setting yourself up for after wrestling. You see what they’ve done with guys that weren’t top recruits coming in, but they ended up being All-Americans and national finalists.”
He’s also heard plenty about the school from his older brother, who won the 145-pound state title for Southern Columbia in 2015.
“He loves it,” Jaret said of Kent Jr. “He never has a bad word to say about it. I know I’m in good hands.”
Jaret, who chose Lehigh over Pittsburgh, Drexel and Penn, said that Dillon did the majority of his recruiting but that all three coaches made in-home visits.
Movin’ on up
Lane finished second at 106 pounds in 2016 after placing fifth a year earlier. Last year he went 48-0, beating Bishop McDevitt’s Chase Shields 4-0 in the 113-pound title match.
A FloNationals champ in 2016 and a runner-up in 2017, Lane is a six-time Fargo All-American, including Junior Greco-roman championships in 2015 and 2016.
He’s ranked eighth nationally at 113 pounds by FloWrestling, but said he plans to wrestle 120 this season, beginning with the Super 32 tournament in North Carolina next month.
He’s not worried about moving up a weight class.
“I’m sure it’s going to be most of the same guys from last year moving up,” he said. “I moved up a weight class and ended up winning the state title last year at 113. Just focused on getting bigger and better.”
His brother has gone from a projected 141-pounder to a 157-pounder, so Jaret knows that there’s a possibility he could add weight in college. But as of now, Jaret projects as a 125-pounder at Lehigh, where 2017 NCAA champion Darian Cruz is entering his senior season. The Mountain Hawks currently have redshirt freshman Aaron Burkett and true freshmen Matt Parker and Satoshi Abe on their roster as potential replacements, plus Athens senior Austin Burkhart has committed to Lehigh.
“I’m just going to get there and battle for a position, I guess,” Lane said. “You always want something to work for. If you’re just handed everything, you can relax. When you’re chasing something, you’ll keep working harder and getting better.”
Lane’s Southern Columbia team is doing just that. After finishing third in the Class AA team championships and eighth in the individual tournament, the Tigers have set their sights higher for 2018.
“I think we’ve got a great shot at winning the title this year,” Lane said. “We’re only going to get better. We’re getting Patrick Edmondson, who hopefully slides into the lineup at 113. He beat a couple of state placewinners over the summer.”
Lane isn’t looking for too much competition before the start of the high school season.
“I’m only wrestling in Super 32 at 120,” he said. “Getting ready for that. Working out a couple of days a week at my school. I went to the Bucknell RTC practices. Just putting work in and getting ready for the season.”