No. 13 Josiah Jones Picks Oklahoma

Josiah Jones saw what Lou Rosselli did with the Regional Training Center at Ohio State, and the Bishop McCort Catholic senior is confident that Roselli can do the same with Oklahoma’s RTC.

That’s part of the reason why Jones, who at No. 13 was the highest remaining uncommitted senior in the state, chose Oklahoma University on Monday.

“I like the direction they want to go in with the RTC. They want to improve it,” Jones said in an interview with PA Power Wrestling.

Jones is a two-time PIAA Class 2A runner-up with a 78-16 record, but his emphasis on the RTC was a bit surprising, considering he has concentrated on folkstyle and football during his high school career.

“I haven’t wrestled (international styles much) in the previous years – just with Young Guns and doing a lot of duals,” he said. “I really enjoy freestyle and Greco. That’s something I want to get into. I wrestled on the Schoolboy teams. I went to Indianapolis and went like 12-0. I’ve always liked freestyle and Greco. I just don’t get to do it as much as I’d like to.”

He should have plenty of opportunities at Oklahoma, where former Olympian Roselli is in his second season as head coach. The coaching staff also includes Nick Helfin, a 2014 NCAA runner-up at 197 pounds for Ohio State who placed third at the U.S. Open in May, and former World Team member and NCAA champion Michael Lightner.

“I just liked the coaching staff. They get me,” Jones said.


Big decision


Jones has wrestled at 220 pounds each of the past two seasons, and he expects to do so again, even though he’ll be a heavyweight in college. He said he currently weights about 236.

“I’m probably going to cut a little bit to get bigger for heavyweight, lose some of my baby fat,” he said. “Hopefully be around 245 or 250, but lean.”

The Sooners currently have Lance Dixon – a redshirt junior who is 4-6 during his college career – and three freshmen listed as heavyweights on their roster.

“I feel like if I go there and perform, I’ll definitely see time on the mat,” Jones said.

Maryland, Clarion and Campbell were the other leading contenders for Jones, and North Carolina State had recently contacted him, but he said he knew that Norman, Oklahoma, was the place for him.

“I loved it when I went there. It was amazing,” Jones said.


Partnering up


He’ll join Jake Woodley, a two-time PIAA 3A champion from North Allegheny, on the Sooners roster. Woodley is a true freshman who was recruited by Keith Gavin in his one season there before he took the head coaching job at Pitt.

“Jake Woodley, I thought he’d be a great training partner,” Jones said of the 197-pounder.

Jones knows something about good training partners. At Bishop McCort in Johnstown, he’s had Anthony Walters – another two-time state finalist who has committed to Drexel. Carnell Andrews, a third Crimson Crusher senior, has committed to Bucknell.

Jones has suffered two major knee injuries during his high school career and had a recent scare after injuring his knee in football, but he said he’ll be fine.

“I’m going to be back strong for the season,” Jones said. “It was a partial MCL tear, but I’m not going to miss anything.”

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