#3 Ryan Vulakh Leads Contingent of Pennsylvania Commitments to George Mason

When George Mason hired renowned recruiter Frank Beasley back in 2017, the former Bloomsburg stand-out made it a point to land Keystone State talent to the Patriots roster. From the class of 2018 Beasley added Pennsylvania wrestlers Alex Donahue (Indiana Area), Kolby Ho (DuBois Area), and Nick Lilley (Downingtown West). However, the biggest name Beasley landed from Pennsylvania was not a graduating senior, instead, it was 2-time NCAA All-American Mason Beckman who he added to his coaching staff. The Reynolds and Lehigh star is quickly paying dividends in Fairfax helping to secure an even more impressive recruiting class from the class of 2019.

The combination of Beasley and Beckman scouting talent in Pennsylvania has been evident; this summer they secured verbal commitments from four Top 100 Ranked Seniors in Pennsylvania including the #3 ranked recruit Ryan Vulakh (Pope John Paul II). In addition to Vulakh, Beasley and Co. also grabbed PIAA State Finalist #13 Josh Jones (Saucon Valley/133), PIAA State Medalist #39 Jake Slinger (Upper St. Clair/285), and 2-time State Qualifier #89 Marckis Branford (Wilson Aea/133).

These aren’t just successful wrestlers within Pennsylvania as all four have experienced National level success in their high school careers. Vulakh (145) and Jones (132) are both currently ranked #16 and #18 respectively in the Nation by Flo’s National High School Rankings. This is a change of pace for George Mason who, historically speaking, hasn’t enlisted these high-end names from Pennsylvania.

For Pope John Paul II’s Ryan Vulakh it was love at first sight. The senior enters his final year as the #3 ranked recruit in Pennsylvania, ahead of names like 2-time State Champion Edmond Ruth, State Champ Ryan Sullivan, and State Champ Nathan Haubert. While this may come as a surprise to many – Ryan’s body of work justifies the spot. He is a 2-time Super 32 Medalist, finishing fifth in 2016 and seventh in 2017, in addition to a second place finish at the 2017 FloNationals. In the prestigious Journeymen Fall Classic, Ryan owns two Championships hammers.

When asked what set George Mason apart, Ryan responded with confidence. “They have some of the best coaches in the Nation and they are working on building up the program. I want to be a part of that building process.”

Ryan knows all about building upwards.

After bursting onto the scene as a freshman at North Penn, where he finished in eighth place at the PIAA State Tournament, he was dealt a blow. After ninth grade Vulakh transferred from North Penn to Pope John Paul II, a school where wrestling was only introduced in 2011. In 2016 Pope John Paul II gained a significant boost when they hired former Upper Perk coach and District 1 legend Tom Hontz to their staff along with assistant Chris Sheetz. Unfortunately for Ryan, North Penn challenged the transfer and the PIAA ruled him ineligible for his sophomore season.

“I think it hurt me as far as recruiting goes” Vulakh stated.  “Not all coaches looked into it, some thought I had quit the sport, but those who actually took the time and got to know me, they realized the situation was different.”

Despite the trip to Fairfax being his first official college visit, Ryan knew it was the right fit.

“I realized right away George Mason was everything I wanted it to be.”

It also doesn’t hurt that Ryan has some familiar names and faces from Pennsylvania heading to George Mason.

“It’s great” Vulakh stated when describing the Keystone State pipeline to GMU. “It is so encouraging, especially since we all know each other, we’ve all spoken before. I think this helps get things rolling, on the rebuilding process. I am looking to represent George Mason in the best way I can. If I am successful, which I hope I am, maybe that will get us even more recruits and keep the snowball rolling.”

It’s not quite winter yet but a snowball seems to be in motion as Pennsylvania wrestlers commit to George Mason.

For Ryan Vulakh – he couldn’t be happier.

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