Cael Sanderson has added another stud to his 2018 class, in No. 5 pound-for-pound, Michael Beard. Beard decommitted from Northwestern in March, and Penn State's interest immediately stepped up in the rising senior. According to FloWrestling, Beard has verbally committed to wrestle at Penn State.
Beard is projected to be a 197-pound wrestler in college, and wrestles out of Malvern Prep. He won the National Prep title at 195-pounds last season and picked up a victory at Who's No. 1 event back in October 2016 over Jelani Embree. In 2016, Beard finished second at the Cadet Freestyle Nationals.
At this point, 197-pounds remains to be unfilled moving forward for Cael Sanderson. Matt McCutcheon (Sr.) is expected back next season. 2015 junior world team member, Anthony Cassar (So.), is still on the team as well, but after multiple shoulder injuries, and scarce collegiate experience, his impact remains unknown at this level. Beard could potentially make this spot his as a freshman.
According to FloWrestling's Big Board for 2018, Beard's commitment gives Penn State the second, third, fourth, fifth and tenth ranked pound-for-pound wrestlers in the class. This also does not include Joe Lee (No. 37). Cael Sanderson is not just putting together the best class of 2018, but one of the best in collegiate history.