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Wrestling: Huskers Secure Huge In-State Commitment

Huskers keep recruiting momentum going with commitment from 2023 recruit Kael Lauridsen of Bennington, Neb.

Nebraska Head Coach Mark Manning, seen here talking to Chad Red during a dual against Illinois, is putting together a solid 2023 recruiting class.
Dylan Guenther / CORN NATION

The Nebraska wrestling team added a big-time commitment on Tuesday in the form of Kael Lauridsen of Bennington, Neb.

Lauridsen chose Nebraska over Missouri, South Dakota State and Purdue.

One of the best in-state recruits Nebraska has to offer, Lauridsen is also one of the best lightweights in the country.

Lauridsen is now a three-time Nebraska state champion for Bennington and will be a heavy favorite to win his fourth at whatever weight he chooses to compete at. This past season, his junior year, Lauridsen started at 120 pounds before dropping down to 113 to win his third state title.

As a senior, I’d anticipate Lauridsen moving up to 120 for the full season.

Away from the Nebraska prep scene, Lauridsen has been very impressive. In 2021, Lauridsen won the Fargo National Championship in Greco-Roman (final video below) while finishing fourth in freestyle. He then went on to earn gold medals in both Greco and freestyle at the 2021 Cadet Pan-American Championships. He navigated the field in freestyle outscoring his opposition 42-1.

Then, Lauridsen finished just short of earning a spot on the 2021 Cadet World Team with a second-place finish at the Cadet World Team Trials.

Lauridsen is currently ranked No. 39 on the Class of 2023 Big Board by FloWrestling. At 113 pounds, he is ranked No. 6 in the country.

Where does he fit in?

Quite frankly, Nebraska has largely struggled for years at the lightest weights. Nebraska hasn’t had an All-American at 125 or 133 pounds since Eric Montoya did it by finishing sixth in 2017 at 133. The Huskers’ last All-American at 125 was Paul Donahoe way back in 2008.

This past year was no different, as the Huskers didn’t qualify at either weight for NCAAs with a pair of freshmen in the lineup in Jeremiah Reno (125 pounds) and Dominick Serrano (133).

Nebraska has been recruiting the light weights heavily as of late, bringing in Reno at 125 and Serrano at 133 in 2020. Then the Huskers secured commitments from both Jacob Van Dee (125) and Hayden Mills (133) in their 2022 class.

In the 2023 class, Nebraska is again bringing in a pair of top-shelf lightweights in Lauridsen and Alan Koehler. Koehler, a two-time Minnesota state champion, is ranked No. 43 on the 2023 Big Board and is No. 14 at 120 pounds.

With the commitment of Lauridsen, I think it’s safe to say that the future of Nebraska’s lightest weights is in good hands.