PARKERSBURG - All-American Jared Haught of Parkersburg High School has decided to spend his college days as a member of the Virginia Tech Hokies wrestling program for head coach Kevin Dresser.
Haught, last year's 182-pound Class AAA state champion, inked his national letter-of-intent during the early signing period. Although he chose Virginia Tech, he did make official visits to both Binghamton University and West Virginia University.
"That was definitely going to happen," Haught said of signing early so he could concentrate on his senior season for the Big Reds. "It's so stressful. A lot of times I got phone calls and I didn't want to answer them.
Photo by Jay W. Bennett
Parkersburg Big Red All-American Jared Haught inked during the early signing period and will wrestle for Virginia Tech next year. Pictured, seated from left, is Haught’s grandmother June Haught, father Tracy, Jared Haught, mother Patty and grandmother Mila Arnold. Standing, from left, PHS strength and conditioning coach Tom Brock, athletics director Lori Lowers, Big Red head coach Chris Way and grandfather Randall Arnold.
"All the coaches were trying to sell their school and it just got really stressful. Signing the papers was really a relief. I'm very happy and I'm really excited."
PHS head mat coach Chris Way expects Haught to once again occupy 182 for the red and white. Haught, who is currently undecided about a college major, should compete at 184 and eventually at 197 for the Hokies.
"A lot of opportunities were available for him," Way said. "Virginia Tech had a good proposal and he got it out of the way. Now, he can focus on the season and not have to worry about universities calling every single day.
"It was a big burden. I know he really stressed out about it for a month. It was kind of a relief to get it out of the way and to know what you are doing to do."
What Haught hopes to do this winter is capture another state championship and go undefeated. As a junior at PHS, Haught went 50-1 and had previously won the Class AA/A state title at 160 when he went 53-0 as a sophomore at Calhoun County. As a freshman at Calhoun County, Haught went 44-5 and was the state runner-up at 160.
While college is obviously going to be a big step up for Haught next year, he earned a 4.125 GPA last term and thinks things will work out just fine.
"I've already went through it and I feel like having moved from a little school to a big school, I think the transition isn't going to be as bad as I think," said Haught, who earned All-American honors by placing fourth this year in the 2012 NHSCA Junior Nationals.
Back in October, Haught took third in the Super 32 tournament in Greensboro, N.C. In the semifinals, Haught lost 3-2 to Pennsylvania's Jacob Taylor, who will be wrestling at Cornell next year.
Aside from knowing some of the Virginia Tech team members, Haught said another reason he chose the Hokies was because of their coaching staff. Coach Dresser was a national champion for Iowa back in 1986.
"It gives me motivation and I just have trust in him (Dresser) and the belief that he's done it so I know that he can make me a national champion and make me the best that I can be," Haught added.