BY JEREMY HOECK
VERMILLION — Regan Bye will join his cousin at the Division I level.
Bye, a senior at Vermillion High School, verbally committed Friday to wrestle at Nebraska. His announcement came three months after his cousin Brett, also a senior, committed to South Dakota State.
Both wrestlers have been linked throughout their high school careers, capped off by both winning an individual Class A state championship last season.
“We know that what we’ve done for the last ten years hasn’t been for nothing, it’s been influential,” Regan told the Press & Dakotan on Friday.
“All the work we’ve done in the summers and in the mornings has paid off.”
For Regan, a two-time state champion at 145 pounds, his college decision wasn’t all that difficult, he said.
He and his family — including father Hazen, who is also the Vermillion head coach — visited Lincoln for Regan’s official visit on Sept. 26. It didn’t take long for him to know that was his future home, Regan said.
“It was one of those feelings when you just know,” he said.
Down at the Nebraska campus, Regan was able to spend time with the Nebraska coaching staff, which includes former national champion and Olympic gold medalist (Jordan Burroughs).
“It might have wowed his mom more than anyone,” Hazen Bye joked.
The culture around the Husker program was one that impressed not only Regan, but his family, his father added.
“The program is very impressive in how much they stress academics, and the team aspect,” Hazen Bye said. “They’re all friends in the wrestling room, and the coach has really surrounded himself with good guys.”
That head coach, Mark Manning, is a Vermillion native, so there were obvious ties. Regan maintains, though, that he didn’t want that to affect his decision.
“We’ve known him my whole life,” Regan said. “It’s awesome to be able to know someone in the program.”
Former Wagner standout Robert Kokesh will enter his senior season for the Huskers in 2014-15.