Burrell wrestler AJ Corrado commits to Brown

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Thursday, September 24, 2020 | 1:51 PM


When Burrell senior AJ Corrado started wrestling in fifth grade, he had no idea how far the sport would take him.

Turns out, it’s taking him to the Ivy League. The defending WPIAL Class AA 152-pound champ and PIAA runner-up committed to Brown.

“I’ve always been smart, so my dream was always to go to an Ivy League school, and wrestling has been a big part of that,” Corrado said. “Wrestling will come to an end at some point, and I was just thinking about life after wrestling mostly, and I think like an Ivy League school will help the most.”

Corrado said he was deciding between a few Ivy League schools, but Brown had been with him throughout the recruiting process. Coaches reached out to him when he was a junior.

After visiting the campus and meeting the team during a junior trip, Corrado fell in love with the whole product, and everything fell into place.

Corrado has a record of 121-35, including 48 pins, over a three-year stretch while being pinned only twice in his high school career.

Last season, he captured his first WPIAL title when he earned a 2-1 decision over Quaker Valley’s Conner Redinger in the 152-pound championship. He then went on to place second at the Southwest Class AA regional and the PIAA tournament, where he lost to St. Joseph Academy’s Caleb Dowling.

If there is a wrestling season in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Corrado is hoping he can get back to the PIAA tournament and reach the top of the podium.

“It’s my last chance to win a state title, and that’s been my goal since freshman year,” Corrado said. “I’ve come so close. I just really hope we have a season this year.”

Although he has become one of the best wrestlers in the WPIAL, Corrado wasn’t sure how his career would turn out.

In fifth grade, he picked up the sport on a whim with a friend, and while Corrado said his friend quit right away, he stuck with it and was ready to go from there.

“I was always trying to find a practice, wherever I could go,” Corrado said. “I started getting really good real fast, so I thought maybe I should stick with it.

“I found a passion for wrestling out of nowhere.”

The passion manifested itself even more after he surprised some people at a middle school state tournament as a seventh-grader. After that, he decided to put more time into the sport. Now, he is ready to take the next step.

“I’ve laid the cement of the next step, and I’m kind of walking up towards it,” Corrado said. “I’m excited that the decision is off my shoulders, and I have nothing to worry about. Now, I can just go out and wrestle this season.”

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at gmacafee@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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