One of the top prep wrestling recruits in the state of Oregon has decided to continue a strong family lineage at Southern Oregon University.

One of the top prep wrestling recruits in the state of Oregon has decided to continue a strong family lineage at Southern Oregon University.

Roseburg's Mitchell Lofstedt, whose brother Trevor will be a senior next season and whose father Brent was a two-time national champion with the Raiders in the early 80s, signed a letter of intent with SOU on Tuesday.

"It gives us a lot of validity as far as an athlete of that caliber signing with us," SOU coach Mike Ritchie said. "Statistically, I'd have to say he's the highest-ranked kid we've ever signed."

Lofstedt, a 119-pounder in his senior season at Roseburg, won his final 92 matches including three consecutive state titles. He is ranked No. 4 by Wrestling International Newsmagazine and turned down a handful of Division I offers, including from Oregon State.

Lofstedt said he appreciated the notion that he could experience life away from wrestling more easily at an NAIA school.

"It took a lot of consideration what would be in my best interest but Southern Oregon is the one that stood out the most," Lofstedt said. "I'm not going to sell my soul to wrestling."

Trevor Lofstedt helped the Raiders finish 11th at nationals last season with a fifth-place finish at 133 pounds. He said his role in Mitchell's recruitment process was strictly an advisory one.

"I didn't want to push him, but I knew SOU would be a better fit," Trevor Lofstedt said. "In Division I, you have to devote a lot more of your time. The coaches kind of take your second life away."

Mitchell Lofstedt will wrestle at 125 next season. The Raiders had to forfeit that weight from late December until the end of the season after moving his brother up to 133.

"He's good in all three areas," Ritchie said of the younger Lofstedt. "He's not outstanding on his feet, but he's hard to take down and he's obviously dominant on top with all the pins he's had. And he can still get off the bottom. That makes a guy pretty tough to beat."

Reach reporter Luke Andrews at 776-4469, or e-mail landrews@mailtribune.com