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College Wrestling Preview and Rankings

It's wrestling season. Let's take a look at the national scene.

Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

College wrestling season is here again.  Let's take a look at each of the ten weight classes.

125 LBS

2014 Seed 2014 Finish 2015 Rank Wrestler
1 1 1 Delgado (ILL)*
2 2 2 Garrett (COR)
NA NA 3 Alan Waters (MIZZ)
NA NA 4 Gilman (IOWA)
16 4 5 Dance (VT)
5 6 6 Peters (UNI)
7 R16 7 Taylor (WIS)
9 R24 8 Cox (WYO)
4 R24 9 Martinez (AFA)
10 R12 10 Terao (AMER)
NA NA 11 Tomasello (OhSt)
NA NA 12 Conaway (PSU)
NA NA 13 Rodriguez (NDSU)
12 R16 14 Lambert (NEB)
13 R24 15 Silver (STAN)
NA NA 16 Boyle (CHAT)
11 R16 17 Deutsch (RID)
NA NA 18 Willeford (CLEVST)
US R16 19 Mines (EDIN)
US R24 20 Petrov (BUCK)
US R24 NR Youtsey (MICH)
US R24 NR Hermann (UVA)
US R32 NR Rauser (UVU)
US R32 NR White (BING)
US R32 NR Kraisser (UNC)
US R32 NR Parisi (APST)
US R32 NR Jeske (ODU)
US R32 NR Keener (CMU)

Key Losses: Nico (PSU-redshirt), Cory Clark (Iowa-to 133), Earl Hall (Iowa St-to 133), Darian Cruz (Lehigh-redshirt)

Returning All-Americans: 5
Returning Seeds: 12
Returning Qualifiers: 23

Our Guy: Jordan Conaway caught the wrestling world's attention not by winning the 112-lb PIAA 2A title, but by stomping everyone's top lightweight, Blair Academy's Evan Silver, at the Dapper Dan Classic.  And when Liberty shut down their wrestling program a few weeks later, Cael gave Jordan - a Liberty commit - a phone call.

It's all paid off because Conaway's a tireless worker.  After a year of taking his lumps, he won the 133-lb weight as a redshirt freshman.  He beat 2014's NCAA runner-up Tyler Graff by wearing him out.  And he made a round-of-12 run through the NCAAs - one win shy of All-American.  He backed up Nico Megaludis last year, but stepped in to destroy Michigan's Connor Youtsey in the Michigan weekend.  And now, finally, 125-lbs is his.

Prediction: Conaway finishes on the podium

The Big Ten: Gilman, Taylor, Tomasello, and Conaway are all very, very close.  They're all grinders.  Whoever displays the best neutral attack will end up on the opposite side of the bracket from Illinois' Jesse Delgado.

The National Scene: It's Delgado and Garrett, and then everyone else until proven otherwise.  And proven otherwise doesn't count until March 2015.  Delgado's shown that he could care less about a loss in December and January.  But he's another animal entirely in March.  Garrett might have something for him.  But I'm not sure anyone else does, though.

Not Top 8 Sleeper: #10 David Terao.  Terao's strong like bull.  And he wrestles like a stud at the NCAAs.  He won't win the title, but he could land high on the podium.

133 LBS

2014 Seed 2014 Finish 2015 Rank Wrestler
2 4 1 Schopp (EDIN)
6 6 2 Beckman (LEH)
6 (141) R12 (141) 3 C. Dardanes (MINN)
13 8 4 Brewer (OU)
8 (125) 5 (125) 5 Clark (IOWA)
14 R16 6 Richards (ILL)
9 R16 7 DiJulius (OhSt)
US R24 8 Guilbon (PSU)
US R12 9 Bruno (MICH)
NA NA 10 DiCamillo (UVA)
NA NA 11 Alexander (MD)
10 R16 12 Soto (CHAT)
US (125) 8 (125) 13 Hall (ISU)
US R24 14 Manley (MIZZ)
DNQ DNQ 15 Thielke (WIS)
NA NA 16 Wolfensparger (UNI)
16 R32 17 McGuire (KSU)
NA NA 18 Norstrem (VT)
DNQ DNQ 19 Malone (NW)
US R32 20 Devoy (DREX)
US R32 NR Dellefave (RUT)
US R32 NR Rasche (NAVY)
US R32 NR Pizzuto (EMU)
US R32 NR Goodwin (MD)
US R24 NR Lotito (Cal Poly)
US R32 NR Palmer (ORST)

Key Losses: Tony Ramos (Iowa-grad); Tyler Graff (Wis-grad); Joe Colon (UNI-grad); Jon Morrison (OSU-grad); David Thorn (MINN-grad); Cache Quiroga (PUR-grad); Ryan Mango (STAN-grad); Joe Roth (CMU-grad) - you get the idea.  A bunch of seniors left this weight.

Returning All-Americans: 5 - but 2 are from other weights
Returning Seeds: 9 - but 2 are from other weights
Returning Qualifiers: 21

Our Guy: Jimmy Gulibon, for 133, owns one of the harder head-snaps in the USA.  When he whacks you, his own head shakes.  And, best of all, he'll use it.  Often.

He also has a gorgeous top ride, and destroyed un-ranked dudes with a deadly two-on-one tilt to great effect.  Gulibon tech'ed a kid from Big Ten foe Indiana in the first period, with about 90 seconds left.  Then he did it against against Northwestern's #20 Dom Malone at Big Tens.

When Jimmy scored the first takedown, he was money.  When he failed to get a first period takedown, he was not even pocket change.  He also struggled to get out and away from bottom at times, and that killed him in several close matches.  Jimmy flashed at the Southern Scuffle last year, making a brilliant run to the final.  But NCAAs saw him fall 3 wins shy of where he wanted to be.

This is a new year, though.  And the rumor from the Lorenzo Wrestling Complex is that Jimmy has his weight under control, and his strength in spades.

Prediction: Gulibon finishes on the podium

The Big Ten: Roll your 5-sided Dungeons and Dragons die.  Gulibon, Richards, DiJulius, Clark, and Dardanes all sit a rung above the rest of the conference.  Iowa's Clark and Minnesota's Dardanes own the All-American hardware, but neither are worlds apart from the other three.  Gulibon, the lowest ranked of the 5, has previously beaten three of the other four (Chris Dardanes being the exception for the moment - and I'm not sure they've wrestled previously).  Get ready for a wild scramble in the conference here.

The National Scene: It pains me to write this, but the top two wrestlers at this weight are from PA, and they're both as boring as a Catholic mass in Latin.  Edinboro's AJ Schopp and Lehigh's Mason Beckman switched sides of the state, more or less, for college wrestling from high school.  And, unfortunately, both now wrestle from a knee, which BSD hates.  Schopp won the NWCA showdown convincingly, and Beckman might slip down the rankings a few notches if he doesn't pick up his offense during the year.

Not Top 8 Sleeper: Here are two: #16 Levi Wolfensparger (UNI) and #10 Georgie DiCamillo (UVA).  DiCamillo's a 2013 All-American, so that's kinda cheating.  Wolfensparger's a R12 type of guy.  (//Looks it up).  Actually, he's a certified R12 guy, from 2013.  And Doug Schwab can coach.

141 LBS

2014 Seed 2014 Finish 2015 Rank Wrestler
2 1 1 Stieber (OhSt)
1 3 2 Port (EDIN)
2 (149) R16 (149) 3 N.Dardanes (MIN)
13 7 4 Dutton (MICH)
5 R24 5 Mecate (ODU)
US R16 6 Dziewa (IOWA)
14 R24 7 Bright (PITT)
15 R12 8 Collica (OSU)
10 R12 9 Preston (HARV)
7 R16 10 Horan (CMU)
15 (133) R12 (133) 11 Grey (COR)
US R16 12 Mayes (MIZZ)
16 R32 13 Spisak (UCA)
US R16 14 Speno (NCST)
NA NA 15 Ward (UNC)
NA NA 16 Abidin (NEB)
NA NA 17 Ashnault (RUT)
US (149) R16 (149) 18 Lubeck (WIS)
US R32 19 Rodrigues (ILL)
US R24 20 Brown (MD)
US R32 NR Sabatello (PUR)
NA NA NR Vassar (GARD)

Key Losses: Zpain (PSU-redshirt); C.Dardanes (MINN-to 133); Carter (VaTech-to 149); Henderson (UNC); Lazor (UNI); Durso (F&M); Nevinger (CORN); Ugi (Citadel)

Returning All-Americans: 3
Returning Seeds: 11
Returning Qualifiers: 18

Our Guy: Say hello to Kade Moss, a 4x Utah state champ who chose Penn State after a two-year Mormon Mission.  Kade won University Nationals (Greco) last year in his first season back on the mat.  We'll get to see him in action for the first time on Sunday, against Lehigh.

Prediction: None of us have any idea.  Pass.

The Big Ten: Chris Dardanes is the better of the Dardanes twins, in BSD's opinion, and Logan Stieber majors Chris regularly.  So don't get your hopes up about Nick Dardanes challenging him this year.

Speaking of majors, that's exactly what Penn State's redshirting frosh Zain Retherford did to #4 ranked Stephen Dutton.  That is to say, 141-lbs has been a stronger weight than this season.

The National Scene: Logan. Stieber.  And as already mentioned, this is one of the weaker weight classes.

Not Top 8 Sleeper: I think we'll see the rankings - other than #'s 1 and 2 - get jumbled this season.  Give me Cornell's #11 Mark Grey, Rutgers' #17 Anthony Ashnault, and Wisconsin's #18 Rylan Lubeck.  They each have the ability to finish on the podium.

149 LBS

Seed Finish 2014 Rank Wrestler
5 1 1 Tsirtsis (NW)
4 (141) 2 (141) 2 Carter (VT)
11 2 3 Kindig (OSU)
NA NA 4 H.Stieber (OhSt)
8 4 5 Habat (EDIN)
1 5 6 Houdashelt (MIZZ)
15 6 7 Minotti (LEH)
3 R12 8 Villalonga (COR)
6 R16 9 Sueflohn (NEB)
13 R24 10 Grothus (IOWA)
7 R24 11 Sako (UVA)
12 R32 12 Cotrell (APST)
16 R24 13 Richardson (ODU)
US R24 14 Claxton (OHIO)
US R32 15 Racciato (PITT)
NA NA 16 Cobb (PENN)
US R16 17 Depalma (KSU)
NA NA 18 Beitz (PSU)
US R32 19 Ruggirello (HOF)
US R32 20 Birmingham (DAV)
US R24 NR Frisch (CIT)
US R24 NR Barber (UNC)
US R32 NR Morales (WVU)
US R32 NR Theobold (RUT)

Key Losses: James English (PSU-7th); Grajales (MICH-3rd); Maple (OU-8th); N.Dardanes (MINN-to141); Neibert (VT-R12); Sakaguchi (ORST-R12)

Returning All-Americans: 7
Returning Seeds: 12
Returning Qualifiers: 22

Our Guy: We won't know for certain until March.  Andrew Alton is recovering from a knee injury, and might not make it back until January or February, if he's able to make it back at all.  So in November, we'll see both Zack Beitz and Luke Frey.

Luke's a 3x PIAA Finalist and 1x Champ.  In fact, he never finished lower than 3rd in four years at Hershey.  He has a nasty top ride, and will be looking to take and hold this spot in the lineup in his fourth year.

Zack bumped up to 149 last year in his redshirt frosh season when Andrew, James English, and Luke all went down to injury.  He blew the Penn State faithful away.  He used an ankle pick early and often, and came achingly close to a handful of major upsets (OT loss to eventual champ Tsirtsis; OT loss to 2-seed Nick Dardanes among them).  According to Cael, Zack spent the entire summer in the room, and if you read the Cael tea leaves, Zack probably has a head start over Luke in the fight for this spot.

Prediction: If a healthy Andrew makes it back for March, I think he could challenge for the title.  There's no one in this field he can't beat.  Outside of that, an All-America run is definitely possible, but it's also far from guaranteed.

The Big Ten: Despite claiming the returning National Champion and a Stieber, no one here blows you away.  Tsirtsis is tough and fundamentally sound, but he's not tech falling dudes left and right.  Neither did Hunter Stieber, who wrestled from his knees a fair amount the last time we saw him.  Nebraska's Jake Sueflohn's made the last two Big Ten finals, lost them both, and flamed out at Nationals short of the podium.  Iowa's Brody Grothus owns a win over both of last year's finalists - Tsirtsis and Kindig - but he might not be Tom Brands' choice to start.  This isn't the Big Ten's strongest weight.

The National Scene: The same goes for the rest of the nation.  This weight returns a ton of All-Americans and past qualifiers, but unlike 125 or 141, there's no clear favorite.  It should be a wild ride.

Not Top 8 Sleeper: Neither Andrew Alton nor Iowa's Andrew Sorensen made the pre-season rankings.  So both should qualify as sleepers.

157 LBS

Seed Finish 2014 Rank Wrestler
9 2 1 Ness (MIN)
1 3 2 Green (NEB)
4 4 3 Miller (KSU)
7 6 4 Realbuto (COR)
NA NA 5 Brascetta (VT)
US 8 6 Perrotti (RUT)
NA NA 7 Demas (OhSt)
12 R12 8 Smith (CMU)
13 R16 9 D.Alton (PSU)
US R32 10 Murphy (MICH)
NA NA 11 Martinez (ILL)
US R24 12 DeAngelis (OU)
14 R12 13 LaVallee (MIZZ)
US R24 14 Matthews (EDIN)
US R24 15 Scheidel (COL)
US R12 16 Gantt (NCST)
US R24 17 Walker (CIT)
15 R32 18 Pack (SDSU)
US R32 19 Chino (OHIO)
US R24 20 Kerr-Brown (DUKE)

Key Losses: Dieringer (OSU-1st-to 165); St.John (Iowa-5th); Jordan (WISC-7th-to 165); Taffur (BOS-R12)

Returning All-Americans: 6
Returning Seeds: 9
Returning Qualifiers: 19

Our Guy: Another year, another surgery for Dylan Alton.  This off-season it was the opposite shoulder.  It clearly bothered him last year, and cut his season far short of what he's capable of accomplishing.  And that is a perch high on the podium, as evidenced by his 3rd place finish in his freshman season.  Hopefully we get him back in early January.

Prediction: Dylan's back, and makes the podium

The Big Ten: James Green is a monster.  Dylan Ness is crazy.  And then there's everyone else.

The National Scene: It's James Green's title to lose, more or less.  Ness will try any throw you can think of, and will put himself on his back to hit an elevator.  The same thing goes for Kent State's Ian Miller.  Cornell's Realbuto is a gamer, too.  But if Green keeps his position, he's not losing.  Green scores takedowns whenever he wants to score takedowns, and that's an awfully nice skill to have.

Not Top 8 Sleeper: Austin Matthews transferred from Clarion to Edinboro, and he can wrestle.  Another guy to keep an eye on is Illinois' Isiah Martinez.  He tore up the open tournaments as a redshirt last year, and can score a ton of points.

165 LBS

Seed Finish 2014 Rank Wrestler
3 (157) 1 (157) 1 Dieringer (OSU)
3 4 2 Sulzer (UVA)
8 5 3 Moreno (ISU)
5 (157) 7 (157) 4 I.Jordan (WIS)
7 8 5 Harger (NW)
14 R12 6 Palacio (COR)
5 R16 7 Moore (IOWA)
6 R24 8 Mock (CHAT)
NA NA 9 B.Jordan (OhSt)
NA NA 10 Massa (MICH)
10 R24 11 Moore (UNI)
NA NA 12 Walsh (IND)
12 R32 13 Morse (ILL)
US R24 14 Wilson (NEB)
US R24 15 Friesth (WYO)
16 R16 16 Wilson (STAN)
US R16 17 Moon (VT)
US (174) R24 (174) 18 Brennan (RID)
US R32 19 Hightower (OHIO)
US R32 20 Walsh (NAVY)
US R32 NR Kent (PENN)
US R32 NR Brewster (SDSU)

Key Losses: David Taylor (PSU-1st); Caldwell (OSU-2nd); Monk (NDSU-3rd); Turtogtokh (CIT-6th); Zilverberg (MINN-7th); Booth (HOF-R12); Veltre (BLOOM-R12); LeBlanc (IND-R12).  Plus 9 other senior qualifiers.

Returning All-Americans: 5
Returning Seeds: 11
Returning Qualifiers: 20

Our Guy: Garrett Hammond won two PIAA gold medals for Chambersburg, and racked up a 28-7 last season unattached.  That included 9 falls, 6 tech falls, and 4 majors.  So, he likes to score points, which is always fun.

Prediction: NCAA Qualifier, R24

The Big Ten: This weight just got a lot more interesting than it's been in four years.  Wisconsin's Ike Jordan and Northwestern's Pierce Harger both start out ranked ahead of Iowa's Nick Moore, Ohio State's Bo Jordan, and Michigan's Taylor Massa.  But I doubt that it ends that way.  Plus, Illinois, Nebraska, and Indiana each run out a ranked wrestler at this weight.  Garrett's going to have a season full of tough matches.

The National Scene: Wrestlers are bumping up and cutting down into 165 for a reason.  That reason is David Taylor's graduation.  Oklahoma State's Alex Dieringer looked like a small horse on his way to a national title last year at 157.  This year he'll appear more normal sized out there, but he'll start with the target on his back

Not Top 8 Sleeper: Nebraska's Austin Wilson doesn't lose because he tires, or lacks strength or speed.  He generally loses because he does something not smart.  Cutting down on mistakes could get him closer to the podium.

174 LBS

Seed Finish 2014 Rank Wrestler
6 3 1 Storley (MIN)
3 4 2 Kokesh (NEB)
5 5 3 Brown (PSU)
4 6 4 Evans (IOWA)
7 7 5 Wilps (PITT)
US 8 6 Hammond (CSB)
12 R12 7 Weatherman (ISU)
16 R12 8 Miller (NAVY)
8 R24 9 Walters (OHIO)
14 R24 10 Martin (OhSt)
10 (157) R16 (157) 11 Butler (UVA)
16 (157) R16 (157) 12 Brunson (ILL)
NA NA 13 Epperly (VT)
US (184) R16 (184) 14 Julson (NDSU)
US R32 15 England (MIZZ)
US R32 16 Marsh (KSU)
NA NA 17 Crutchmer (OSU)
US R16 18 Latham (ORST)
US R32 19 Renda (NCST)
US (165) R24 (165) 20 Staudenmayer (UNC)
US R24 NR Caldwell (UNI)
US R32 NR Meyer (STAN)
US R24 NR Hughes (COL)
US R24 NR Harvey (ARMY)
US R32 NR Clemons (CHAT)
US R32 NR Scheffel (WVU)

Key Losses: Perry (OSU-1st); Howe (OU-2nd)

Returning All-Americans: 6
Returning Seeds: 11
Returning Qualifiers: 25

Our Guy: Matt Brown's a 2x All-American and made the finals in 2013.  He has heavy hands - Hulk Hands - and pulls on your head until it comes off.

Prediction: One of the top 4 seniors will win it.  I see no reason to not pick Hulk Hands.

The Big Ten: Brown, Kokesh, Storley, and Evans have ruled this weight for the past two seasons.  2015 won't be any different.  And each of the four can beat the other three on any given day.  So it's going to be wild.

The National Scene: See the Big Ten scene.

Not Top 8 Sleeper: Pass.  Somebody will make a run from down the ranks, but no one is jumping out to me at the moment.

184 LBS

Seed Finish 2014 Rank Wrestler
3 3 1 Dean (COR)
13 4 2 Dechow (ODU)
NA NA 3 Brown (LEH)
11 6 4 Thomas (PENN)
12 8 5 Bernstein (BROWN)
4 R12 6 Thomusseit (PITT)
12 (197) R24 (197) 7 Meeks (ORST)
10 R12 8 Courts (OhSt)
US R12 9 Stauffer (ASU)
NA NA 10 Brooks (IOWA)
9 R24 11 Abounader (MICH)
US R16 12 Avery (EDIN)
8 R24 13 Dudley (NEB)
13 R32 14 Zillmer (NDSU)
NA NA 15 Eblen (MIZZ)
NA NA 16 Pfarr (MIN)
US R24 17 Stroh (WYO)
US R24 18 Weatherspoon (ISU)
US R16 19 Reyes (ILL)
US R32 20 Boyd (OSU)
14 R16 NR Rizqallah (MSU)
US R32 NR Hernandez (COL)
US (174) R24 (174) NR Gabel (VT)
US R24 NR Hightower (AFA)
US R32 NR Patrick (DAV)

Key Losses: Ed Ruth (PSU-1st); Sheptock (Maryland-2nd); Steinhaus (MINN-5th); Swartz (BSU-7th); Lofthouse (IOWA-R24); Loder (UNI-R12)

Returning All-Americans: 4
Returning Seeds: 12
Returning Qualifiers: 24

Our Guy: You won't find Matt McCutcheon in the pre-season rankings, but that's only because he was a true freshman last year.  He compiled a 14-5 record unattached in open tournaments.  He beat Mizzou's #15 John Eblen at the Southern Scuffle, and he has a 3-4 loss to pre-season #3 Nathaniel Brown (Lehigh).

What will this season bring?  No one can say for certain.  But McCutcheon's not unlike his training partner at 174, Hulk Hands.  So it should be fun to watch.

Prediction: NCAA Qualifier, R16

The Big Ten: The conference is (now) wide open, since Ruth, Steinhaus, and Lofthouse all graduated.  The top ranked returner is Ohio State's Kenny Courts.  But what the league lacks in certified studs, it makes up for with loads of young talent.  Iowa's Sammy Brooks looked impressive spelling Lofthouse last year.  Michigan's Dom Abounader made waves as a true frosh before hitting the wall at the end of the year.  And Nebraska's TJ Dudley was ranked as high as 4th last year, before he hit the same freshman wall as Abounader.  Last, because they're Minnesota, get ready for another strong, technically sound, hard riding upper weight.  This year it's Brett Pfarr, who replaces the strong, technically sound, hard riding Steinhaus.

The National Scene: Gabe Dean didn't have a freshman wall (though he did run into Ed Ruth and bounce to the consolations).  Dean's strong and a lot quicker than you expect.  He'll be the favorite of most this year.  But both Old Dominion's Jack Dechow and Lehigh's Nate Brown could get past him.  Brown, especially, looks like the redshirt year benefited him tremendously.  And he was dangerous before the redshirt.

Not Top 8 Sleeper: I like Iowa's Sam Brooks.  He scores points.

197 LBS

Seed Finish 2014 Rank Wrestler
4 3 1 Schiller (MIN)
2 1 2 Cox (MIZZ)
5 4 3 Gadson (ISU)
3 7 4 McIntosh (PSU)
US 5 5 Hartmann (DUKE)
11 8 6 Burak (IOWA)
NA NA 7 Snyder (OHST)
10 R16 8 Bennett (COR)
8 R24 9 Wellington (OHIO)
15 R16 10 Atwood (PUR)
16 R24 11 Polizzi (NW)
US R12 12 Bonaccorsi (PITT)
US R24 13 McCall (WIS)
US R32 14 Nye (UVA)
NA NA 15 Schafer (OSU)
US R16 16 Woods (WYO)
NA NA 17 Huntley (MICH)
9 (174) R12 (174) 18 Riddick (LEH)
US (184) R32 (184) 19 Sheridan (IND)
US R32 20 Rands (NAVY)
US R32 NR Fox (HARV)
US R24 NR Ayala (PRIN)
US R32 NR Bolich (LEH)
US R24 Scherer (STAN)
US R32 Barnes (ARMY)
US R32 Haas (CIT)
US R32 Palik (DREX)

Key Losses: Heflin (OHST-2nd); Penny (VT-6th)

Returning All-Americans: 6
Returning Seeds: 10
Returning Qualifiers: 26

Our Guy: Morgan McIntosh battled through an elbow injury last year and made the podium, finishing 7th.  It was a disappointing result.  But off-season surgery has Smackintosh back on the mat and healthy.  He'll challenge for the crown this year because his offense is as good as anyone in the weight class.

Prediction: top 3

The Big Ten: Like most weights, the Big Ten is loaded here.  Schiller and Burak join McIntosh as returning AAs.  But it's true frosh phenom Kyle Snyder that everyone's eager to see wrestle folkstyle. Eager, because the Junior World Champ does pretty well at freestyle.

The National Scene: It looks like a 5-man race for the top spot, with Iowa State's Kyven Gadson and Mizzou's J'Den Cox joining the Big Ten's top dogs.  However, don't be surprised by upsets come March, because most of the wrestlers in the top 20 can pull off a big one.

Not Top 8 Sleeper: If Pitt's Nick Bonaccorsi can pick up his offense a little bit, he can make a run.

285 LBS

Seed Finish 2015 Rank Wrestler
6 3 1 McMullen (NW)
2 1 2 Gwiazdowski (NCST)
5 4 3 Telford (IOWA)
4 R12 4 Coon (MICH)
11 8 5 Marsden (OSU)
9 R12 6 Medbery (WIS)
14 R24 7 Gingrich (PSU)
16 R16 8 Dhesi (ORST)
US R16 9 Smith (RUT)
US R32 10 Knutson (NDSU)
US R16 11 Larson (OU)
US R12 12 Tavenello (OhSt)
US R24 13 Walz (VT)
15 R24 14 Fager (UVU)
US R32 15 Jensen (NEB)
US R32 16 Mellon (MIZZ)
US R24 17 Stolfi (BUCK)
US R32 18 Wessell (LEH)
NA NA 19 Aiken-Phillips (COR)
NA NA 20 Kroells (MINN)
12 R24 NR Myers (MD)
US R32 NR Cabell (UNI)
US R32 NR Peck (CHAT)
US R24 Vizcarrondo (WVU)

Key Losses: Nelson (MINN-2nd); McClure (MSU-5th); Chalfant (IND-6th); Johnson (OHIO-7th); Felix (BSU-R12)

Returning All-Americans: 4
Returning Seeds: 10
Returning Qualifiers: 22

Our Guy: Here we go again.  For the third year in a row, Penn State fans will be talking about both Jimmy Lawson and Jon Gingrich.  Lawson looked like he turned the corner last year, until he suffered a knee injury and missed the last half of the season.  Jon Gingrich stepped in and gave us an upset of top seed Adam Coon at Big Tens, hitting the same double leg that he used to upset Sparty's Mike McClure the year before.

Both guys have talent.  Both guys are seniors.  One of them needs to step forward this year.  The fact that Cael didn't see either of them in the room this summer doesn't bode well.

Prediction: It hurts to write, but I suspect Penn State's All-American drought at 285 continues

The Big Ten: The conference lost three big boys - Nelson, McClure, and Chalfant - but still claims 6 of the pre-season top 10.  Northwestern's McMullen shows the most offense.  Michigan's Coon might have the most talent.  And Iowa's Telford is just plain big.  One of those three figures to be the guy.

The National Scene: Returning national champ Nick Gwiazdowski can score points, and he doesn't have to go through the Big Ten meatgrinder.

Not Top 8 Sleeper: Minnesota's going to have a heavyweight.  It's practically required by law.  So Mke Kroells will probably climb the rankings from his #20 pre-season spot.  And, though he spent the fall playing football, don't forget about Maryland's Spencer Myers.  His All-American run as a true frosh is a long time ago, but he clearly has the talent.

*obligatory eff him--CG