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Wrestling: No.1 Penn State Hosts 2015 Nittany Lion Open

Top ranked Penn State welcomes wrestlers from all over to Rec Hall for an open tournament.

Penn State hosts the Nittany Lion Open on Sunday, starting at 10am inside Rec Hall.  It's a seasonal bonanza of wrestling you won't want to miss.

As an "open" tournament, anybody* can register and compete.  If you're feeling itchy for a fight, simply sign your name on the form, make weight, and you'll get a spot on the bracket sheet.  That's one of the more awesome aspects of the NLO.

To help the NLO organizers create the seeds and brackets, your registration form includes a section in which you can list your accomplishments.  Most wrestlers leave the section blank - sort of a "got to beat 'em all to win anyhow so it doesn't matter where you start" mentality.  Others, particularly the military academy guys, will complete the form in full, per instructions, in a clean, orderly, and efficient military manner.  They'll list basic info, such as their season record, any placements at other tournaments, past All-American accolades, and the like.

And then, you have a case like BSD's newest hero, Davon Clark.    Mr. Clark registered not as part of a collegiate squad, but as part of a rec league team, the "Silverback Gorillas".  Mr. Clark's accomplishments?

"I have 9 tattoos and pink shoelaces so Im pretty good"

Davon, you just found a new fan.  We at BSD will be pulling for you.

Click on this link for a look at the full registration list.  Brackets will be released Saturday, more than likely.  In the meantime, here's a quick preview of notable names and things to watch.

*Anybody can register except for high school wrestlers.  Thanks, NCAA.

125 LBS

Wrestler Team
Nico Megaludis Penn State
Kenny Yanovich Penn State
Devin Brown West Virginia
Tanner Shoap Drexel
Breandan Coughlin Maryland

Things To Watch: 1) Nico destroys the field, which is pretty weak.  2) Franklin Regional's Devin Brown, now wrestling for Sammie Henson at West Virginia.

133 LBS

Wrestler Team
Jordan Conaway Penn State
Jered Cortez Penn State
Scott DelVecchio Rutgers
Tyler Goodwin Maryland
Caleb Richardson Penn
Geoff Alexander Maryland

Things To Watch: 1) this is a pretty good weight class.  2) Alexander and DelVecchio are past NCAA qualifiers, and Richardson made the Round of 12 last year.  3) Illinois transfer, and future Penn State lightweight Jered Cortez - he was a top 20 recruit coming out of high school a couple years ago, and figures prominently into next year's starting lineup.

141 LBS

Wrestler Team
Jimmy Gulibon Penn State
Triston Law Penn State
Kade Moss Penn State
Gary Dinmore Penn State
Ryan Diehl Maryland
Rick Durso F&M
KeShawn Hayes Ohio State
William Koll Cornell
Sam Krivus UVA
Billy Rappo Maryland
Sam Speno NC State
Nick Zanetta Pitt

Things To Watch: 1) this is the deepest field in the tournament.  2) Last year's starter - Kade Moss - gets to make a run, as does newcomer Gary Dinmore, a top 100 recruit who grayshirted last season, and Triston Law, younger brother of 157lb spot starter Cody.  3) And that's only the PSU lineup.  In addition, you get past All-American Rick Durso, past NCAA qualifier Sam Speno, three top recruits (Ryan Diehl, KeShawn Hayes, Sam Krivus), plus a couple of PA wrestling names - Koll, Rappo, and Zanetta.

149 LBS

Wrestler Team
Zain Retherford Penn State
Shyheim Brown Maryland
CJ Cobb Penn
Jake DeAngelo NC State
Troy Heilmann UNC
Josh Maruca Arizona State
Ken Theobold Rutgers

Things To Watch: 1) legalized torture, as Zain punishes his opponents.  2) A bunch of Top 20 type of wrestlers, including Shyheim Brown, CJ Cobb, Jake DeAngelo, Troy Heilmann, and Ken Theobold.  3) Franklin Regional's, and now Arizona State's, Josh Maruca, who finished runner up at PIAAs last year.

157 LBS

Wrestler Team
Jason Nolf Penn State
Zach Beitz Penn State
Vincenzo Joseph Penn State
Justin Alexander Maryland
Richard Krop Princeton
Joey Lavallee Missouri
Brooks Martino Penn
Dayton Racer VaTech
Josh Shields Arizona State

Things To Watch: 1) Oooohhh boy - we might get to watch Nolf vs Cenzo here.  2) "Cenzo" is PSU true frosh and top 10 recruit Vincenzo Joseph, a 2x PIAA champ.  3) Don't sleep on Zach Beitz, last year's starter at 149, who has long been a BSD favorite.  4) the field won't roll over for them, though.  Krop is a tough kid, Lavallee is a past NCAA qualifier - round of 12 maybe? - and Josh Shields, another top recruit from last year via...of course, Franklin Regional, and now wrestling for Zeke Jones at Arizona State.

165 LBS

Wrestler Team
Davon Clark Silverback Gorillas
Shakur Rasheed Penn State
Garett Hammond Penn State
Cody Law Penn State
Caleb Livingston Penn State
Geno Morelli Penn State
Tyler Mannion Maryland
DJ Hollingshead Bucknell
Justin Kresevic Ohio State
Jordan Pagano Rutgers
Jared Walker Kent State

Things To Watch: 1) our new favorite wrestler, Davon Clark - if he's half as entertaining on the mat as he is off of it, then we're in for a treat.  2) A whole bunch of Penn State, including Shakur Rasheed attempting to keep his starting spot against last year's starter Garett Hammond, as well as former Pitt transfer (via DuBois) Geno Morelli - who is the only PSU 165er to have wrestled in Bryce Jordan Center (two years ago, when he was pinned by David Taylor).

174 LBS

Wrestler Team
Bo Nickal Penn State
Brian Brill Penn State
Casey Kent Penn
Myles Martin Ohio State
Anthony Pafumi Rutgers
Josh Snook Maryland

Things To Watch: 1) Bo Nickal underhooks and constant motion.  2) Brian Brill - former Central Mountain top recruit and Lehigh transfer. 3) top 20-ish Casey Kent.  4) top 10 recruit Myles Martin.  5) Nick Polak's neighbor, Tony Pafumi.

184 LBS

Wrestler Team
Matt McCutcheon Penn State
Dylan Dailey Penn State
Kellan Stout Penn State
Anthony Messner Rutgers
Lorenzo Thomas Penn

Things To Watch: 1) This figures to be a 2-man race.  2) The "other" guy is Lorenzo Thomas, a 2014 All-American, who also beat Mouse last season.  3) The PSU future at this weight, or 197, Kellan Stout.

197 LBS

Wrestler Team
Morgan McIntosh Penn State

Things To Watch: 1) Morg using his bow-and-arrow.  2) That's about it.

285 LBS

Wrestler Team
Zack Chakonis Northwestern
Thomas Haines Ohio State
Devin Nye Kent State
Dawson Peck Maryland

Things To Watch: 1) Everyone else, because Penn State currently has zero registered at heavy.  2) What might have been.  Haines is a rare PIAA 4x champ who committed to PSU, but is now at OhSt for reasons that aren't Haines' fault.  Chambersburg's Dawson Peck appears to have found a great home, with a great coach, at Maryland.

Projected Team Finishes

1.  Penn State

2.  Franklin Regional

3.  Rutgers

4.  Maryland

5.  Chambersburg

Last:  Silverback Gorillas