As we close in on the season opener Friday night at Army West Point, it appears the lineup questions are clearing up for Penn State wrestling.
Defending NCAA runner-up Bo Nickal will be manning the 184 pound weight class for the Nittany Lions after winning his wrestle off with former 184-pounder, Matt McCutcheon. Nickal and McCutcheon wrestled a best-of-three series with the former winning the first match, 3-1 in sudden victory and the second match, 4-2 or 5-2 depending on who you ask.
The more intriguing news, however, is with McCutcheon. The redshirt junior appears to be heading up to 197 pounds. According to a person with knowledge of the situation, McCutcheon downed fellow 197 pound wrestler Kellan Stout, 7-2 this past weekend to claim the spot. McCutcheon was a Pennsylvania state runner-up at 195 pounds his senior year of high school at Kiski Area.
We expect that McCutcheon and Stout will split matches the opening weekend, when Penn State will take on the Cadets and then host Stanford on Sunday at Rec Hall. Also factoring into the situation could be redshirt sophomore Anthony Cassar who will be out until January with a shoulder injury.
Until then, it appears McCutcheon could be the man at 197, and should have a good shot at making some noise in one of the thinnest weight classes nationally.