Cupid has shot an arrow through the hearts of wrestling fans!
Originally scheduled for Sunday, February 7, but postponed by Michigan Athletics going on COVID pause a few weeks ago, the dual meet between Michigan & Penn State is now rescheduled for this Sunday, February 14. Coach Cael and the boys will now take a Valentine’s Day trip to Ann Arbor for some loving physical combat, which is scheduled to kick off at 10:30 a.m. EST.
PSU Wrestling’s twitter announcement indicated the dual is currently scheduled to be broadcast on BTN+, but they also seem to be hopeful that it might get picked up for broadcast to the public on the BTN.
UPDATE: Yes, indeedy: the BTN picked it up, and we’re on TV at 10:30 a.m. Bring your Valentine Cocoa bombs!
Michigan Wrestling’s twitter announcement included a picture of a flexing Mason Parris, who should provide quite a challenge to Penn State starter Seth Nevills.
Penn State’s updated current schedule:
- Sunday, February 14, 10:30 a.m. @ Michigan
- Friday, February 19, time TBA, @ Ohio State
- Monday, February 22, 6 p.m., home versus Maryland
- Saturday, March 6, Big Ten Championships
- Thursday, March 18, NCAA Championships
Michigan is 3-0 on the year, and ranked #2 in the NWCA Coaches Poll, but their last competition was weeks ago: a 32-6 domination of Indiana on January 17. They have two 3x All-Americans who haven’t competed in those three duals yet in 133-pounder Stevan Micic and Myles Amine, who is speculated to man 197 when he finally hits the mat. Will we see them take the mat tonight when the Wolverines host the Buckeyes at 7p on the BTN?
For Penn State, we learned from Coach Cael’s press conference this week that we will NOT see heavyweight Daniel Greg Kerkvliet this season, but what about 125-pounder Robbie Howard? In Penn State’s three duals this season, no 125-pounders have been medically cleared, which has resulted in three forfeits at the weight.
With those question marks acknowledged, let’s take a quick ride through some possible matchups.
Likely / Possible Matchups
|#3 Penn State||WT||#2 Michigan|
|#3 Penn State||WT||#2 Michigan|
|Baylor Shunk (Fr., Centre Hall, PA) OR Robbie Howard (Fr., Cranford, NJ)||125||#8 Dylan Ragusin|
|#3 - Roman Bravo-Young (Jr., Tucson, AZ)||133||#2 Stevan Micic or Jack Medley|
|#2 - Nick Lee (Sr., Evansville, IN) OR Beau Bartlett (Fr., Tempe, AZ)||141||#20 Drew Mattin|
|#10 - Jarod Verkleeren (Jr., Greensburg, PA) OR Terrell Barraclough (Fr., Kaysville, UT) OR Luke Gardner (Sr., Pottsville, PA)||149||#6 Kanen Storr|
|#11 - Brady Berge (Jr., Mantorville, MN) OR Bo Pipher (Sr., Paonia, CO)||157||#8 Will Lewan|
|#6 - Joe Lee (Fr., Evansville, IN) OR Mason Manville (So., Lorton, VA)||165||#16 Cameron Amine|
|#5 - Carter Starocci (Fr., Erie, PA) OR Creighton Edsell (So., Wyalusing, PA)||174||#2 Logan Massa|
|#3 - Aaron Brooks (So., Hagerstown, MD)||184||#1 Myles Amine or Jaden Bullock or Other|
|#13 - Michael Beard (Fr., Pottstown, PA)||197||#1 Myles Amine or Andrew Davison or Other|
|#7 Seth Nevills (So., Clovis, CA)||285||#2 Mason Parris|
Ragusin kicked his Michigan career off with a bang in his opener, decking Rutgers’ Nick Aguilar with a big throw. He’s 3-0 and looking like a tough matchup.
If medically cleared, this would be the PSU debut for either Howard or Shunk. Which of the two would you give your Valentine to on Sunday?
When it comes to elite recruits who come to wrestle for Cael Sanderson, my heart wants to see them wrestle for Cael Sanderson. Is Robbie ready?
Stevan Micic has finished 4th (2017), 2nd (2018) and 3rd (2019) in his three trips to Nationals. Roman Bravo-Young finished 8th in his lone trip in 2019. The two have never met, but Micic is 20-3 vs common opponents, and RBY is 10-7, according to our friends at WrestleStat.
If Micic goes, we all get a Valentines treat. If Medley goes, Medley gets an RBY treat.
Drew Mattin was Michigan’s 125-pounder last year. This year, he gets Nick Lee.
Kanen Storr has been solid, if not spectacular, since leaving Kevin Dresser at Iowa State and joining Sean Bormet at Michigan.
Not spectacular is a mild way of describing Penn State’s 149-pound situation since Zain Retherford graduated. Cael quipped a few weeks ago, unprompted, regarding Beau Bartlett & Nick Lee: “maybe they both need to be in the lineup.”
I’ll guess seeing Bartlett at 149 this weekend will be unlikely. If I have 100 points to distribute out to likelihoods, I’ll give Gardner 50, Verkleeren & Barraclough 22 each, and Bartlett 6. This is not betting or investment advice.
Recipe for this bout courtesy of Swedish Chef Bardy: lots of center-mat battles in neutral, nobody rides or gets ridden much in the mat wrestling, and only a dash of scoring go into the crock pot. If you lift the lid to take a whiff, you’ll probably find that a lone takedown decides the winner.
p.s. Bardy is healthy!
Did you guys ever have to give Valentines to your brothers? My mom made us do that one year and you know the phrase: “there was no love lost”? We hastily put something together, threw it in the bag, then pretty quickly got back to wrestling. That’s what’s gonna happen here, in the Battle of the Brothers.
Joe Lee joins the PSU lineup with his older brother Nick. And Cameron Amine has joined the Wolverine lineup with, hopefully, his older brother Myles.
Both good, tough, young prospects hoping to make their marks THIS year.
Match of the Meet!
Logan Massa has been on a tear in the Senior circuit in Freestyle, where he’s in little danger of getting ridden, which he miggght be against Carter Starocci on Sunday. Hopefully, Starocci looks better-rested or less-fatigued or not-ill-looking or just healthier than he looked on the last road trip, fitness-wise.
Because this has potential to be an amazing Valentines spectacle.
A few weeks ago, The Mat Scout on Rokfin predicted Myles Amine would be at 197 when he returns, and this past week, former Michigan grappler Alex Pantaleo weighed in on a social media post of 197 rankings with something like “Myles Amine has entered the chat,” seeming to confirm the Mat Scout’s speculation (apologies for lack of source links—hustling and can’t find at the moment).
If so, bummer for Aaron Brooks, who misses out on one of the few opponents capable of giving him a real battle this year.
But, Bonus for the PSU team score in this dual!
I did succeed in this quick internet search, however.
Michael Beard looked pretty great in his lone outing this year, against Wisconsin’s struggling 197-pounder. Can he continue the momentum this week? Is there even such a thing as momentum in this start and stop, herky-jerky season?
If he faces Amine, can he take him down? Can he throw legs in & ride him on top? Can he get out from bottom?
So many questions! No predictions, just questions.
Seth Nevills is the guy. He’s healthy, heavy and has a good neutral attack rate.
Mason Parris has continued to evolve into Straight Beast, and so far looks to be sitting alone in 285’s Tier 2 (behind Gable Steveson, who sits alone in Tier 1).
Can Seth keep Parris off his legs? Can he muster scoring attacks of his own?
Swoon until we find out, dear wrestling fan!
And tune in Sunday to take in all the love.