2010-2011 Summer All American Predictions: 141
by, 06-14-2010 at 08:33 AM (690 Views)
Moving Kid Dynamite up to 149, that's about the only change of note here.
1. Jordan Oliver (Oklahoma State)
2. Kellen Russell (Michigan)
3. Jimmy Kennedy (Illinois)
4. Tyler Nauman (Pittsburgh)
5. Mike Thorn (Minnesota)
6. Zack Bailey (Oklahoma)
7. Chris Diaz (Virginia Tech)
8. Chris Villalonga (Cornell)
R12. Germane Lindsey (Ohio), Michael Mangrum (Oregon State), Filip Novachkov (Cal Poly), Colin Palmer (Ohio State)
It'll be interesting to see if Oliver moving up will cure the supposed offensive woes that he had last year. I mentioned Graff in terms of being the most technical guy in the country with a single one of his attacks, if we're labeling someone as most technical due to sheer number of attacks that they have in their arsenal the guy you've got to look to there is probably Oliver. His only competition since the season ended was a Junior WTT's where he made the challenge tournament final but lost to Jason Chamberlain who was just too big for him. I've also mentioned that I fully expect him to take up the mantle of "Most Unpopular Wrestler" now that most of the more popular whipping boys have graduated.
While I think it might be better for Michigan's team were Russell to go up to 149 and let Eric Grajales slide into the line up here it probably is better for Russell as an individual to stay as even with a year off he never was the biggest guy at 141. He'll come into next season as a 2x Big 10 Champion, he's a guy who wrestled a lot of quality opponents during his two years of competition and there really wasn't anyone of note at the weight over those two years that he didn't beat at least once. Kind of has a rich man's Kyle Ruschell style as he does a lot of the same things that Ruschell did, great scrambling on shot defense, great on top with the legs but unlike Ruschell he's better with his own offense.
Kennedy was a guy who I thought would see a lot of success up at this weight last year before the decision was made to redshirt him. He was a Midlands finalist last year in his only really high profile competition, beating Joe Slaton en route to the finals. Should be a lot of fun next year to see him battle it out with Russell and Thorn through out the course of the Big 10 season.
Nauman came out last year like a bat out of hell as he picked up big wins over the early part of the season. In the middle part of the season he cooled off a lot picking up some unsavory losses before picking it up at the end of the year to win his conference and to crash the semi's at NCAA's before going down in a tight match to Montel Marion. He's a guy who I think has a much more consistent season over the course of this year. Very explosive wrestler he's a guy who does a lot with big moves. I mention this all the time but two years ago he was a finalist in the weirdest tournament bracket of all time (141 at 08 Vegas). That's where he really announced himself to everyone.
Speaking of guys who have become more consistent Mike Thorn is a guy who really pulled that off last year. Much like two years ago he started the season off really hot, unlike two years ago he didn't go .500 over the second half of the season and limp into NCAA's instead he won the Big 10 over Humphrey. Despite his All American finish last year he did finish below his seed after getting upset early in the tournament and that's why despite my being a big fan of his I've got him a little low here. He's a guy who loves big scrambles both offensively and defensively and that can get him in trouble sometimes. Another things that can get him in trouble and should also put him in competition with Oliver for the "Most Unpopular" title is his at times explosive temper.
While Bailey did finish above Thorn last year and did beat him en route to doing so I've got him down lower primarily because of Bailey's tendency to keep his matches close and I think the guys that I put above him all are at or will get to the point where they're able to find the points necessary to knock Bailey off. He was one of only two guys last year to defeat eventual NCAA Champion Kyle Dake splitting 3-2 matches with him at the Las Vegas tournament. Was upset early in the NCAA tournament last year by Seth Ciasulli in a close match before picking his way through the consolation bracket.
Chris Diaz was a guy who seemingly had a little bit more of an under the radar season last year than he did two years ago he's a guy who is just solid in all positions. Went on a major win streak during the dual meet portion of the year winning 17 straight matches before losing to Krom in the ACC finals. He'd avenge that loss at NCAA's where he'd send Krom home. At NCAA's he's another guy like Bailey who got upset in the first round or two but was able to pick his way back through the consolation bracket. Beat #2 seed Jamal Parks to become an All American before going down to Lindsey and Thorn to finish 8th.
This is one especially with Kid Dynamite's success last year seems like almost too easy of a pick. Koll has gotten freshmen onto the podium five years in a row and of the guys he has coming in this year I like Villalonga to make it six straight for him here. He's a guy who has faced tough competition through out the course of his career at Blair so he's very college ready. Physically he looks ready to go as well he's not a guy who looks like he's going to be sucked out at 141 and he isn't a guy who looks like he's going to be overwhelmed either. There will be some pressure going along with supposedly filling Dake's shoes but with Cornell's room situation I think Villalonga will do well to live up to it next year.