2010-2011 Summer All American Predictions: 197
by, 06-16-2010 at 05:07 PM (657 Views)
1. Cam Simaz (Cornell)
2. Trevor Brandvold (Wisconsin)
3. Clayton Foster (Oklahoma State)
4. Sonny Yohn (Minnesota)
5. Anthony Biondo (Michigan)
6. Cayle Byers (George Mason)
7. Jerome Ward (Iowa State)
8. Michael Salopek (Virginia)
R12. Riley Orozco (Cal State Bakersfield), Matt Wilps (Pittsburgh), Logan Brown (Purdue), Micah Burak (Penn)
Through out the course of the season last year I think most people (I did anyway) had Cam Simaz as the solid #4 guy at the weight class behind the top tier of Varner and Brester, then the solid #3 in Hudson Taylor. Simaz kind of threw a wrench into that whole idea with his 4-2 overtime win over Taylor for 3rd at NCAA's. He came out two years ago and was an All American as a freshman despite the fact that he was wrestling as one of the smaller guys at the weight. Last year he came in bigger and that showed off in the overall quality and consistency in his wrestling. He's a guy who's just relentless. He had many a match last year that he broke open in the third period with TD's when the guy he was wrestling just got tired. With the way he wrestled last year you've got to have him as a pretty definitive favorite here for the time being given that four of his six losses last year came to Varner and Taylor who aren't around anymore.
Brandvold came out last year after taking a redshirt season as yet another guy who was much more consistent than he had been before taking the year off. He's a guy that is pretty tall and he always looked like he was pulling quite a bit of weight to get down to 184. He wound up winning the Big 10 last year over a close but pretty even field only losing one match over the course of the season to a Big 10 opponent. Very methodical in his wrestling, he doesn't blow guys out but he keeps himself in the match and scratches out his points when he needs to get them. Tough wrestler on the mat.
Foster comes back up to 197 this season after taking a brief sojourn down to 184 where he wound up earning his first All American finish of his career. He's a guy who seemed like was finally able to show that he was actually a very smooth and polished guy from the neutral position once he was able to come up against guys who weren't bigger than him. He definitely put more points on the board last year than he had in years prior. Made Sonny Yohn look slow en route to majoring him in an early season dual match. Actually beat eventual NCAA champion Max Askren for the Big 12 title last year in a wild finals match. Sent Mike Pucillo home at NCAA's in a close match in the round of 12.
Sonny Yohn was a bit of a surprise last year as a Big 10 finalist and eventual All American finishing 7th despite seemingly not having a leg attack that he was really comfortable hitting against top level guys. He'd come in with some great body fakes that would get the guy to react but rather than shoot he would look to slip around behind while they were still on the feet and then return to the mat from there. He's at his best on top with his leg rides where he's one of the better guys in the country from that position. To be honest given his occasional issues on the feet last year especially against the top level guys he really impressed me this spring in his freestyle matches winning University Nationals and then winning a battle in his three match series against Burak who is tough in the style.
Biondo seems to finally be situated at a weight class having gone from 197 down to 184 then back up to 197 last year where he saw his most successful year as a collegian en route to making the Round of 12. Like Yohn he's a guy who is ok from the feet, its not his best position but he's probably at his beat when he's on top working with his leg rides to either turn the guy or to at least shorten matches and sap his opponents of energy to make it easier for him to find TD's for himself. Spent most of last year ranked in the 10-12'ish range. Took a tough loss last year to Luke Lofthouse in a match where his issues from the feet kind of snake bit him.
Byers was a guy who I thought would come out last year and have a good season but wound up taking a redshirt year which may or may not wind up benefiting him. He's a guy who's able to score with big moves as he had quite a few entertaining matches with Hudson Taylor two years ago, nearly all of which ended with one of the two guys getting pinned. Bounced Foster out of the championship bracket at NCAA's two years ago before losing back to back matches to Brester and Taylor to miss out on becoming an All American.
Ward had himself an up and down year last season with the fluctuations depending on just how much he decided to move during his matches. If he got to his offense which he seemed to do with minimal effort when he actually decided to go to it, he won as evidenced by his two big wins over his in-state rival Phil Keddy, and his wins over Mike Miller and Mike Pucillo. When he didn't go to his offense he either didn't win (he lost his wrestle off) or won close but ugly matches against guys who he probably should have beaten worse. He's a guy who was very big the last two years at 184 being forced down there as a result of the Cyclones having 2x NCAA Champion Jake Varner up at 197. Has always done a great job utilizing his length and his strength to keep scores down at 184 even in the matches that he lost. I think the 13 extra pounds that he won't have to cut this year will help alleviate the concrete feet that he tended to suffer from down at 184.
Last but not least here at this weight we have Salopek who had a nice year last year for Virginia where he won the ACC down at 184 but then wound up getting the worst draw of perhaps anyone in the entire country at NCAA's as he drew Keddy in the first round in a match where the loser would have to wrestle the loser of the Pucillo/Miller pigtail. With the great situation he has in his wrestling room with Henrich and super recruit Fausey covering the weights below him I think he repeats as ACC champion this year and then makes his way onto the podium.