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2010-2011 Pre-Season All American Predictions: 125 Pounds

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by , 10-14-2010 at 10:18 AM (1519 Views)
1. Matt McDonough (Iowa)
2. Brandon Precin (Northwestern)
3. Zach Sanders (Minnesota)
4. Anthony Robles (Arizona State)
5. Logan Stieber (Ohio State)
6. Frank Perrelli (Cornell)
7. James Nicholson (Old Dominion)
8. Brad Pataky (Penn State)
R12. Jarrod Patterson (Oklahoma), Jon Morrison (Oklahoma State), Anthony Zanetta (Pittsburgh), Ryak Finch (Iowa State)

1. Matt McDonough (Iowa)
2. Brandon Precin (Northwestern)
3. Zach Sanders (Minnesota)
4. Anthony Robles (Arizona State)
5. Logan Stieber (Ohio State)
6. Jarrod Garnett (Virginia Tech)
7. Frank Perrelli (Cornell)
8. James Nicholson (Old Dominion)
R12. Cashe Quiroga (Purdue), Nic Bedelyon (Kent State), Jason Lara (Oregon State), Jarrod Patterson (Oklahoma)

Like I said during the summertime, after the seven month run that McDonough had from last November through June its going to be pretty hard to justify picking someone to beat him here at this weight class at least at this point. Last year he came in as an unknown quality and just hit the ground running, going undefeated into the Big 10 finals where he'd lose his only match of the year to Angel Escobedo. Over the course of the season he beat in-state rival and eventual NCAA runner up Andrew Long four times including winning matches in the Midlands and finals and at National Duals where Long seemingly had him dead to rights. He had three wins last year over Zach Sanders including two of them by major. He had a pair of bonus point wins over both Cashe Quiroga (major and fall), and Jarrod Garnett (two majors). He majored Nikko Triggas, tech falled Jason Lara, and majored Chris Notte. He had a pair of wins over Ben Kjar, and then had a win apiece over Brad Pataky and Anthony Zanetta. I was critical of his prospects in freestyle even after his NCAA championship because I wondered if his style of shooting in and finishing shots once he was underneath guys wouldn't open him up to crotch lifts, and he proved me wrong there. He would get crotch lifted, but he was so tall he'd use his length to keep guys on their back after they rolled back to lift him and get the move scored two and two. He was able to use this technique to help get himself onto the Junior World team recording wins over Ian Paddock, Nate Moore, and FILA Juniors champion Nick Dardanes. Coming into this season there are three guys that McDonough hasn't wrestled yet at this weight class. I'll explore these match ups in detail when I get to them.

Precin redshirted last year after a season, or really an NCAA tournament especially where we saw him wrestle the best he ever had en route to placing 3rd. After Robles sent him into the consolations he won out over the rest of the weekend including a win over longtime rival Escobedo, and then beat Robles for 3rd. He hit up a couple of open tournaments last college season where he won matches over Eric Morrill, Anthony Zanetta, and Ben Kjar. He did drop a match in folkstyle, Andrew Long pinned him in the Midlands semi's. Where he really made his mark this year though was in freestyle competitions this spring. Where he recorded a pair of wins over both Zach Sanders, and Paul Donahoe. Then he also won matches over Sam Hazewinkel, and Logan Stieber. His performance at World Team Trials where he put beatings on both Sanders and Stieber made it pretty easy for me to put him in this position. As for how a possible match up would go with McDonough, I think the thing that would work against Precin is the fact that McDonough's "thing" (his ability to get to a leg and finish even if its ugly) is better than any one "thing" that Precin has in his arsenal.

I came into last year projecting Zach Sanders to be one of the most improved wrestlers in the country. On that line of thinking, back when Charlie Falck was in college I would always refer to him using the Denny Green quote "he is who we think he is" and based off of what we've seen from Sanders so far during his college career you might be able to make the argument that that statement would fit pretty well with him now. He's not a very big 125 and he never really will be. Very active on his feet and is able to utilize a variety of attacks. Not great on top, but works hard there and can score points and get riding time. Can be ridden. This was the book on him as a freshman, and it was the book on him last year as well. That's not necessarily a bad thing as that book has carried him to two All American finishes so far during his career and doesn't seem to show any signs of dropping off. Last year he had three wins apiece over both Cashe Quiroga and Nikko Triggas. He beat James Nicholson in a wild match at the All Star Classic. Then he had other wins over Chris Notte, Matt Steintrager, Brad Pataky, and Jason Lara. He also beat Bedelyon this summer in freestyle.

Just looking at his All American placement last year one may assume that Anthony Robles may have fallen off from his sophomore year but it really isn't the case. A year ago he was just as good, if not better than he was when he put up the 4th place finish as a sophomore and if Troy Nickerson doesn't get upset by Fred Santaite then Robles in all likelihood has a match up with Brad Pataky in the consolation quarters which would have provided him a much more favorable chance at advancing through to Saturday morning's consolation semi round. Last year he continued his trend of putting up big bonus point victories recording a fall over Ross Gitomer, tech falls over Jarrod Patterson, and Jason Lara (had another win by decision), and majors over Nikko Triggas (had another win by decision), Michael Martinez (had another win by decision), and Ben Kjar. He had a pair of early season wins over Chris Notte, and then had arguably his most impressive win of the year when he beat eventual NCAA runner up Andrew Long 12-10 in a wild match in their dual meet. Robles was down big going into the third period but came back and turned Long three times in the third for the win. Its his surreal ability from top, his "thing" as it were that makes a possible match up with Matt McDonough so interesting. Robles's ability from the top, and the fact that there is a lot of McDonough for him to grab onto if he gets to that position makes Robles the guy who in my opinion has the best shot at upending the defending champion.

While a Robles v. McDonough match is the one that I see as the most likely to go against the reigning champion the possible Stieber v. McDonough match will probably be the one that is most talked about given the still semi simmering rivalry between Iowa and Ohio State and the fact that Stieber is the unknown quality in folkstyle here at this weight class coming in this season as the fresh out of high school #1 overall recruit. While his performance against the guys in this weight class is unknown in folkstyle he actually has a deep history with many of the wrestlers that he'll be sharing the mats with in freestyle. He had his first encounter when he beat a redshirting at the time Zach Sanders in the FILA Junior finals when he was just a sophomore in high school. Since making the jump to the Senior events as a high school junior he's beaten Michael Martinez twice, he pinned Brad Pataky which is doubly impressive because of how good Pataky is at freestyle, then he also had wins over Dan Mitcheff and Sam Hazewinkel. Perhaps his most interesting result in freestyle came in a match that he actually lost. Two years ago as a high school junior Stieber took the first period from Obe Blanc 6-0 an actually out scored him through out the entirety of the match despite Blanc winning periods two and three.

Despite the fact that his Round of 12 performance exceeded what he did as a true freshman, Jarrod Garnett seemed to have a bit of a quieter season last year. He got himself banged up during Virginia Tech's wrestle offs so Dresser used him kind of sparingly over the first half of the season before working him back into the line up full time after the new year. Last year he beat his in-state rival Ross Gitomer four times. He had a fall over Pataky, and then assorted wins over Cashe Quiroga and Jason Lara. How his regularly season performance coupled with his ACC title left him as an unseeded wrestler at NCAA's still puzzles me. The lack of seed really didn't faze him though as he came in and destroyed Zach Sanders in the first round winning 17-7 and then knocked off Michael Martinez in the next round before losing to McDonough in the quarters and then surprisingly losing a one point match to Triggas in the Round of 12.

Projecting Frank Perrelli to finish 7th in the nation might seem a little high given that he's spent his first two seasons at Cornell as a second string wrestler, but when you look at the fact that he was sitting behind Troy Nickerson you can kind of excuse the fact that he wasn't in the line up there. Perrelli has arguably been a top 12 in the nation guy as Nickerson's back up each of the last two years. He's a 2x defending Body Bar champion putting up a nice solid win each year beating Steve Mytych two years ago, and Michael Martinez last year. Perrelli also won University Nationals this spring putting up wins over Anthony Zanetta and Jon Morrison in the process.

The past two seasons have gone pretty similar for James Nicholson since he came out and recorded an All American finish as a freshman. He's wrestled in the All Star Classic both years, and then gone on to record solid regular seasons. This past year he had wins over Nikko Triggas, Frank Perrelli, Matt Steintrager, Michael Martinez, and Chris Notte. The issue is that after those solid regular seasons he's come into the NCAA tournament, gotten upset and missed out on becoming an All American going out in the quarterfinals to Zach Sanders two years ago and then losing this past year in the first round to Cashe Quiroga.


  1. goferphan's Avatar
    Shane, GREAT write-up!
  2. Schlottke's Avatar
    Good read!