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2010-2011 Pre-Season All American Predictions: 133 Pounds

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by , 10-15-2010 at 04:19 PM (770 Views)

1. Tyler Graff (Wisconsin)
2. Andrew Hochstrasser (Boise State)
3. Andrew Long (Iowa State)
4. Boris Novachkov (Cal Poly)
5. Jarrod Garnett (Virginia Tech)
6. Mike Grey (Cornell)
7. Lou Ruggirello (Hofstra)
8. Scott Sentes (Central Michigan)
R12. Nikko Triggas (Ohio State), Michael Martinez (Wyoming), David Thorn (Minnesota), Nic Bedelyon (Kent State)

1. Tyler Graff (Wisconsin)
2. Andrew Hochstrasser (Boise State)
3. Jordan Oliver (Oklahoma State)
4. Mike Grey (Cornell)
5. Lou Ruggirello (Hofstra)
6. Eric Grajales (Michigan)
7. Scott Sentes (Central Michigan)
8. Filip Novachkov (Cal Poly)
R12. Kelly Kubec (Oregon State), Michael Martinez (Wyoming), Nate Moore (Iowa), Eric Morrill (Edinboro)

I think Tyler Graff is one of if not the breakout superstar of this coming year. Last year it was acknowledged that he was a tough guy, an exciting guy to watch but this year I think he makes the leap into the strata of the most popular wrestlers in the country across a broad spectrum of fan bases. As a technician he's arguably the best in the entire country from the neutral position. His singles that he hits are absolute things of beauty. His front headlock is fundamentally sound, always staying tight with his arms and always burying his head. The one position where he still needs to make the leap is from on top. He showed flashes there last year but there is no reason why he should be TD tech falling guys. Luckily he's got a great coach to help him refine his top game in Jared Frayer who helped take Brent Metcalf from a guy who was struggling to put even lower level guys to their back to the guy who wound up with over 40 pins over his last two seasons. Last year Graff beat Steve Bell three times including twice by major, one of those majors being an absolute demolition in the Midlands finals. He also had wins over Kelly Kubec, Dave Marble, Steve Mytych, Kyle Hutter, Nick Fanthorpe, Scott Sentes, Ian Paddock, Mike Grey, Boris Novachkov, and Dan Mitcheff. This spring in freestyle he posted another string of solid results collecting wins over Rollie Peterkin, Reece Humphrey, David Thorn, Kyle Hutter again, and Nate Moore.

If you're looking for the guy who wound up being struck the worst by circumstances last year, Andrew Hochstrasser is probably your guy. Came into the year ranked #3 in the country and considered a legitimate national title contender behind Franklin Gomez and Jayson Ness after splitting with Ness the prior year. He had his first patch of bad luck early when he injured his knee in a match that he'd win by utilizing his veteran experience in scrambles in a dual meet against Tyler Graff. After sitting out the majority of the first half of the season he came back at National Duals and absolutely stole another match against Graff. He went down early but worked his way back and then won the match late with a couple of super cheap turns from the top. Other than the two wins against Graff he also beat Kelly Kubec and Mike Grey.

While I'm not renouncing my membership on the Jordan Oliver bandwagon, I've at least pulled off to the side of the road and let someone else take the reigns for a while. Coming into last year I predicted him to finish 4th in the country. Last year at NCAA's he finished 4th in the country. Yet I (and many others even more so than I) was underwhelmed by a lot of his results, while he did a great job last year and was very successful he never showed signs of the wrecking machine that he was in freestyle the summer before or when he was younger. Those issues seemed to be easily attributable to the weight cut that he was making to get down to 133 as you could tell just by looking at him last year that he had become large for the weight class. Coming into this year I've said, and I'll say again. If he was at 141 I'd be predicting him to be an undefeated NCAA champion. As it is, he's not at 141 and despite the assurances from John Smith that he's "living the life" (as Iowa fans would say) he's here for now. Last year he had a pair of wins over both Boris Novachkov and Nick Fanthorpe, the second win over Fanthorpe coming in the Big 12 finals primarily as a result of four points that Oliver picked up from hitting the "Jermaine Jones" move. He also had wins over Brandon Low, Dave Marble, and Daniel Dennis in a match where Dennis went into "push but don't shoot" mode and Oliver was able to capitalize with a throw by takedown at the buzzer.

At this point we start to get into the up in the air section of this weight and Mike Grey is the guy headlining here. Grey came in last year seemingly committed to 133 and as a result had a much more consistent regular season. Over the first half of the year despite the consistency he was kind of under the radar but then he reemerged on the national stage with an absolutely torrid performance at National Duals where he majored both Steve Bell and Ian Paddock, and then put up a 6-0 shut out win over Tyler Graff. He beat Dave Marble twice including once by major, he also recorded two wins over Matt Fisk. He majored Kelly Kubec, and then had other assorted wins over Steve Mytych and Kendric Maple, As has been the case with Grey since his freshman year you don't really know what you're going to get out of him on a match to match basis, but when he's on he's one of the toughest guys in the country. As it is I like him to take advantage of a pretty cleared out weight class and get himself up onto the podium again.

Ruggirello is one of several guys on the list looking to avoid the label as one of the best never to become an All American. He redshirted last year and didn't wrestle much. The only place we really saw him at was the Midlands tournament wrestling up at 141. At the tournament he beat eventual NCAA finalist Montell Marion, and then also recorded wins over Seth Ciasulli, Ryan Prater, and Todd Schavrien. The win over Schavrien was a fall. The book on Ruggirello has been the same ever since the torrid start of his sophomore year where he pinned Tyler McCormick in his first match of the year, shut out Mack Reiter at the All Star Classic, and beat eventual NCAA champion Coleman Scott to vault himself up into the #1 ranking in the country at the time. An absolute killer on top. Can tie you up with legs but likes to finish matches off with some brutal double arm bars. Can be beaten on the feet. Its going to be his neutral position, specifically any advancements that he was able to make there during his redshirt year that will tell the tale as to whether or not he's able to become an All American during his senior season.

Grajales comes in here as the first guy in these predictions that some might consider a reach. Its been up in the air for a while now (ever since Kellen Russell confirmed that he was staying at 141) as to whether or not you'd see Grajales in the Wolverines line up here at 133 or up at 149. Personally I thought he was an All American at either weight. Grajales didn't wrestle any folkstyle matches this past year, we saw him wrestle for the first time in nearly a year and a half when he showed up at University Nationals at 66 kilos back in April where he was solid recording a big win over 2010 All American Kevin LeValley (who is no slouch at freestyle) but not placing. He's in a weight class in the Big 10 that's kind of up in the air with a lot of young new starters behind Tyler Graff who sits as a solid favorite. I'm of the logic that Grajales was better than all these guys coming into school, and he's in a great situation at Michigan with Kellen Russell so until proven otherwise I'm giving him the nod over them here.

Sentes was a guy who came into last year as potentially one of the breakout stars of the season after coming in getting on the All American podium as a true freshman and then summarily moving up to 133. He started the year off looking every bit that potential star highlighted by another terrific performance at the Northeast Duals where he recorded a brutal fall over eventual All American Steve Bell. He also recorded wins over Tyler Graff, Dan Mitcheff, and Brandon Low through out the course of the year. The thing that Sentes seemed to has issues with last year which seemingly prevented him from becoming an All American for the second time was taking down larger guys at 133. I commented on Matt McDonough's great ability to both stop his opponent's attempts at scoring and eventually score himself once he gets to a leg, and Sentes is just behind him in terms of being adept at using his length to tie a guy up once he's underneath and eventually score. Where Sentes seems to have trouble though is the process of actually getting to the leg in good position to eventually suck the leg in and finish. Whether that's something that is fixed through taking better angles on his shots, or its something that he's just going to have to deal with remains to be seen.

Filip Novachkov finishes us off here after the news that he and his brother are switching weight classes for the coming season. When I first heard it, it seemed bizarre especially given the brother's success a year ago and to be quite honest now that I've had time to think about it, its still bizarre. Filip emerged onto the scene last year when he made the finals at the Las Vegas tournament upsetting Juan Archuleta, Levi Jones, and eventual 2010 All Americna Chris Diaz en route to the finals where he'd go down in a wild match to Reece Humphrey. He had pins over Zach Bailey and Todd Schavrien, and a tech fall over Chris Drouin (had a second win over him as well) in dual matches last year. He majored Michael Mangrum, and also recorded wins over Adin Duenas, Jamal Parks, and Dalton Jensen. Biggest thing determining Filip's success this season will be how he handles getting back down to 133. He's not a guy who relies on using strength to impose himself on guys so even if he has struggles with his weight early in the year he may be able to just make do.[/QUOTE]