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2010-2011 Pre-Season All American Predictions: 149 Pounds

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by , 10-18-2010 at 07:07 PM (827 Views)


1. Darrion Caldwell (NC State)
2. Kyle Dake (Cornell)
3. Bubba Jenkins (Arizona State)
4. Frank Molinaro (Penn State)
5. Kevin LeValley (Bucknell)
6. Jason Chamberlain (Boise State)
7. Torsten Gillespie (Edinboro)
8. Desi Green (Buffalo)
R12. Cole Schmitt (Wisconsin), Jamal Parks (Oklahoma State), Donnie Vinson (Binghamton), Mario Mason (Rutgers)

1. Darrion Caldwell (NC State)
2. Kyle Dake (Cornell)
3. Frank Molinaro (Penn State)
4. Kevin LeValley (Bucknell)
5. Jason Chamberlain (Boise State)
6. Jamal Parks (Oklahoma State)
7. Mario Mason (Rutgers)
8. Torsten Gillespie (Edinboro)
R12. Kurt Kinser (Indiana), Brian Stephens (Virginia Tech), Danny Zilverburg (Minnesota), Dylan Carew (Iowa)

Caldwell comes into this season with one big question mark hanging over his head. Is he going to be healthy? If he is healthy and is able to wrestle a full or mostly full schedule then he's probably the pre-season Hodge favorite. With him not having wrestled last year personally I wonder if people are going to just focus on the upset win over Metcalf in the NCAA finals and forget about the fact that he killed everyone at NCAA's that year winning all of his matches up until the finals by bonus points. Once in the finals he put up the now famous win over Metcalf where he executed one of the best one match game plans in a long time keeping Metcalf off balance with his upper body offense, using his funk and flexibility to counter Metcalf's shots, and then riding him hard from the top.

Dake comes up to 149 after taking the world by storm down at 141 last year only losing two matches all year (both in December at the Las Vegas tournament) en route to an NCAA championship as a true freshman. Last year he had two wins over Alex Krom, two over Reece Humphrey, two over Todd Schavrien, two over Levi Jones, and other wins over Zach Bailey, Chris Drouin, Nick Nelson, Germaine Lindsey, Mike Thorn, Cole Schmitt, Seth Ciasulli, Dalton Jensen, and Montell Marion. What interests me about Dake this coming season is that looking at his style last year I think he wrestled a very similar style to the last guy before him to win a title as a true freshman Dustin Schlatter. Both guys liked to work out of low stances which allowed them to do a great job at dictating match pace. Both guys were excellent with upper body short offense, with throw by's and duck unders. Both guys showed unreal defensive scrambling. And finally both guys were very tough on top and used that ability to shorten matches. Dake didn't score as many points as Schlatter did but he was tough there. What will be interesting going forward is to see if Dake's opponents try and make any adjustments to try and counter the fact that he hasn't shown a specific leg attack in matches that he's able to get against everyone.

Might be short changing Molinaro putting him down here at #3. He's definitely got a shot at the finals given that all of the guys that beat him last year have since vacated the weight class. Moving up last year did him a world of good as he was markedly more consistent than he was as a freshman. He's a guy that is at his best working from the feet, he likes to take a lot of shots and beat guys up from the feet. Last year he had three wins over Torsten Gillespie, two wins over Mario Mason, two over Brian Stephens, and then other wins over Josh Roosa, Jason Chamberlain, Kyle Ruschell, and Donnie Vinson. There is one big reason why I've got Molinaro down here right now rather than in the finals. Guys who are good from the top can keep him down on the mat. This wasn't as big an issue last year as it was when he was a freshman but Lance Palmer and Kyle Ruschell especially took advantage of this fact in their matches against Molinaro last year. I think Caldwell and Dake are able to use their ability on top to win their matches against Molinaro.

LeValley first got his name out on the scene last year in a match that he lost. Most people hadn't heard of him until he held Metcalf to a 3-2 loss in an early season dual meet. As the season wore on though he definitely proved that there was more to his game though than a guy who just loses close. While he's not a super dynamic offensive guy he's able to use his length on the feet to control the ties and snag his points where they're available. He's a very flexible guy and he's able to use that to his advantage when it comes to defending other guys attacks and turning them into points for himself. Last year he had three wins over Peter Yates, two wins over Kyle Borshoff, twp wins over Mitch Mueller, and then other wins over Josh Roosa, Matt Kyler, Barrett Abel, and Cesar Grajales. He's a guy who is probably at his best from the top position and he made that really apparent this summer wrestling freestyle when he absolutely destroyed Jimmy Kennedy in the University World Team finals. He also had a win over J. Jaggers in the process of making the University team.

I had Jason Chamberlain as my breakout guy in this weight class coming into the year last year. While he had a solid regular season he got beat out at his conference tournament, and then while he made the quarterfinals at NCAA's knocking off LeValley in the process he was the victim of a brutal pin by Lance Palmer and then wound up going down in the Round of 12. He's a guy who hasn't quite gotten to the point where he's able to take guys down consistently with his own leg attacks. Last year he had four wins over RJ Pena, two wins over Barrett Abel, two wins over Kevin LeValley including the already mentioned one at NCAA's and then wins over Torsten Gilespie and Brian Stephens. This summer he beat Jordan Oliver to make the Junior World team for the second year in a row.

Jamal Parks moves up to this weight class after a tough couple of years down at 141. He came into NCAA'a last year as the #2 seed but got knocked off in the quarters by Tyler Nauman and then was eliminated in the Round of 12 by Chris Diaz. He's a guy who has always been a very big 141 pounder and it'll be interesting to see if this move up in weight is able to lend some more consistency to his wrestling. When he's on he's tough from all three positions, when he's not on he isn't quite as active as usual from the feet and then he's not active at all from the bottom. That lack of activity on bottom was best put on display last year when Montell Marion rode him like crazy en route to an upset win in the dual meet, winning a match that basically swung the dual to Iowa. Last year he had wins over Kendric Maple, Zach Bailey, Mike Thorn, Chris Drouin, Seth Ciasulli, Dalton Jensen, Todd Schavrien, Juan Archuleta, and Derek Valenti.

Mario Mason comes in this year looking to replicate the success that Cory Cooperman had after going to Minnesota and then transferring back east. Cooperman wound up a 3x All American at Lehigh and Mason is a guy that if he has it going is easily talented enough to replicate that success. He'll have Cooperman in the room with him every day this year at Rutgers so he'll be able to learn first hand from the guy who has already done it. He's a guy that likes to work out in space and try and hit low singles and duck unders and that kind of bit him last year wrestling against the guys in the Big 10 like Metcalf, Palmer, and Molinaro who really looked to stay in tight and beat guys up. Kind of like Sonny Yohn for the Gophers two years ago he missed the first part of the season with an injury and that really seemed to set him back. Early on he had to work on his conditioning, although not to the point that Yohn did. Once he got his conditioning under him he was behind where other guys at the weight were in terms of working their offense.

Gillespie comes into this season as a guy who pulled off a major league surprise All American finish last year coming in unseeded and eventually finishing 6th recording two big wins in the process over Kyle Ruschell and Kyle Borshoff. Other than the wins at NCAA's he had three wins last year over Josh Roosa, and a couple of wins over James Fleming. The second win over Fleming coming in the EWL finals where he put one of his big strengths on display the ability to stay on guys legs through a scramble and eventually finish a takedown. That's an ability that served him well through out the year especially in his win over Ruschell who was well known for his ability to scramble with guys in on his legs.