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2010-2011 Pre-Season All American Predictions: 157 Pounds

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by , 10-20-2010 at 07:05 PM (1021 Views)

1. Steve Fittery (American)
2. Adam Hall (Boise State)
3. David Taylor (Penn State)
4. Colt Sponseller (Ohio State)
5. Jason Welch (Northwestern)
6. Jake Deitchler (Minnesota)
7. Bryce Saddoris (Navy)
8. Justin Lister (Binghamton)
R12. Justin Gaethje (Northern Colorado), Kurt Kinser (Indiana), Peter Yates (Virginia Tech), Dan Gonsor (Missouri)

1. Steve Fittery (American)
2. Bubba Jenkins (Arizona State)
3. Adam Hall (Boise State)
4. David Taylor (Penn State)
5. Colt Sponseller (Ohio State)
6. Jason Welch (Northwestern)
7. Jake Deitchler (Minnesota)
8. Derek St. John (Iowa)
R12. Trent Weatherman (Iowa State), Bryce Saddoris (Navy), Justin Lister (Binghamton), Paul Young (Indiana)

Steve Fittery is a guy who came into last season as a complete unknown, a D2 transfer from Shippensburg into a non-major school (although given the progress that they're making that term may soon be out of date) at American and at one point in the season looked poised to possibly run away with this weight class. People first learned his name last year when he beat Steve Brown at Northeast Duals when Brown was highly ranked at the time. He really announced himself though with his Midlands championship in December where he recorded a 10-0 major over Derek St. John, a 17-1 tech fall over Hadley Harrison, a 15-5 major over Keegan Davis, and then a fall in the finals over Jake Patacsil. Those wins really epitomized the season that he had overall, this guy is a bonus point machine. Very aggressive from the feet, but he's really at his best as a mat wrestler. Looks to hit big moves from the bottom, or work guys over with legs from the top. Other than his wins at Midlands he had another win over Hadley Harrison, this one by fall. He also had a pin over Matt Dragon. He had a pair of wins over Cyler Sanderson at the NCAA tournament with the second win coming by major. He recorded tech falls over Justin Gaethje and Kurt Kinser, he had majors over Jesse Dong, Justin Lister, and Dan Gonsor. Then he had a second win over Steve Brown, and a win over Bryce Saddoris. Had he not injured his knee in February of last year it would have been very interesting to see how far he could have gone at NCAA's.

Bubba Jenkins will likely wind up one of the most polarizing wrestlers in the country next year, and if people have had one criticism (either justly or unjustly) about him over the course of the year it was questioning his desire. It'll be really interesting to watch a guy with that as his only supposed weakness as he comes into next year as a guy who truly has something to prove. Had a banner year as a sophomore winning a Junior World championship in freestyle over the summer before coming into the season and making a run to the NCAA finals. Then as a junior he was ranked 2nd all year before going into NCAA's with some health issues and wound up not becoming an All American. Then he had his controversial short season and eventual departure last year from Penn State. In his short season last year he had a win over David Taylor. This summer he cut down to 66 kilos and won University Nationals in freestyle where he recorded a win over Tyler Nauman in the finals.

Adam Hall comes into this year as the highest returning placer and had he had a better go of things at World Team Trials I'd have likely picked him as my champion this summer and as a result would have had him as my champion here as well. He's a guy who really broke out last year in terms of opening up higher scores against his opponents en route to recording his first career All American finish. There really aren't a lot of secrets to his wrestling style. He's a guy who is going to come straight on with his attacks, look to beat guys up with his hand fighting and hit high percentage leg attacks or work his front headlocks. Did a nice job working on top at times last year with his half nelson series as he picked up pins with the series against lower level competition which wasn't something that he'd done in the past. Last year he had three wins over Keegan Davis including two of them by major, and then had a pair of wins over eventual NCAA runner up Chase Pami. He also had wins over Bryce Saddoris, Thomas Scotton, Tyson Reiner, Matt Moley, Steve Brown, Justin Lister, and Steve Fittery.

Having a real struggle between my head and my heart when it comes to deciding where to place David Taylor on this list. I feel good in terms of predicting him here, but I'm trying to fight the urge to stick him in the finals. Had a solid year last year as a redshirt recording wins over Darryl Cocozzo and Hadley Harrison, and then had an excellent summer wrestling freestyle made even more impressive by the fact that he's still a small 163 and the fact that freestyle for the most part takes away the position that Taylor is strongest at. He recorded wins over Seth Vernon, Matt Lester, Dallas Bailey, and Derek St. John in age group competition this summer. Has a great high crotch and knee pull single series from the feet, he looked better with it than I expected him to in watching him this summer. Great defensive scrambler from the feet. Then on top he's super tough with tilts or with his legs. He's a guy who is going to be one of the most talked about, if not the most talked about guy in the country next year but that's been basically standard operating procedure for Taylor since he entered high school so that shouldn't be a problem for him.

Sponseller is another guy who like Lou Ruggirello comes into this year looking to avoid the ignominious distinction of becoming one of the most accomplished guys ever not to become an All American. In looking to avoid that he's making the move down to 157 this year. Its been interesting to watch the evolution of his style through out the course of his college career. Going from the wide open wild man that he was as a freshman to the more controlled but still very physical and aggressive style that he wrestles from the feet now due to guys having adjusted to some of the positions that he's better at (lefty underhook) and the fact that he doesn't want to give points as easily as he did at times as a freshman. Last year he broke through at Big 10's finally beating Ryan Morningstar en route to a runner up finish to eventual NCAA champion Andrew Howe. Then at NCAA's he got bounced out in the quarters by Tyler Caldwell and then went down in the round of 12 to Nick Amuchastegui. Other than the win over Morningstar he also had wins over Shane Onufer, Justin Kerber, Dan Vallimont, and Paul Young. Wrestling freestyle this spring for the first time since he was in high school he won University Nationals recording wins over Jason Welch and Ethen Lofthouse in the process. In moving down he may be looking to alleviate the one problem in his style that has occasionally bitten him, that being unable to get off the bottom. He's a powerful wrestler anyway and with a bit of a size advantage down at 157 now it should help him when it comes to getting away from guys.

Given his redshirt season last year and the fact that he came out this spring and recorded some pretty unimpressive results in freestyle, Welch may be a guy that is able to fly under the radar for some people for a little while. He's one of the few guys though that I won't put much of any stock into their having struggled in freestyle as he's someone who while being a great wrestler has never been very good at freestyle extending all the way back to when he was in high school. He's got an aggressive funky style including a fantastic leg pass that he uses to defend shots and that's a series that doesn't really transfer well over to freestyle. He was a Big 10 finalist as an under sized true freshman finishing as a runner up to eventual NCAA runner up Mike Poeta. With another year under his belt which should allow him to get rid of the undersized label and get himself up onto the All American podium.

Jake Deitchler is a guy that we only saw at one tournament last year as a result of injuries and eligibility issues, he's got one of those problems cleared up for sure this year while another one exists as still kind of up in the air. News came in last year that he'd managed to get his 4th year back and that he'll come into this season as a freshman eligibility wise. There is conjecture floating around about concussion issues but there's been nothing concrete and from all I know he's ready to go this coming year. Last year at Midlands he made a run to the quarters recording wins over Daryl Cocozzo, and Tyson Reiner. In the quarters he ran into Jake Patacsil who gave him a little bit of a rude reintroduction to bottom wrestling in folkstyle as he recorded an 18-2 tech fall to send Deitchler into the consolations. It was there where he recorded his best win of the year when he pinned Steve Brown. His Greco background gives him an edge to his style that should serve him well against some guys since its not something that a lot of people will see. Even with the Greco background though he's a guy who has always had a great folkstyle pedigree so I don't really foresee any transition issues as he works his way back in as a full time starter this year.

Everything I would read from Iowa fans since last season ended seemed to indicate that they would really prefer to have St. John down here at 157 instead of up at 165 and while it took a while to confirm that he would be down here it seems as though its pretty much confirmed that he's going to spend a year down here before he moves up next year to make room for Nick Moore. Like Deitchler he had his best go of things last year at Midlands where he majored eventual Big 10 runner up Colton Salazar. He also had a win during the season over Trent Weatherman. This spring wrestling freestyle he had wins over David Taylor, Jason Welch, and Jake Kemerer. St. John is a guy who seems like a natural fit into the Iowa system so it should be interesting to see how he progresses this year. Very aggressive from the feet. His mat wrestling should in all likelihood tell the story when it comes to how far he goes this year.