Buckeye weight breakdown
This is from the Buckeye media guide. Not a bad little synopsis. Interesting quote about Colt from Ryan.
Returning in 2009-10 is two-time NCAA qualifier Nikko Triggas. A true junior, Triggas has matured significantly, Ryan said. Realizing how hard he has to work to be successful on the collegiate level, it has been a learning process for Triggas, but great things should result this upcoming season.
Challenging Triggas for the starting role are Bo Touris and Pat Zamaria. Both redshirt-sophomores wrestled in several open tournaments last season.
Absent from this weight class for the Buckeyes is 2009 NCAA and Big Ten runner-up Reece Humphrey, who will move up to 141 pounds. Now is the opportunity for returnees and newcomers alike to separate themselves and earn the starting nod.
Returning contenders are Garrett Henry and Pat Harrington. Harrington, who has spent the past two seasons wrestling in open tournaments at 125 pounds, received the start against Indiana last year at 133 pounds. Henry garnered Top 6 finishes in three open tournaments last season as a freshman.
True freshman Ian Paddock from Warsaw, N.Y., immediately will be thrown into the mix of competitors. Paddock is a three-time New York state champion as a four-time finalist.
"This is a brutal weight class nationally and in the Big Ten," Ryan said. "We definitely need someone at this weight to step up."
There is no question it can be difficult following in the footsteps of a two-time national champion, but Reece Humphrey, a NCAA and Big Ten runner-up at 133 pounds is not concerned.
"Reece Humphrey moves up with one goal in mind," Ryan said. "He wants to take this weight class after finishing second the year before and he will not be happy until he does."
A team co-captain, Humphrey has mentally matured Ryan said.
Challenging Humphrey is someone with a familiar last name. True freshman Collin Palmer, the younger brother of senior Lance Palmer, will begin his collegiate campaign at 141 pounds. Also, like the elder Palmer, Collin concluded his high school career as a four-time Ohio High School state champion and was considered the No. 1 recruit in the country by several publications.
Speaking of Lance Palmer, in his final season, he will potentially wrap up his Buckeye career as a four-time All-American. Only Tommy Rowlands (2001-2004) can boast such an achievement in Ohio State wrestling history. Lacking from Palmer's resume, however, is a national title, and he knows this is his last shot to stand at the top of that podium.
True freshman and 145-pound Ohio High School state tournament runner-up Mike Fee will back up Palmer.
After redshirting his freshman season, Sean Nemec saw sporadic starting action throughout his 2008-09 campaign. This upcoming season, much will be expected of Nemec and according to Ryan, he has all the potential in the world. Ryan and the rest of the coaching staff are looking for a huge breakout season from the sophomore who compiled 26 wins last year.
Several others are vying for the starting role at 157 pounds in Tony Jameson, Jared Kusar and AJ Agazarm.
"Colt Sponseller holds the key to the national title for the Buckeyes."
A direct quote from Ryan, sometimes coaches hate putting that kind of pressure on their wrestlers, but if anyone can handle that expectation, Sponseller can. A frequent participant in voluntary summer workouts, Sponseller arguably will compete in the toughest weight class this season. However, he has worked on a few of his lesser strengths, Ryan said.
Two-time NCAA qualifier Dave Rella will return at 174 pounds. In his senior campaign and second with the Buckeyes, Rella will be challenged by true freshman Nick Heflin, the 2009 Ohio High School State Tournament Champion at 171 pounds.
Back for his final season, senior Mike Pucillo will seek to regain the national title he won in 2008. Like Lance Palmer, Pucillo has the potential to become just the second (or third) four-time All- American in Ohio State wrestling history.
Learning from Pucillo's tactics and success will be freshman Peter Capone, the 2008 New York state champion at 152 pounds.
Ryan constantly speaks to the intangibles that will make a team triumphant. It is Cody Magrum's commitment, heart and passion that will be his best assets Ryan said.
Recording a 17-6 record as a redshirt-freshman in open tournament action at 174 and 184 pounds, Magrum may find it challenging moving up to 197 pounds. However, as long as he returns to the intangibles, he may find success will soon follow.
A hotly contested weight class for the Buckeyes, returnee and NCAA qualifier Corey Morrison will compete for the starting nod against sophomore Johnny Hiles.
Coming out of a redshirt season, Morrison earned his first NCAA championships berth in 2009. Hiles was a regular at open tournaments as a freshman.
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