Jake Varner named Rev Freshman of the Year
By any measure, Jake Varner had an incredible freshman season at Iowa State. A 29-7 record. A 2007 Big 12 finalist. A 2007 NCAA finalist.
The 184-pound Cyclone topped off a tremendous rookie season by claiming Rev Freshman of the Year honors for 2007. Each year, this award is given to the nation's top freshman wrestler across all divisions of college competition, and is determined by a vote of RevWrestling.com writers and executives.
This is the second honor bestowed this season on the Iowa State wrestling program by RevWrestling.com. Two weeks ago, Cael Sanderson was named Rev Coach of the Year.
"Jake Varner was a big reason that Iowa State was a contender for the national title going into the final night," said RevWrestling.com staff writer William Koe. "His win over Roger Kish in the NCAA semifinals was shocking and also deserving of the award for RevWrestling.com's Freshman of the Year."
Jake Varner began his freshman campaign at Iowa State with high expectations placed on his shoulders. He was a two-time California state champion, Amateur Wrestling News first-team All-American, and the prized recruit in Iowa State's No. 1 recruiting class of 2005. He was expected to make an immediate impact at 184 pounds, a weight class that returned two NCAA finalists.
Not only did Varner make his presence known in his weight class by finishing as the NCAA runner-up to Jake Herbert of Northwestern, but he also helped lead the Cyclones to a runner-up team finish at the NCAA Division I Championships in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The Bakersfield, California native finished his impressive freshman season with 29 wins and only seven defeats, was Big 12 runner-up, and defeated 2006 NCAA runner-up Roger Kish of Minnesota en route to reaching the NCAA finals. Varner became the first freshman Iowa State freshman since Cael Sanderson in 1999 to earn All-American honors and wrestle in the championship match.
For these reasons, Jake Varner has been named 2007 Rev Freshman of the Year by RevWrestling.com. The award is given annually to the nation's top freshman across all divisions of wrestling as voted on by the writers and executives of RevWrestling.com.
Varner received four of the eight first place votes for a total of 62 votes. Jayson Ness of Minnesota, who placed fifth at 125 pounds and was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year, came in second with 40 votes. Lance Palmer of Ohio State, who finished fourth at 149 pounds, was third in the voting with 29 votes. Max Askren of Missouri finished fourth in the voting with 25 votes, while Adam Frey of Cornell rounded out the top five with 12 votes.
Other freshmen who received votes included Nate Carr Jr. of Iowa Central Community College (9), JP O'Connor of Harvard (8), Mike Pucillo of Ohio State (8), and Angel Escobedo of Indiana (7).
2007 Rev Freshman of the Year
1st-5th-Place Votes: 9-7-5-3-1
1. Jake Varner, Iowa St.: 62 (4)
2. Jayson Ness, Missouri: 40 (1)
3. Lance Palmer, Ohio St.: 29 (1)
4. Max Askren, Missouri: 25 (1)
5. Adam Frey, Cornell: 12
6. Nate Carr Jr., Iowa Central: 9 (1)
7. JP O'Connor, Harvard: 8
7. Mike Pucillo, Ohio St.: 8
9. Angel Escobedo, Indiana: 7