There are just five weeks left in 2018, which means there is still some time left to wrestle.
Penn State has three duals left this year before opening 2019 with the Southern Scuffle. Two of those duals occur this week.
Friday, the Nittany Lions travel up Route 45 to Lewisburg for the first time in program history to take on Bucknell. They host Lehigh on Sunday before finishing 2018 with another home dual on Dec. 14 against Arizona State.
But, enough about the future, let’s dive into this week’s mailbag:
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Iowa wrestled backups in half its lineup against Purdue this weekend and still killed them. Who would win in a dual: PSU’s second string vs Iowa’s second string?
I took a closer look at Iowa’s roster when I was given this question. To be honest, this match would be a lot closer than what people would think. Obviously, each team has several wrestlers listed at each weight class. It would come down to who is considered to be the true backup for each team.
If I were to not consider any wrestlers who are considered to be redshirting this season, account for the guys who were in the Hawkeyes’ lineup this weekend and make my best guesses, here is how I believe the lineups would look.
For Iowa (starting at 125): Perez Perez, Paul Glynn, Carter Happel (bumped up to 149 this weekend but 141 is his listed weight), Jeren Glosser, Preston Stephenson, Jeremiah Moody, Myles Wilson, Cade Brownlee, Mitch Bowman and Aaron Costello.
For Penn State (starting at 125): Justin Lopez, Scott Stossel, Joey Blumer, Jarod Verkleeren, Bo Pipher, Brian Friery, Mason Manville, Francisco Bisono, James Hoeg, Nick Nevills.
Iowa would take the first two bouts and probably score bonus points at 133 pounds. But the lineup of Blumer, Verkleeren and Pipher would give the Nittany Lions some bonus points and a lead heading into the break. Friery and Manville then keep things rolling out of the break.
The Hawkeyes get two more wins with bonus points at 197 but Nevills counters with bonus of his own. In the end, I see Penn State coming away with a 27-17 win.
If (Gavin) Teasdale is able to return to PSU or any other program, how much eligibility has he used up already? Would he still have a redshirt left?
As I was doing some research, I found a link to the NCAA’s website about eligibility. According to the website, student-athletes have five years to play four years of competition. The five years begin as soon as athletes enroll into school as a full-time student.
In Teasdale’s case, like most of the other freshmen wrestlers, he enrolled in June. It would mean that Teasdale has until June of 2023 to compete. If Teasdale comes back in January like he stated on Twitter, I’d have to think that he would stay on the redshirt, since that was the plan and he will not have wrestled at all this year.
Now, he could get another year of eligibility by applying for a medical redshirt. The NCAA is the one that approves that and as Teasdale said his reasoning for withdrawing from school was because of health issues, it is possible he might be granted that.
What lightweight recruits are Penn State looking at?
Recruiting news is hard to come by for wrestling. It’s not as out there as it is for football.
What we do know is that the Nittany Lions have a few lighter guys coming in next year in Marco Vespa and Penns Valley’s Baylor Shunk who have made verbal commitments. Vespa is a two-time New York medalist and has a 169-25 record heading into his senior season this year. He is projected at 125 or 133 pounds, with Shunk the same way.
Penn State was supposed to have Adam Busiello, but he just recently flipped to Arizona State after verbally committing to the Nittany Lions in ninth grade. Penn State just hosted 2018 Youth Olympic gold medalist Robbie Howard on an official visit. Howard, who wrestles at 120 pounds, is only a junior this year at Bergen Catholic in New Jersey.
Howard posted pictures on Twitter from the sidelines of the Nittany Lions’ football game against Wisconsin. He was also spotted at the Kent State match. He even took a jab at some Iowa and Penn State wrestling fans, who were arguing on his picture of his visit to Carver-Hawkeye this weekend: “If Penn state and Iowa fans don’t stop arguing on my Twitter I’m going to Rutgers.”
What are some of the key matchups to look forward to this weekend with Penn State vs. Bucknell and Lehigh?
Lauren Muthler and myself tackled what we thought were the key matchups for the entire year a couple of days after the schedule was released.
For Bucknell, we were looking at Bo Nickal’s match as the one to watch. We thought the two-time NCAA champ might get Garrett Hoffman, who knocked off Anthony Cassar in last year’s dual while filling in for the injured starter. However, it looks like Hoffman hasn’t wrestled at all yet this year and may still be recovering from an injury that had him miss most of last year.
Instead, it looks as though Nickal will get Drew Phipps. Phipps went 22-12 last year and just missed a NCAA bid. This year, he is 7-2 but 3-0 in duals.
For Lehigh, we had two matchups to watch in Scott Parker vs. Roman Bravo-Young and Ryan Preisch vs. Shakur Rasheed. As it stands today, we are only going to get the one in Preisch vs. Rasheed. Parker has yet to wrestle this year, and the teams won’t release their match notes ‘til later this week.
It would have been a good early test for Bravo-Young. Preisch came up just shy of All-American status last season and had some impressive wins that included pinning Cornell’s Max Dean and beating Michigan’s Domenic Abounader. There are two others to keep an eye on. They are Luke Karam vs. Nick Lee at 141 pounds and Jordan Kutler vs. Mark Hall at 174 pounds. Kutler pushed Hall to the limits in last year’s dual.