Penn State Wrestling

Penn State’s Nick Nevills isn’t your usual heavyweight

Penn State’s Nick Nevills has a top-five matchup with Wisconsin’s Connor Medbery on Friday night. Medbery is ranked No. 2 in the country.
Penn State’s Nick Nevills has a top-five matchup with Wisconsin’s Connor Medbery on Friday night. Medbery is ranked No. 2 in the country. Centre Daily Times, file

By the time the heavyweights hit the wrestling mat, fans are usually heading for the exits as the matches are typically in hand.

Unless, of course, the teams draw weights. Or, if you are Nick Nevills.

The sophomore from Clovis, Calif., has brought a new meaning to offense at the heavyweight class.

Nevills has 30 takedowns on the season, which makes for a 15-to-1 ratio against his opponents. He has 11 in the third period alone. That total might be a surprise, since the heavier guys tend to tire more.

“It definitely is exciting,” Nevills said. “I think people enjoy watching that. It’s enjoyable for me to go out there and score points and have my coaches continue to encourage me to attack.”

In his previous two matches, Nevills has scored a combined 45 points. He is second on the team with three technical falls, trailing the four from Vincenzo Joseph and Jason Nolf.

“It’s kind of hard to do it consistently every match,” he said about scoring so many points. “It’s just something that I want to continue to try and do in each of my matches. It’s really something I can do and am capable of.”

Nevills will have a tough task to score that many points at 8 p.m. Friday when Penn State takes on Wisconsin. The Nittany Lions will make a quick turnaround and come back for a Rec Hall dual with Northwestern at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Friday’s match will have Nevills paired up with No. 2 Connor Medbery. It also pits another top-five matchup with No. 4 Vincenzo Joseph against No. 3 Issac Jordan at 165 pounds.

“Wisconsin has some real tough kids,” Nittany Lions coach Cael Sanderson said. “Issac Jordan (was) a national finalist last year and a tough-as-nails kid. Obviously, heavyweight, I think their guy is undefeated right now and a multiple-time All-American. Both great matchups and great opportunities for our guys to go in there and test themselves against the best.”

Medbery (16-0) is a returning All-American after finishing fourth in 2015. His stats are very similar to Nevills. Medbery has six wins by technical fall to lead the Badgers. The next closest is three tech fall wins. Some might say this is Nevills’ biggest match.

“Why do you think its my biggest match?” Nevills questioned a reporter on Wednesday. “What do I think about? Nothing. Just approaching the same as I have all the other matches. It is a match I’ve wanted to wrestle for a little bit now. I don’t treat it any differently. It’s just a match I have to wrestle. It’s one that I knew that I’d have to wrestle.”

Medbery has given up one takedown all season, while the redshirt senior has tallied 18 of his own takedowns. One thing Medbery doesn’t do is pin his opponents. With Medbery being so offensive and different, Nevills is looking forward to the match.

“I’d rather wrestle someone that wrestles back and tries to shoot and score takedowns,” he said. “I think it is exciting when you got big guys trying to shoot and trying to move. That’s the cool thing about heavyweight — you can get a really tall and gangly guy or you can get a thick bruiser or you can get those guys that are in between.”

Wisconsin predictions

125: Suriano by major decision; 133: Carpenter by decision; 141: Gulibon by decision; 149: Retherford by fall; 157: Nolf by fall; 165: Jordan by decision; 174: Hall by decision; 184: Nickal by fall; 197: McCutcheon by decision; 285: Nevills by decision. Final score: PSU 37, Wisconsin 3

Northwestern predicitons

125: Suriano by fall; 133: Carpenter by major decision; 141: Gulibon by major decision; 149: Retherford by fall; 157: Nolf by fall; 165: Joseph by decision; 174: Hall by fall; 184: Nickal by tech. fall; 197: McCutcheon by decision; 285: Nevills by tech. fall. Final score: PSU 48, Northwestern 0

Nate Cobler: 814-231-4609, @ncoblercdt

No. 2 Penn State (8-0, 4-0 Big Ten) at No. 16 Wisconsin (3-3, 1-3)

When: 8 p.m., Friday

Where: UW Field House, Madison, Wis.

Radio: WRSC 1390

Nittany Lions

vs.

Badgers

No. 3 Nick Suriano (11-1)

vs.

Johnny Jiminez (6-4)

George Carpenter (1-8)

vs.

Eli Stickley (17-12)

No. 12 Jimmy Gulibon (8-6)

vs.

No. 15 Cole Martin (15-8)

No. 1 Zain Retherford (13-0)

vs.

Andrew Crone (21-7)

No. 1 Jason Nolf (13-0)

vs.

TJ Ruschell (5-3)

No. 4 Vincenzo Joseph (11-1)

vs.

No. 3 Isaac Jordan (16-1)

No. 7 Mark Hall (18-2)

vs.

Ryan Christensen (16-10)

No. 2 Bo Nickal (12-0)

vs.

Hunter Ritter (14-9)

No. 10 Matt McCutcheon (10-2)

vs.

No. 12 Ricky Robertson (20-10)

No. 4 Nick Nevills (12-0)

vs.

No. 2 Connor Medbery (16-0)

Northwestern (6-4, 1-3 Big Ten) at No. 2 Penn State (8-0, 4-0 Big Ten)

When: 2 p.m., Sunday

Where: Rec Hall

Radio: WRSC 1390

Wildcats

vs.

Nittany Lions

Anthony Rubinetti (9-9)

vs.

No. 3 Nick Suriano (11-1)

Jason Ipsarides (8-8)

vs.

George Carpenter (1-8)

Alec McKenna (7-10)

vs.

No. 12 Jimmy Gulibon (8-6)

Shayne Oster (9-7)

vs.

No. 1 Zain Retherford (13-0)

Ben Sullivan (4-12)

vs.

No. 1 Jason Nolf (13-0)

Johnny Sebastian (13-6)

vs.

No. 4 Vincenzo Joseph (11-1)

Braxton Cody (0-8)

vs.

No. 7 Mark Hall (18-2)

No. 20 Mitch Sliga (15-4)

vs.

No. 2 Bo Nickal (12-0)

Jacob Berkowitz (18-6)

vs.

No. 10 Matt McCutcheon (10-2)

Conan Jennings (14-7)

vs.

No. 4 Nick Nevills (12-0)

Note: Northwestern wrestles Indiana on Friday night.

  Comments