Hello, everyone. I am a new poster, but I have been a longtime avid reader!
As a soon-to-be HS graduate, I have had to evaluate myself and what choices i will be making in life in regards to my college experience. Coming from Philadelphia, most of us Public School kids do not start wrestling until Freshman year or later. This relatively late arrival to the sport, however, does not equate to a lack in dedication.
Exemplified by certain actions, there are thousands of wrestlers across this nation who want nothing more than to wrestle D1. Obviously, we are not all that blue chip recruit with Fargo stop signs and 4+ state medals. So, what does everyone think about that huge population who would love to wrestle D1, but are automatically marked as incompetent due to their lack of accolades and/or accomplishments?
A few questions:
What is the most important characteristic for a wrestler to have in D1?
What differentiates someone "ready" for D1 and someone who is not?
Is it worth walking on to an upper echelon team (Penn State, Iowa, Okie State, Ohio State, Cornell, Minn.. etc) if it is very much possible that a blue chip wrestler might block you off from ever being the #1 man at your weight?
Academics vs. Athletics: if you go to a school based on what they have to offer academically, is it fair that you have the option to continue wrestling?
These questions arose in my head because I am going to PSU on an academic full ride, and was rather crushed at the very, very likely thought that Coach Sanderson will not let a run-of-the-mill district runner up touch foot inside his wrestling room. Of course, there is the NLWC, but without the pressure and structure of the strenuous wrestling season with a goal in mind.. the lifestyle isn't remotely the same. I know I'm not the only kid in the USA with big dreams coming from a small stash of medals and brackets. I feel as if college wrestling of any caliber, if one is willing to give the dedication and convey the character necessary, should be of the wrestler's volition - not the podium's.