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ArmchairFan

All-Americans who were only good at Neutral

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With all the talk about the potential of Anthony Echemendia, and the obvious lack of experience with folkstyle mat wrestling. Have there been any D1 All-Americans in recent history who were so dominant on their feet that their mat wrestling didn't hinder their success?

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Lehigh's Derek Zinck was best on his feet.  95-28 career, 2x A/A.  11 falls, but I don't remember any.

Mike Brown, from 1977-80, was best on bottom.  One of the few guys I've ever seen, and the only one from that period, who refused escapes.

Edited by jdalu75
re-wording

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4 hours ago, jdalu75 said:

Lehigh's Derek Zinck was best on his feet.  95-28 career, 2x A/A.  11 falls, but I don't remember any.

Mike Brown, from 1977-80, was best on bottom.  One of the few guys I've ever seen, and the only one from that period, who refused escapes.

Interesting.  I just watched a match with Muzzafar Abdurakhmanov and Zinck.  14-13 Muzz. 

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TJ Hill. Severely undersized but managed to get 4th in the one year he wrestled D1. (He could take down anyone in the country, but his struggles on bottom did cost him in his two losses at the NCAA tournament.)

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2 hours ago, Crotalus said:

TJ Hill. Severely undersized but managed to get 4th in the one year he wrestled D1. (He could take down anyone in the country, but his struggles on bottom did cost him in his two losses at the NCAA tournament.)

Crotalus-That is a blast from the past. TJ seemed to have an unorthodox style. Did he go to a D1 school out in Cali, Fresno State comes to mind but I could be wrong. What happened to him and please fill us in on his story. Thanks for sharing. 

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This is a testament to "relativity". 

Is this a question based on "AA's that were only good at neutral" compared ONLY to other AA's or compared to the field at their weight during that season?  Or just AA's, period?

Simply put, even guys like Micah Jordan were more than good on bottom, except against the top competition and mainly had issues with guys that pretty much decimated EVERYONE from the top position.  Hell, Micah even turned guys from top with 7 falls his senior year and even tilta-whirled a very solid Jared Prince like he was a carousel.

As good as the neutral wrestling in DI is, what REALLY separates it from High School, let alone any of the "lower" College divisions, is mat wrestling.  What a spectator sees as a weakness, hence this thread, is actually more of a testament to how good the average DI guy is and how freaky good a guy like Retherford was.

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38 minutes ago, hammerlockthree said:

Gilman lly went through a phase his senior year when everyone was riding him. He sorta qualifies.

Everyone?  Other than Lizak, whom he "gassed from bottom", who else rode him?  Not Suriano, not Dance, not Piccininni.  The only real issue was the brainfart in not picking bottom against Cruz, which probably helps make some misremember Gilman being ridden more often.........

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Are you joking? You really think he took neutral against cruz because he had a brain fart? Thats ridiculous.

Lambert from nebraska rode him out in the dual, and for like 1:30 at big tens, and I can't find the match but I am pretty sure Piccinni turned him at NCAAs (then got pinned but i'm not arguing piccini was better). 

You may have forgotten but there was a distinct and surprising trend where people started riding him a lot. 

Edited by hammerlockthree

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1 hour ago, hammerlockthree said:

Are you joking? You really think he took neutral against cruz because he had a brain fart? Thats ridiculous.

Lambert from nebraska rode him out in the dual, and for like 1:30 at big tens, and I can't find the match but I am pretty sure Piccinni turned him at NCAAs (then got pinned but i'm not arguing piccini was better). 

You may have forgotten but there was a distinct and surprising trend where people started riding him a lot. 

So one Lizak match and coasting against 1 other guy with a comfortable lead is a trend? Oh, and that other guy’s best position just so happened to be top. Oh, and he just so happens to be from Michigan and was a hammer on top even then. 

Yes, the Cruz decision was a serious brain fart. Case in point is how he was able to get the escape with short time left to get the match to OT.  He chooses bottom to start the 3rd he is an NCAA champ now.......

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On 5/28/2020 at 8:50 AM, Plasmodium said:

Muzzafar Abdurakhmanov

Great call. He was amazing on his feet, but had next to nothing in the folk style mat game. I feel like he is often forgotten because his younger brother stole the spotlight with his international success. But I remember seeing Muzzafar take down some NCAA studs with ease.

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Interesting topic! I had a knee jerk reaction of DeSanto, but then in thinking about it, realized that his career supports the thesis that you really can't AA if you are bad on the mat even if terrific on your feet. 

He was basically a neutral only guy as a freshman, and a terrific one (recall his takedown spree against Micic at CKLV) -- and didn't AA, because he completely disintegrated on the mat in the blood round. After transferring, he tightened up his mat wrestling and easily AA'd, while winning multiple close matches against top tier guys. 

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4 hours ago, drag it said:

Interesting topic! I had a knee jerk reaction of DeSanto, but then in thinking about it, realized that his career supports the thesis that you really can't AA if you are bad on the mat even if terrific on your feet. 

He was basically a neutral only guy as a freshman, and a terrific one (recall his takedown spree against Micic at CKLV) -- and didn't AA, because he completely disintegrated on the mat in the blood round. After transferring, he tightened up his mat wrestling and easily AA'd, while winning multiple close matches against top tier guys. 

He didn’t really “easily AA”, he had to wrestle Gomez in the blood round who had beat him earlier in the year in there only other match up 

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