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Guys from out of the blue

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I think even the wrestlers themselves would have a hard time quantifying that one. If I had to guess it would have less to do with major leaps and bounds in skill and more to do with physical maturation and the right mental attitude. Especially for some of these guys who may have had great hs or prep campaigns and may not have lived up to that potential until maybe their last season. That sense of mortality, it's my last shot, can be quite motivating.

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One of my favorite topics. Bare with me, these are off the top of my head.

 

Wes Hand of Iowa his senior year in 2000. Now Hand has always been pretty good. Having placed 7th at the NCAA's as a sophomore in 1998, I can't exactly say that he "came out of nowhere" but no one expected him to have the phenomenal season that he did as a senior. The year before, as a junior in 1999 he was very sluggish on the mat and didn't wrestle very well at all. At the BIG 10's he placed 8th and had to rely on a wildcard bid to qualify for the NCAA's. On the mat Minnesota's Brock Lesnar stuck hand easily.

 

The next year Hand was a whole new man. He defeated Lesnar up in Minneapolis in the dual and then lost two tight tiebreakers to him in both the BIG 10 and NCAA finals. Those were Hand's only two losses. He also dominated in his match against Iowa State's Trent Hynek at the NCAA's 8-3. I believe it was the only time Hand had defeated Hynek in competition.

 

 

Jon Masa of Hofstra was nothing all that special his freshman year in 2002 wrestling at 141 lbs, but a bump up to 149 as sophomore proved to be beneficial as he would go on to place 7th, 3rd, 5th at the NCAA's respectively.

 

Pat Cummins of Penn State would be a really, really good example to use. Cummins never placed at the Pennsylvania state tournament, and I always forget whether he ever qualified or not. I believe as a freshman and as a sophomore in college, he had either losing records or 500 records. As a junior he really came out of nowhere to earn himself a spot in the rankings and place 4th at the NCAA's. As a senior he took 2nd.

 

Zach Tanelli of Wisconsin would also be a great example. He spent his first three years at 133 lbs, and never did anything too significant. As a senior he bumped up to 141 lbs and throw out a few odd losses had himself one Hell of a season. He won the Midlands tournament, and earned himself a #1 seed at the BIG 10's (placing 2nd) and a #2 seed at the NCAA's (Placing 4th).

 

Indiana's Nathan Everhart never did anything worth noting his freshman through junior year at HWT, unless you want to count a win over PSU's Cameron Wade. As a senior he trimmed down significantly, improved upon his quickness and technique and had a very impressive season. He earned a #6 seed at nationals and finished one match shy of placing.

 

Austin Trotman of Appalachian State was one of those wrestlers that would occasionally knock off a wrestler ranked above him, but he never did anything the even remotely resembled the kind of season and NCAA tournament that he would have as a senior. He placed third at the tournament, with wins over 4X AA Joe LeBlanc and returning NCAA finalist Robert Hamlin.

 

Even this year, a great example would be Central Michigan's Christian Cullinan. With a losing record as a freshman, and two mediocre seasons as a sophomore and junior no one was predicting much out of him. Yet he had many notable wins this season, including a third place finish at the Midlands which saw him defeat Iowa's Cory Clark whom many are touting as a plausible NCAA champion for next season.

 

 

 

I love this topic because he puts a wrench in the ole blue hair's that preach the gospel of if you're not good as a freshman, you never will be. So many guys have proven that despite whatever happened last year, you can come out of nowhere and have yourself a great season the next.

 

Didn't Wes Hand have a severely messed up ankle his junior year? Isn't that why he did so poorly at Big Tens? He was basically on one leg.

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As a Hofstra alumni, I was glad to see JT mention John Massa above. Actually, our only N.C. was a guy named Nick Gallo, way back in 1977.

 

Anyway, as a Pride fan, I came to admire the grit of Dustin Manotti of Cornell. Massa and Manotti had some great matches against one another, and you could never get a good read on who would win the match beforehand. I'm not sure what Manotti's placings were at PIAA states, but he was a collegiate all-American at least twice, if not more (need a Cornelian confirmation on that). His last year he lost his 1st match in the NCAA tournament, and won 7 in the consolation round to place 3rd.

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Thanks guys but lets shift the convo to what clicked. What did they learn or get so much better at? See original post.

Regarding Pat Neu, seems that a few words from a powerful man may have inspired him:

 

In 1977, as a redshirt senior, Neu again finished as the Big Ten runner-up at 134, losing a close, somewhat controversial match in the finals to a wrestler from Iowa. After the loss, legendary Iowa coach Dan Gable told Neu that he would "do just fine at the NCAA," which were fantastic words, Neu recalled.

 

"I just kicked it down," said Neu of his run through the NCAA tournament in Norman, Ok. "I just started to believe in myself, that I could get takedowns, and I could."

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Don Fisch of Rider was a solid wrestler being a 4x National qualifier. His freshman year went 0-2. Sophmore year was round of 12. Junior year at NCAA's:

 

Defeated #5 Dominick Moyer (Nebraska) 7-4

Defeated #12 Cassio Perro (Illinois) 7-5

Defeated #4 Manuel Rivera (Minnesota) 10-4

Lost to #1 Ryan Lang (Northwestern) 3-2

Lost to #11 Charles Griffin (Hofstra) 6-5

Pinned #7 Brandon Rader (West Virginia) 3:42

 

And I still think he should have beaten Lang in the semis with a TD that was not called.

Then senior year went up to 149 and I think went 0-2.

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As a Hofstra alumni, I was glad to see JT mention John Massa above. Actually, our only N.C. was a guy named Nick Gallo, way back in 1977.

 

Anyway, as a Pride fan, I came to admire the grit of Dustin Manotti of Cornell. Massa and Manotti had some great matches against one another, and you could never get a good read on who would win the match beforehand. I'm not sure what Manotti's placings were at PIAA states, but he was a collegiate all-American at least twice, if not more (need a Cornelian confirmation on that). His last year he lost his 1st match in the NCAA tournament, and won 7 in the consolation round to place 3rd.

 

That was a fun rivalry wasn't it? At the 2003 NCAA's Monotti majored Masa on Thursday and then on Saturday, Masa turned around and majored Manotti!

 

Monotti was 8th-4th-6th-3rd at the NCAA's.

 

One of the coolest things about it, was that after Manotti captured third place from a 1st round loss, the announcers made a big deal out of it and the crowd saluted him with a round of applause. Masa was the first guy to go up and congratulate him on his achievement. I thought that was very cool on Masa's part.

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First, Lincoln McIlravy did not beat out Troy Steiner at 142 in 1993. Steiner was persuaded to drop to 134 to fill a gap and McIlravy's redshirt was pulled to wrestle at 142.

 

My nominee for "out of the blue" would be Ty Eustice in his senior year. He had some success before, taking 5th at nationals in 2005, but never quite seemed to live up to the promise when he came to Iowa. In 2005-6 he lost twice to Dustin Schlatter in DS's remarkable freshman year, the latter loss in the national final. He only lost one other match that year and beat Eric Tannenbaum twice, Gregor Gillespie, Zack Esposito twice, and a redshirting Brent Metcalf.

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The entire tOSU team from 2004. Losing dual meet record. 8th place finish at Big Tens with only 5 NCAA qualifiers. Tommy Rowlands was the only wrestler to be seeded in top 8. Team finished 4th at NCAA with 5 AA including JD Bergman placing 3rd as a true freshman after losing his first match. Their 4th place finish was the topic of every conversation in St. Louis (where NCAA should always be held) that year.

 

Great pick, AWazeToGo. Actually, Ohio State finished equal third with Lehigh with 77.5 points. Iowa was second with 82, and Oklahoma State had 123.5. Ten individual champions from ten different schools, and the Big Ten had only three champions.

 

As you pointed out, (unseeded) JD Bergman lost his first match and finished third. Name another D1 wrestler who accomplished the same feat.

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Nick Heflin has had a pretty decent collegiate career. No one other than Nick Heflin thought he would be a 2xAA heading into this year. Only won one high school championship and really wasnt recruited. Honestly didnt see him being a starter before he got here

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The entire tOSU team from 2004. Losing dual meet record. 8th place finish at Big Tens with only 5 NCAA qualifiers. Tommy Rowlands was the only wrestler to be seeded in top 8. Team finished 4th at NCAA with 5 AA including JD Bergman placing 3rd as a true freshman after losing his first match. Their 4th place finish was the topic of every conversation in St. Louis (where NCAA should always be held) that year.

 

Great pick, AWazeToGo. Actually, Ohio State finished equal third with Lehigh with 77.5 points. Iowa was second with 82, and Oklahoma State had 123.5. Ten individual champions from ten different schools, and the Big Ten had only three champions.

 

As you pointed out, (unseeded) JD Bergman lost his first match and finished third. Name another D1 wrestler who accomplished the same feat.

 

 

He damn near did it twice. After not placing as a sophomore, he took a year off and came back lost first round and rallied his way to a fourth place finish.

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still curious as to any team besides ohio state to have two true frosh place.

 

TOSU--Kid from Binghamton did the same thing as Bergman. Name escapes me. He lost first round then beat Tessari for third. In fact he and Tessari both lost first round then came back.

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still curious as to any team besides ohio state to have two true frosh place.

 

TOSU--Kid from Binghamton did the same thing as Bergman. Name escapes me. He lost first round then beat Tessari for third. In fact he and Tessari both lost first round then came back.

 

Donnie Vinson(One of the last college wrestlers to defeat Dake)

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still curious as to any team besides ohio state to have two true frosh place.

 

TOSU--Kid from Binghamton did the same thing as Bergman. Name escapes me. He lost first round then beat Tessari for third. In fact he and Tessari both lost first round then came back.

 

Donnie Vinson(One of the last college wrestlers to defeat Dake)

 

I forgot about Vinson. I was thinking about someone else who lost in the first round and came back to take third. I'll start supplying hints if no one thinks of him.

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Biggest one had to be Mark Branch. Nobody expected a wrestler with a losing record to win the NCAAs AND as a freshman!!!

 

Sent from Tapatalk

 

The proposition was having an incredible season. Branch had an incredible tournament, but an ordinary season.

 

Two true freshman placers? Try Jeff McGinness and Joe Williams in 1994.

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The entire tOSU team from 2004. Losing dual meet record. 8th place finish at Big Tens with only 5 NCAA qualifiers. Tommy Rowlands was the only wrestler to be seeded in top 8. Team finished 4th at NCAA with 5 AA including JD Bergman placing 3rd as a true freshman after losing his first match. Their 4th place finish was the topic of every conversation in St. Louis (where NCAA should always be held) that year.

 

Great pick, AWazeToGo. Actually, Ohio State finished equal third with Lehigh with 77.5 points. Iowa was second with 82, and Oklahoma State had 123.5. Ten individual champions from ten different schools, and the Big Ten had only three champions.

 

As you pointed out, (unseeded) JD Bergman lost his first match and finished third. Name another D1 wrestler who accomplished the same feat.

 

 

He damn near did it twice. After not placing as a sophomore, he took a year off and came back lost first round and rallied his way to a fourth place finish.

 

Dustin Manotti did it his senior year.

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