Dake: Clear choice. Dominance + Competition + History=No brainer. That’s just math folks.
Ruth: Unchallenged at pretty much any point this season, been at 2 all year. Nothing really to change my mind.
Taylor: Still probably the most prolific point scorer in D1. Crazy to think that someone like that is at 3, but that’s the year we had.
Stieber: Honestly, as I’ve thought more, it’s possible he has a real case to be in the top 3. Taylor simply killed everyone but Dake this year, and was perhaps a smidge more dominant. He won his weight, and I think 4 is the absolute lowest he could go. Maybe he belongs higher, I certainly wouldn’t argue.
Oliver: Clear number 5. Not quite as dominant as the guys ahead, but man what a stud and what a great career. He’ll be missed next year, but let’s get excited for his international career. I believe he’s the future of 66kg for the US of A.
Wright: What a performance in the Finals. Quentin is just someone who is great when it matters most. Clinches the team title for the Nittany Lions and picks apart the heavy favorite. Credit the coaches for getting him ready for Killer, but credit Quentin for execution. I think his win over Kilgore gives him the nod over Maple who(through no fault of his own) didn’t have to face quite as imposing an opponent.
Maple: The last undefeated champion, he has somewhat gotten lost in the shuffle among all these studs but quite the year, but he will be a fun guy to watch next year as he continues to develop under Coach Cody.
Nelson: Big Tony gets his 2nd title and besting this heavyweight class is no small feat. He’s just a beast even by heavyweight standards. He’s not especially dominant in the bonus point area, but he’s darn tough to score on. This weight loses Bradley, Z, Thomusseit, Trice, Delaney, Hanke so he will enter a huge favorite coming into next year.
Kilgore: Awesome career for Dustin, just came up a bit short against Quentin. Still an exceptional season in terms of dominance. Almost nobody gave Quentin(at the time a 3xAA and National Champion) a shot against Dustin. That just shows how much wrestling people respected Kilgore.
Ramos: He’s been a top 10 guy all year, and he’s done nothing to get removed from this list. Will be very interested to see what layers he adds to his game coming into next year as he’s shown a great ability to improve each year.
Delgado: Comes in up to 11. His losses to Clark and Garnett keep him from getting too much higher, but when you look at all of the studs ahead of him, I think he’s placed about right. Won a really tough weight class, and I think that separates him a bit from Perry.
Perry: Chris spent a lot of the time flirting with the top spot. Had the random loss to Porter but was super tough otherwise. He won a very deep weight, though I don’t think it’s quite as top heavy as 125, which is why Jesse is one spot ahead.
Derek St. John-The last National Champ on the list from this year. Was really the guy to beat all year, though he had some lapses at National Duals and Big 10’s. Had some tight ones along the way but he’s been money at NCAA’s throughout his career.
Hamlin: Robert is a guy I’ve always thought very highly of. He’s a stud, but those dern PSU studs gave him fits at NCAA’s. Very solid career, 2 time finalist with a ton of high quality wins such as Bosak(on many occasions) and Ben Bennett.
Gelogaev: 15 was a tough choice, but I felt Z had the best wins(Bradley twice) of the bunch. The fact that he was really the only guy to really test Nelson at NCAA’s coupled with the fact that he’s just an electric guy to watch cemented his spot.