A Baker's Dozen Of Breakout NCAA Stars

A Baker's Dozen Of Breakout NCAA Stars
Photo: Austin Bernard
Remember college wrestling? It may seem far away, but the NCAA championships happened just over 90 days ago. Three months later, it's high time to show some love to the guys who broke out in a big way this past season. Here's a baker's dozen of guys who put us on notice.

Vincenzo Joseph (Penn State), 165

Here's a guy who went from not being able to make weight at the Southern Scuffle to pinning the man who was supposed to be the next four-timer. His 22-4 record included wins over Isaiah Martinez, Logan Massa, Daniel Lewis, Isaac Jordan, Chandler Rogers and Chad Walsh, aka six of the seven All Americans this year at 165 pounds.

Drew Foster (Northern Iowa), 184

Directly from Foster's 2015-16 UNI bio "Took third at Finn Grinaker Cobber and UNI opens." He started last year at 174 and ended it with a losing record, which turned into a 26-12 record and seventh place finish this year. Foster probably best defines breakout after being unheralded coming out of high school.

Seth Gross (SDSU), 133

The Jackrabbit sophomore had some eye-popping stats this year: a 34-2 record with 30 bonus points (13 pins, 8 techs and 9 majors). Even throwing out the redemption storyline, Gross went from Round of 12 at 141lbs to NCAA finalist. With Nathan Tomasello possibly moving down and Cory Clark graduated, Gross will walk into the 2017-18 season as the favorite at his weight.

Jacob Kasper (Duke), 285

Kasper's progression: losing record as a true freshman at 184lbs, NCAA qualifier and ACC runner-up his sophomore year at 184, redshirted to focus on Greco, then a 31-6 record with a sixth place finish at heavyweight. Let that sink in for a minute. One of the most outspoken guys in the country wants to continue the trend of top notch 285s going to college in North Carolina.

Ethan Lizak (Minnesota), 125

We honestly had no idea what to expect out of Lizak heading into the Southern Scuffle after being suspended for the first semester. But he won 30 matches, made it to the NCAA finals and proved himself to be a top-five guy from top position.

Kollin Moore (Ohio State), 197

This breakout started at last year's Junior World Team Trials, and carried all the way through to his pin in the third place match at NCAAs. He put up video game numbers, averaging nearly 13 points a match and putting up double digits 22 times. With J'Den Cox and Brett Pfarr both graduating, Moore is the betting favorite to take over light hefavyweight for the next three years.

Joey Lavallee (Missouri), 157

Lavallee may have fallen off some people's radars a little bit when he redshirted the 2015-16 season. A two-time NCAA qualifier, Lavallee went 29-2 this year, made the NCAA finals and put on a show for the Mizzou fans in St. Louis.

Jaydin Eierman (Missouri), 141

Credit to Christian Pyles for seeing this one coming. Eierman started off a bit slow, but once he moved up in weight was able to flourish and finished the year on the podium. He should be wowing the fans in Columbia for years to come.

Jack Mueller (Virginia), 125

Making the NCAA semis as a true freshman is  a tremendous accomplishment. His signature win came in the quarters over Joey Dance. After being majored by Dance earlier in the season, Mueller's overtime takedown was one of the biggest moments of the weekend.

Brandon Womack (Cornell), 165

Womack is guy who started off his career up a weight and missed most of last year due to injury. He closed out the year with 18 bonus point wins and placed at NCAAs (only the second AA ever from Alabama!), earning his spot on the podium by knocking off Anthony Valencia in the Round of 12. Valencia had previously majored and pinned Womack.

Myes Amine (Michigan), 174

Amine seemed to be slightly overshadowed this year by Stevan Micic and Logan Massa, both of whom were considered blue chips coming out of high school. But Amine went 32-7, with half his wins coming by bonus, placed third at CKLV and fourth at NCAAs. He had wins over All Americans Lelund Weatherspoon, Alex Meyer, Zac Brunson (by tech) and Brian Realbuto (by pin).

Denzel Dejournette (App St), 285

Part of a larger overall breakout for the SoCon this year, Dejournette was one of three All Americans to come out of the Southern Conference. This list wasn't initially going to include any seniors, but Dejournette earned it.

Ryan Preisch (Lehigh), 174

This guy only had one loss to a non-All American. Preisch is a great example of something Lehigh has done well in the Santoro era: take low ranked recruits and turn them into bonafide NCAA point scorers. Not only that, but he gave us one of the best tweets of the year: 
FloSports, Inc.

FloSports, an innovative sports media and events company, based in Austin, Texas, is the authentic source for content and a new world of coverage that true fans have been waiting for. Focused on three areas – live competition and coverage, original content, and owned and operated events – the company takes fragmented communities and provides them the platform to connect with the sports they love.

Learn More at FloSports.tv