Next Season's Returning NCAA All-Americans: 184 Pounds
We've already taken a look at the top 20 teams ranked by order of returning NCAA points. Now we are going through each weight class and highlight every All-American returning for the 2017-18 season.
Top 20 Returning NCAA Team Points | 125 Returning AAs | 133 Returning AAs | 141 Returning AAs | 149 Returning AAs | 157 Returning AAs | 165 Returning AAs | 174 Returning AAs
We will have a better idea of who will be taking redshirts and what weight classes they will be in as we get closer to the start of the season. Until then, here are our best guesses, though feel free to holler at us with any updates on those topics.
Returns 2 National Championships and 6 All-American HonorsNo other weight class lost as many studs to graduation as 184. Five of last year's All-Americans are gone, including two-time national champion Gabe Dean of Cornell. Thankfully for NCAA upper-weight fans, the wrestlers who do return are pretty dang good. Both of 2016's 174-pound finalists, Bo Nickel of Penn State and Myles Martin of Ohio State, are back at 184 for 2018. Last year in St. Louis, Martin placed fifth and Nickel won his first championship, both at 184. Their presence alone makes 184 one of the more intriguing weight classes this upcoming season.
Bo Nickal, Penn State 2, 1, ?, ?Featuring one of the most varied arsenals in the sport and typical Penn State aggressiveness, Nickal is appointment viewing anytime he takes to the mat. He's only got three losses in his career, two of which are to Myles Martin. Although Nickal holds a 4-2 NCAA lead in their series, Myles' wins have come at the 2016 NCAA finals and the 2017 Big Ten semis, undeniably creating one of the best collegiate rivalries going. Nickal will be the favorite at the start of the season, but lying in wait will be the guy who owns two big-stage wins over him.
Myles Martin, Ohio State 1, 5, ?, ?An Ohio State Buckeye by way of New Jersey, Martin shocked the wrestling world when he won a national championship as a true freshman. Martin bumped up to 184 this past year and struggled to regain that championship form during the regular season. But MyMar was money in the postseason, placing second at the Big Tens and finishing fifth in a loaded NCAA bracket. Martin will be one of the keys to head coach Tom Ryan's 2018 team title designs.
A NC State Wolfpacker by way of Pennsylvania, Renda had his breakout season in 2016, placing third at 184 as a junior after coming up short at 174 on his previous two trips to the big dance. Renda used his redshirt last year and and will benefit from both another year of development and from the thinning out of the weight class, as evidenced by last last year's seniors such as Jack Dechow, who failed to reach the podium out of St. Louis' stacked bracket despite being an All-American in the past. As such, Renda will be one of the top contenders in 2018.
Peter Renda, North Carolina State DNP, DNP, 3, ?
Drew Foster, Northern Iowa DNP, 7, ?, ?Foster was one of the more pleasant surprises of the 2017 NCAA tournament, especially for Panthers head coach Doug Schwab A sophomore Iowa native, Foster qualified for his first national tournament and took out quite a few hammers on his way to a seventh-place finish. He should begin the mix again at 184 next year.
You can watch Zack Zavatsky of Virginia Tech, a two-time No. 5 seed at the tournament who has yet to All-American, take on Jacob Holschlag of UNI in their dual meet below.
Did we miss anybody? Let us know! And stay tuned for 197 coming up next!