We're going to take a deep dive into each NCAA weight class and review all the returning studs who didn't start this past year, whether due to taking a redshirt, injuries, or other reasons.
Now Up: 125 PoundsYou can find our redshirt reports on other weights here:
133 | 141
Zeke Moisey, West VirginiaMoisey had a magical run to the 2015 NCAA finals as an unseeded true freshman qualifier, beating the Nos. 15-, 7-, 6- and, 2-seeded wrestlers along the way. Injuries cut Moisey's sophomore season short and kept him off the mat for the entire 2016-17 season. Head coach Sammie Henson is no doubt excited to get his All-American back in the lineup for the Mountaineers.
Watch Moisey take out 2017 NCAA champion Darian Cruz in the 2016 Southern Scuffle consolation semis in the video below:
Ryan Millhof, Arizona StateMillhof sat out the 2016-17 season after transferring from Oklahoma to be part of the dynamite squad head coach Zeke Jones is putting together at Arizona State. Millhof had a very light schedule this past year, wrestling in a single open and not facing off against any ranked wrestlers. Still, the Suwannee, GA, native was a seventh-place finisher at the 2016 NCAA tournament and will slot in nicely in a Sun Devils lineup that returns five qualifiers from the 2017 NCAA tournament and NCAA champ and fellow transfer Jason Tsirtsis.
Watch Millhof also get the better of the reigning 125 champ (unfortunately for Darian, when you're the champ, the losses you've taken become your opponents' highlights) at the 2016 NCAA Championships.
Ronnie Bresser, Oregon StateBresser took a redshirt season after making the NCAA as a true freshman and sophomore. The local Oregonian finished in the round of 16 after receiving the No. 10 seed in 2015. In 2016, Bresser finished in the bloodround after getting the 11th seed. The Beavers are hoping Bresser will break through in 2018 and secure a long-awaited All-American honor. Bresser had an short competition schedule this season, wrestling in only two tournaments. Though he did win one, the always tough Reno Tournament of Champions.
You can watch Bresser win the Reno TOC over Oklahoma State backup Eli Hale in the video below:
Sebastian Rivera, NorthwesternThe No. 87 recruit on the 2016 Big Board had a productive redshirt freshman year. Rivera placed fourth at the prestigious Midlands Tournament, held in his home gym on Northwestern's campus. The New Jersey native knocked off four NCAA qualifiers during the season, including Illinois' Travis Piotrowski, Ohio's Shakur Laney, Missouri's Barlow McGhee, and on two separate occasions Wisconsin's Johnny Jimenez. Rivera also kept a toe in freestyle water, wrestling in both the Dave Schultz and Bill Ferrell Memorial Tournaments. Rivera will have to beat out teammate Anthony Rubinetti for the starting job at 125 for the Wildcats next year.
Below, watch Rivera beat Pat Glory to advance to the finals of the 2015 Super 32 tournament:
And here is Rivera showing off his freestyle skills, beating All-American David Terao at the 2017 Dave Schultz.
Danny Vega, Iowa StateVega will attempt to fill in for departing Cyclones senior Kyle Larson, who Vega actually beat earlier in the season at the Harold Nichols Open. An Arizona native, Vega was the No. 45-ranked recruit on the 2016 High School Big Board. Vega had a busy redshirt season, wrestling in four tournaments and winning the UNK Holiday Open. Challenging Vega for the starting spot will be Markus Simmons, a rising redshirt sophomore who finished the season with a 18-8 record.
Kyle Norstrem, Virginia TechHailing from Florida, Norstrem will look to join his older brother, rising senior 141-pounder Kevin Norstrem, in the Hokies lineup next year. He was the No. 79 recruit on the 2016 Big Board and will have big shoes to fill as two-time All-American Joey Dance graduates this year. Kyle wrestled in four tournaments unattached and completed his redshirt campaign with an 11-5 record.
Austin Assad, MichiganAssad had an impressive redshirt 2015-16 season and was the starting 125-pounder for the Michigan Wolverines for half the season. But the Ohio native got hurt midway through the year necessitating the un-retirement of fifth-year senior and All-American Conor Youtsey. Assad will look to rebound in 2017-18 as the Wolverines return quite a lot of firepower, including recent graduate transfer and All-American Kevin Beazley.
Other names to watch out for who are looking to break into their starting lineups next year include but are not limited to:
- Brandon Jeske, Old Dominion
- Devin Schroder, Purdue
- Alex Mackall, Rutgers
- Gage Curry, American
- Brandon Cray, Maryland
- Jonathon Tropea, Rider
- Lucas Hall, Michigan State
- Paul Bianchi, North Dakota State
- Dalton Macri, Cornell
- Matthew Schmitt, West Virginia
Did we miss anyone? Let us know in the comments!