On Thursday night, we get our first look at Penn State this season, as the returning national champions take on Army in their home opener LIVE on FloWrestling.
The Nittany Lions are set to not only put their incredibly explosive lineup back into action but also provide early answers to some major offseason questions. As you tune in, here are a few things to keep your eye on throughout the dual.
What New Faces Will We See?Obviously, there will be a new faces in the lineup at 125 pounds following the transfer of Nick Suriano to Rutgers. And while that type of opening-match firepower is going to be hard-pressed to replace, this could be a good gauge of what redshirt freshman Devin Schnupp will be bringing to PSU's lineup. Schnupp was 5-8 while he wrestled unattached during his true freshman year.
At 133 and 141, the Nittany Lions will have senior transfer Corey Keener and junior Jered Cortez, who is returning after an injury sidelined him last season. In addition to Cortez at 141, the question of "will we see Nick Lee?" still looms as well. Lee just had a pretty nice debut at the Clarion Open, where he placed second but turned some heads on the way to the finals. Lee is not listed as a potential starter for Penn State for tomorrow's dual.
Who Emerges For Army?Ben Harvey has made his presence known as a serious scrapper in Army's lineup at 174. Harvey will have his hands full with returning NCAA champion Mark Hall to get the dual meet season started, but who else will assert themselves as another force in the Black Knights' lineup this year. Each season, Army rolls out new, unexpected hammers that enter the rankings.
Who Will Join PSU Bonus Point Party?Last year, Zain Retherford, Jason Nolf, and Bo Nickal were a bonus-point machines. We know all that. The question now becomes, which new PSU guys will join the bonus-point party? Mark Hall and Vincenzo Joseph are obvious candidates, but don't forget Nick Nevills, who was a frequent stick-artist back in his Clovis (CA) High School days.
Who Is PSU's 197?Rumors have swirled about wrestle-off results between Anthony Cassar and Matt McCutcheon. Cassar is rumored to have been the winner of those wrestle-offs as well. However, McCutcheon is returning for his last season. McCutcheon toyed with the idea of hanging it up last year after graduating but decided to rejoin the squad for his final year. No matter who Penn State coach Cael Sanderson decides to put out there, the spot will be filled by a capable guy.
Any New Tricks?Jason Nolf and Bo Nickal seem to compete to see who can be more creative. With each match we were left scratching our heads with a "how'd he do that?" look on our faces, and I don't think that's going to change one bit.
Last season we were introduced to the Nolf roll and saw Nickal pin people by throwing everything at them but the kitchen sink. I wonder what type of tricks they've got on tap for us this season?
Jason Nolf goes jiu-jitsu at 0:58.