Penn State Depth Chart Update: How's Robbie Howard Fit In?

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

It's called Happy Valley for a reason, and the sun never seems to stop shining on Penn State's wrestling team.

It's one thing to have a great program and get blue-chip recruits, it's another thing to have just about every little thing work out in your favor for nearly a decade. But that seems to be the case once again, as today's commitment from 2020 prospect Robbie Howard has made abundantly evident.

The verbal from the Youth Olympic Games gold medalist means that the Nittany Lions are now set through the 2021-22 season, with most of their starters seemingly in place through 2023 as well. Let's take a look at how their current roster shakes out by weight and grade, as well as who they've got incoming.


Back in September, before the year started, we examined the long-term depth chart of PSU and several other programs. There have been a few changes, particularly in the lightweights, so let's take a second look now that some things are a bit more clear.

125 Pounds

Weight

Spot

Name

Grade

125

1

Devin Schnupp

SO

125

2

Justin Lopez

SO

125

3

Brody Teske

FR

This Season: With Gavin Teasdale off the roster, there's no reason to pull Teske's redshirt. They don't need him this year and can now bring him along at a slower pace. As for Schnupp, it gives him another year to prove himself and develop, in case they need him down the road.

Long-Term Outlook: Oh boy, lot of stuff has happened since we ran this last. Adam Busiello has now signed to Arizona State, and as stated above there's no need to roll Teske out right away. That also means there's no need to juggle the redshirts of Teske, Teasdale and Roman Bravo-Young to try to get them all in while maybe figuring out a way to leave room for Busiello. The way it's looking, Teske could hold down the spot until 2023 unless he grows out of it before then.

133 Pounds

Weight

Spot

Name

Grade

133

1

Roman Bravo-Young

FR

133

2

Mason Lindenmuth

SO

133

3

Austin Clabaugh

FR

133

4

Jack Davis

FR

133

5

Brandon Meredith

FR

This Season: There is a long list of guys Penn State has rolled out as true freshmen: Nick Lee, Mark Hall, Nick Suriano, Zain Retherford and Morgan McIntosh. So RBY being the starter isn’t anything usual, especially given that he was considered a blue-chip recruit for basically his entire high school career. So far, so good from the four-time Arizona state champ.

Long-Term Outlook: Just like 125, no Busiello or Teasdale makes this a lot more straightforward. There are now just two options: RBY for three years, then bump him for 2022, bringing in Howard as a redshirt freshman. The other is that Robbie goes right away in 2021, and Bravo-Young spends his last two seasons at 141. The former option sounds like the plan for now, but it also depends on how much Jarod Verkleeren is producing at 149.

141 Pounds

Weight

Spot

Name

Grade

141

1

Nick Lee

SO

141

2

Dom Giannangeli

JR

141

3

Patrick Higgins

JR

141

4

Joey Blumer

FR

141

5

Scott Stossel

SR

141

6

Scott Obendorfer

FR

141

7

Jon Consorti

FR

This Season: This is the year where Nick Lee is supposed to make a big jump. After spending two years in Happy Valley (he moved there during his senior year of high school), it feels like a PSU leap is coming, especially after bonusing all eight of his opponents so far. However, Yianni’s a sophomore, Eierman’s a junior and McKenna is a senior, but in Lee’s way twice this year.

Long-Term Outlook: There is no way Brady Berge holds 149 for more than one season, but it remains to be seen if Lee is a career 141 or not. Either way, he can go through 2021 with a redshirt to play with that could extend him through 2022 if need be. At some point, RBY will probably be here, with Verkleeren playing a big role in deciding if that comes sooner or later. Expect this to be an area the coaching staff spends extensive time recruiting from the current group of high school sophomores and juniors.

149 Pounds

Weight

Spot

Name

Grade

149

1

Brady Berge

FR

149

2

Jarod Verkleeren

FR

149

3

Luke Gardner

SO

149

4

Richie McClanahan

FR

149

5

Paul Feite

FR

This Season: Junior world teamer Brady Berge is likely the guy. It's still difficult to judge where he stacks up in the 149lb pecking order, considering he only wrestled one tournament last year and it was up at 157. The Minnesota native beat Verkleeren on a last second takedown off a danger count in the semis of the Keystone Classic, but has only started one out of Penn State's three duals thus far.

Long-Term Outlook: Berge is moving up to 157 the second Nolf graduates, paving the way for Verkleeren. At this point, the only thing that would knock him out is a massive weight issue from one of the lightweights causing everyone to move up or an immediate impact transfer. Like 141, this will be an area of need in one of the next two recruiting classes.

157 Pounds

Weight

Spot

Name

Grade

157

1

Jason Nolf

SR

157

2

Bo Pipher

SO

157

3

Brian Friery

SO

This Season: Jason Nolf. The Matrix. The Nolphin. A nickname never quite stuck for him, but he's in his final year in a Penn State singlet and is the co-favorite with Bo Nickal to win the Hodge. He could pretty easily end his career as one of the top-10 point scorers in NCAA tournament history.

Long-Term Outlook: Berge will probably man this for the next three years, so Cael and company are good through 2022.

165 Pounds

Weight

Spot

Name

Grade

165

1

Vincenzo Joseph

JR

165

2

Konner Kraeszig

FR

This Season: Two-time NCAA champ Vincenzo Joseph has been outstanding this year, with six pins and a tech. He could be emerging as a legitimate Hodge contender, but still has several tests before March even hits.

Long-Term Outlook: This is where the greyshirts start coming into play. Joe Lee spent his senior year living and training in Happy Valley, but is not yet enrolled at Penn State. He is training with the NLWC, competing in open tournaments and should redshirt the 2019-20 season when Cenzo is a senior. He should be the starter for the four years after Cenzo's gone.

174 Pounds

Weight

Spot

Name

Grade

174

1

Mark Hall

JR

174

2

Mason Manville

FR

174

3

Francisco Bisono

JR

174

4

Creighton Edsell

FR

This Season: The prodigy enters his junior year and, to no one's surprise, he can win another national title. Entering this year, Hall had registered pins in nearly 40% of his college wins with sneaky good dominance score of 4.16, averaging better than a major every time he walked on the mat. In the first month of the season, he had close matches with Jordan Kutler and Matt Finesilver, as well as a 5-0 win over Neal Richards.

Long-Term Outlook: Marky finishes out his college career in 2019-20 (unless he decides to take an Olympic redshirt) in his "home" state of Minnesota. Either way, Carter Starocci is slated to be Marky's successor. There's also the possibility Aaron Brooks goes 174, but given his freestyle aspirations, he will likely want to get big and go 184 so he can be an 86kg on the world level.

184 Pounds

Weight

Spot

Name

Grade

184

1

Shakur Rasheed

SR

184

2

Austin Hoopes

SR

This Season: Aside from the three freshmen entering the lineup, the most intriguing change for PSU was switching Shakur Rasheed and Bo Nickal. The results so far: five pins in under 75 seconds each, a second period tech, and an 11-2 major decision, but Rasheed has yet to face any ranked wrestlers.

Long-Term Outlook: It's not set in stone, but seeing Brooks go 184 win two open tournaments leads me to believe he's the guy next year, as I stated above. The plan as of now is that he'll go 184 at Midlands, meaning we'll see him against high-level competition. He is spending this year at the OTC in its Elite Athlete Program.

197 Pounds

Weight

Spot

Name

Grade

197

1

Bo Nickal

SR

197

2

James Hoeg

FR

This Season: One of my favorite stats from last season's Hodge notes is that Bo Nickal's average time spent on the mat was less than Zain Retherford. He had double-digit pins in the first 90 seconds of a match, and that very well could continue one weight up. Again, he or Nolf are the front-runners for the Hodge.

Long-Term Outlook: With Starocci and Brooks in place at 174 and 184, respectively, it seems to pretty clearly indicate that Michael Beard is the guy at 197. There were some throwing out the possibility that Beard could drop down, but there's probably no need for that now.

285 Pounds

Weight

Spot

Name

Grade

285

1

Anthony Cassar

SR

285

2

Nick Nevills

SR

285

3

Alex Nicholas

SO

This Season: Penn State does everything for a reason, so there is strong reason to believe that it will be Anthony Cassar all season. First, Seth Nevills is greyshirting; he's not on the roster. Why would that be? Because PSU is looking into a sixth year for Cassar.

Long-Term Outlook: Whether or not Cassar (or Nick Nevills) gets a sixth year, they have four-time California state champ Seth Nevills coming in.

Coach Myers Wrestling S&C: Death By Barbell Curl With Kollin Moore

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

The barbell curl is one of the most basic weightlifting exercises but in my opinion also one of the most useful accessory lifts for wrestlers. 

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

FRL 503 - James Green On Move To Southeast RTC, Iowa Depth Chart Breakdown

FRL 503 - James Green On Move To VT

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

On episode 503 of FRL, the boys are joined by James Green as he talks about his move to the Southeast RTC and give a complete breakdown of Iowa's depth chart.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Penn State's 2020-21 Depth Chart And Long-Term Lineup Projection

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Singular success in sports is hard enough as it is; prolonged success and maintaining dominance seems downright impossible. Yet that's exactly what Penn State has done for a decade, the gold standard of winning in the current NCAA landscape.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

PIAA: Does AAA Crush AA At Producing NCAA Talent?

The debate has raged as long as there have been separate classes in Pennsylvania, AA or AAA? The answer is clear that AAA is the superior division, but you need to have perspective about the true differences. The notion that AA is a “JV” division is laughable. 

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Iowa's 2020-21 Depth Chart And Long-Term Lineup Projection

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

This time a year ago few, including myself, believed anyone could touch Penn State at the 2020 NCAA Championships. However, by Thanksgiving, the Hawkeyes had overtaken the Nittany Lions and never looked back. Iowa put together a perfect dual campaign, broke the Midlands scoring record, and won the Big Ten Tournament by 25 points. However, due to the cancellation of the NCAA Championships, Iowa was more than likely denied their first NCAA title since 2010.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Bader Show: James Green, Ethan Kyle, And Chase Pami

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

On this episode of The Bader Show, Bader and Bray catch up with three guys on the move: James Green, Ethan Kyle, and Chase Pami.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

The Top 10 Ohio State Wrestling Storylines Of 2019-20, Ranked

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Ohio State fielded one of its youngest teams in recent memory this season and spent a good percentage of the year figuring out where some of the newcomers best fit in the lineup. By season’s end, the team featured three national title contenders among eight NCAA qualifiers.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

James Green Joins Southeast RTC

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

The spring of regional training center moves continues. World silver and bronze medalist James Green is on the move to Virginia Tech to join the Southeast RTC. Green will be a guest on The Bader Show this evening at 6 PM CT to further discuss his decision. 

The Top 10 Oklahoma State Wrestling Storylines Of 2019-20, Ranked

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

FloWrestling correspondent Seth Duckworth brings you the top 10 storylines from Oklahoma State Wrestling in 2019-20, ranked.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Far Ankle Pros And Cons

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

If you have never seen the benefits of far ankle defense, you may not have been paying very close attention to wrestling in the last 20 years, because the trend probably goes back that far, maybe even further.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In