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As if 133 wasn't already deep enough, 2018's national champion announced today on social media that his sixth year of eligibility was officially approved by the NCAA. Seth Gross will wrestle this fall for the Wisconsin Badgers.
Gross was one of the most dominant wrestlers in his weight class before going down with a back injury at the start of the 2018-19 season. Gross wrestled in just one match for the Jackrabbits before the injury forced him to call an end to what could have been his final NCAA season.
Having already graduated from South Dakota State, Gross transferred to Wisconsin over the summer. With the extra year of eligibility, the Minnesota native will be able to once again wrestle for Chris Bono, the man who cornered him in both of his NCAA finals appearances.
It should be noted that Gross is more than just an accomplished folkstyler, as evidenced by the tremendous freestyle season he had in the summer of 2018. Gross made the semifinals of both the 2018 U.S. Open and the 2018 World Team Trials Challenge Tournament, falling to eventual Final X winner Nahshon Garrett in both tourneys.
Watch Gross wrestle Garrett in a 31-point thriller at the 2018 Open:
Gross gives second-year Badger head coach Chris Bono a very formidable and balanced lineup, with Gross anchoring the lower weights, two-time All-Americans Evan Wick at 165, and last year's eighth-place finisher Trent Hillger at heavyweight.
Like the rest of the Big Ten schools, Wisconsin has yet to release their upcoming schedule, but if it includes the same conference opponents as last season, Gross could face off against the likes of Rutgers' Nick Suriano, Penn State's Roman Bravo-Young, Iowa's Austin DeSanto, and Ohio State's Luke Pletcher. There's a possibility that Michigan's Stevan Micic could be in the mix as well. And, of course, they will all theoretically be in the same bracket at the 2020 Big Ten Championships.
Additionally, Utah Valley released their 2019-20 schedule, and it includes Wisconsin, so we could potentially get a match between Gross and NCAA bloodrounder Taylor LaMont.
Safe to say there is a lot to look forward to this season, for Badgers fans and all fans of NCAA wrestling.