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Despite winning their eighth consecutive Big 12 tournament title, going 13-3 in duals, and having nine top 25 wrestlers in our final D1 rankings of last year, it wasn't a typical year for the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Over the past five year's John Smith's squad has won a team trophy three times and finished in the top seven of the NCAA Championships four times. However, heading into the, unfortunately, canceled 2020 NCAA Championships the Cowboys sat at 13th in our tournament rankings. As you'll see below, they should be back in team trophy contention next year in St. Louis.
There may not be a team in the country with as many possible lineup scenarios, especially at the lightweights. We listed each wrestler either at the weight they are ranked at in our pre-season rankings or where they wrestled the majority of their matches at last season. Don't worry I'll still breakdown all of the scenarios as we go. Shall we Cowboy up?
|125||3||Rhett Golowenski||Redshirt Sophomore|
|125||4||Colton Klein||Redshirt Freshman|
This Season: Wil Daton Fix move down to 125? Even though we have the NCAA finalist and world team member ranked at 133 at the moment, the rumors are beginning to swirl and it makes sense. At the Olympic Trials next April, just a couple weeks after the NCAA Championships, Fix will have to make 57kg (125.4 lbs) back-to-back days, Fix will likely be wrestling an abbreviated college schedule as he prepares for the Olympic Trials, and the move makes the Cowboy lineup stronger. With Fix at 125, that allows either Reece Witcraft to start once again or Kaid Brock to come back down from 141 and give Witcraft the redshirt season he didn't get last year.
If Fix stays at 133, I would not be surprised at all if true freshman Jakason Burks gets the nod. Rhett Golowenski and Colton Klein have below .500 records on the collegiate level and while Dallas Wilson was 8-3 a year ago he wrestled just one D1 wrestler.
Long-Term Outlook: If Fix were to come down I don't see him staying at 125 the rest of his career. It would be a one-year deal. For now, I would say Burks is the future for the Pokes. He's on the smaller side and can likely hold 125 for at least two or maybe more years. It's also worth noting that elite 2021 prospect, Stevo Poulin, announced that Oklahoma State was one of five schools he is looking at closely.
|133||1||Daton Fix||Redshirt Sophomore|
|133||4||Andrew Nieman||Redshirt Senior|
|133||5||Conner Wilson||Redshirt Sophomore|
This Season: Like 125, Daton Fix will dictate who the starter is at this weight. If he returns to the weight he finished second at in 2019, he will once again be a title contender in St. Louis. If he does go down to 125, that opens the door for Kaid Brock to return to the weight where he was fifth at the NCAA Championships twice at. If Brock elects to stay at 141, where he lost in the bloodround in 2019, Reece Witcraft will start for the second consecutive year. As a true freshman, Witcraft finished last year #21 in our final rankings, qualified for the NCAA Championships, and owned wins over Montorie Bridges, Taylor LaMont, and Todd Small.
Long-Term Outlook: With three years of eligibility remaining, Daton Fix is the future of the weight even if he does go down this upcoming season as he would still have two more years to wrestle 133. Trevor Mastrogiovanni comes to Stillwater as the 13th-ranked recruit in the class of 2020 and I believe has a bright future at the collegiate level. Don't be shocked if he continues to grow as his brother, Travis, a 2021 Oklahoma State commit, wrestled 152 last year.
|141||1||Kaid Brock||Redshirt Senior|
|141||2||Dusty Hone||Redshirt Sophomore|
|141||3||Kaden Gfeller||Redshirt Junior|
|141||4||Colt Newton||Redshirt Freshman|
|141||5||Price Perrier||Redshirt Freshman|
This Season: If Kaid Brock stays up at 141, that means the Cowboys would have three former NCAA qualifiers to work with at this weight. If Brock is healthy he's the best option of the three. Dusty Hone was a surprise last year. After going 10-5 in his redshirt season, Hone improved to 21-9 while beating All-Americans Tariq Wilson and Kyle Shoop along the way. Kaden Gfeller was one of the biggest surprises last year wrestling just six matches after going 28-6 and earning the seven seed at the 2019 NCAA Championship.
Long-Term Outlook: After this year Dusty Hone will have two years of eligibility remaining and Teague Travis is committed in the class of 2021, but could possibly grow out of the weight before getting on campus as he wrestled 145 last year. As I kind of teased in the 133 write-up, I could also see Trevor Mastrogiovanni growing into the weight. One final option is Brevin Balmeceda. The blue-chip recruit from Florida wrestled half of his matches during his redshirt year at 141 before moving up to 149 the second half of the season.
|149||1||Boo Lewallen||Redshirt Senior|
|149||2||Brevin Balmeceda||Redshirt Freshman|
|149||3||Daniel Manibog||Redshirt Freshman|
|149||4||Jarod Kadel||Redshirt Freshman|
|149||5||Cole VanVleet||Redshirt Junior|
This Season: After having a couple of seasons cut short due to injury, Boo Lewallen received a sixth year of eligibility and will once again be a title contender for the Pokes. Lewallen spent a week ranked #1 in the country and was never ranked lower than ninth all of last season.
Long-Term Outlook: As I briefly touched on above, Brevin Balmeceda bumped up to 149 at the end of the year and was 8-3 at the weight. He will have three years of eligibility after Lewallen's graduation. Another option arriving in 2021 is the #15 recruit on the Junior Big Board, Victor Voinovich.
|157||1||Wyatt Sheets||Redshirt Junior|
|157||2||Chance McLane||Redshirt Freshman|
|157||3||Jalin Harper||Redshirt Sophomore|
This Season: In 2019, Wyatt Sheets failed to qualify for the NCAA Championships and began the 2019-20 season unranked. The son of NCAA champion Mike Sheets would go on to earn wins over Matt Zovistoski, Taleb Rahmani, Jarrett Jacques, Kaleb Young, and Justin Thomas who were all ranked and former NCAA qualifiers. Sheets will now enter his senior season ranked #9 and poised for a great finals season in orange and black.
Long-Term Outlook: Chance McLane had a great redshirt season going 17-3, but only four of those matches came against D1 opponents. In my opinion, the long-term answer here is the aforementioned younger but bigger Mastrogiovanni, Travis. The Blair Academy hammer wrestled 152 last season and is currently the #9-ranked recruit in the class of 2021.
|165||1||Travis Wittlake||Redshirt Sophomore|
|165||2||Cade Lindsey||Redshirt Freshman|
|165||3||Elise Brown Ton||Freshman|
This Season: After a solid redshirt season, Travis Wittlake jumped levels in his first season in the Oklahoma State lineup. Wittlake won a Big 12 Championship, was 28-2 with his only losses coming to Alex Marinelli and Shane Griffith, and earned the four seed at the NCAA Championships. He'll be back in the orange and black looking to take another jump.
Long-Term Outlook: Wittlake is the future here with three years of eligibility remaining. The question is, can he take the next step and jump into the title-contending conversation?
|174||1||Gavin Stika||Redshirt Sophomore|
|174||2||Christian Bahl||Redshirt Junior|
|174||4||JaQuan Jackson||Redshirt Sophomore|
This Season: While the starters at 149, 157, and 165 are solidified, 174 is up in the air. Ohio state champ Gavin Stika was 16-5 last year and Christian Bahl has a winning record over his collegiate career as well. The wildcard here is true freshman Dustin Plott. We have Plott listed at 184, but that's mainly because he didn't wrestle his senior year of high school due to a shoulder injury. Last month, Plott told our Oklahoma State beat writer, Seth Duckworth, he will wrestle 174/184. If Plott is healthy there's no doubt in my mind he would be ready to be in the mix to be an All-American as a true freshman. Plott at 174 also makes the Pokes lineup stronger.
Long-Term Outlook: If Plott does wrestle 174 either this year, next year, or both, I do believe he will move up to 184 at some point in his career. When Plott moves up or if he's a 184-pounder his entire career, that could clear the way for Luke Surber who was a three-time Oklahoma state champion and the #63 recruit in the class of 2020.
|184||1||Anthony Montalvo||Redshirt Sophomore|
|184||3||Christian McCutcheon||Redshirt Freshman|
This Season: Like Wittlake, Anthony Montalvo took a nice jump from his redshirt season to his first year in the varsity lineup. Montalvo won 25 matches, picked up wins over hammers Nino Bonaccorsi, Chris Weiler, and Nelson Brands, and was the nine seed at the NCAA Championships. If Plott is a 184-pounder, I would expect him to redshirt behind Montalvo to continue to get healthy and put on more size.
Long-Term Outlook: With Montalvo still having three years of eligibility remaining and Plott also has a possibility with four years still in front of him, the Cowboys are in good shape at this weight.
|197||1||Dakota Geer||Redshirt Senior|
This Season: After becoming an All-American at 184 in 2019 and starting the 2019-20 season there, Dakota Geer made the move up to 197 but couldn't replicate the same level of success he found at the lower weight. Entering his final season in Stillwater, Geer is ranked 13th in our preseason poll and will be in contention for another All-American finish next March in St. Louis.
Long-Term Outlook: With Geer entering his final year of eligibility I don't see any reason to wrestle blue-chip recruit AJ Ferrari right away. If you follow Ferrari on social media, you know that he enjoys lifting and Oklahoma State is known for bulking up 197-pounders to heavyweight. If we see another Cowboy bulk job, the 100th ranked recruit in the class of 2020 and two-time Illinois state champion, Daniel Jezik, will be there.
|285||2||Austin Harris||Redshirt Senior|
|285||3||Cornelius Putnam||Redshirt Junior|
This Season: Austin Harris became another in a long line of 197-pounders to bump to heavyweight. However, it was not as successful as Derek White or Austin Schafer's transition to 285. Konner Doucet would likely be the best of the three currently on the roster as soon as he gets on campus, but he could probably benefit from a redshirt year of working with strength coach Gary Calcagno. 2018 NCAA qualifier for Purdue, Shawn Streck, has been in Stillwater training but has yet to appear on the official roster. The same goes for Oklahoma State football players Malcolm Rodriguez and Brock Martin who began practicing with the wrestling team in January.
Long-Term Outlook: There are several options here for John Smith moving forward. AJ Ferrari could be a bulk job, Doucet could be the answer, and if Streck becomes eligible he could have a couple of years of eligibility remaining. Oklahoma State also currently owns a commitment from the 10th-ranked recruit on the Junior Big Board, Kyle Haas. The Maize, Kansas product is the brother of four-time All-American Tyler Caldwell who is also currently the recruiting coordinator for the Cowboys. Haas is almost certainly a heavyweight at the next level.
Keep it locked on FloWrestling all month as we continue to roll out depth chart breakdowns for the nation's top D1 programs and also take a look at the high school wrestlers they are targeting.