4 Takeaways & 2 Questions From Penn State Media Day

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Earlier today, Penn State released their media day press conference call featuring Cael Sanderson, Aaron Brooks, and members of the media. The full press conference is available on Penn State's site. Here are four big takeaways and two questions after that call.

The Lineup Will Be All Hands On Deck

Ever since the NCAA announced that this season would not count against athletes' eligibility, wrestling fans have assumed that most teams would roll out their best wrestler at every weight regardless of eligibility status. Still, rumors have swirled that high profile Penn State wrestlers would skip this season.

Cael put those rumors to rest and emphasized multiple times that he plans to roll out the best lineup possible. He mentioned guys like Howard, Lee, Bartlett, and Kerkvliet. It's safe to say that Penn State is all in for the 2021 season.

Cael Is Confident In His Youngsters

During the conference call, Coach Sanderson repeatedly emphasized that this year's team was both young and capable of high levels of success. He specifically named Robbie Howard, Beau Bartlett, Joe Lee, Carter Starocci, Aaron Brooks, Michael Beard, and Greg Kerkvliet as guys who could make an impact.

Sanderson emphasized that this will be a season where they'll depend on a new crop of wrestlers to step into the lineup and lead the program to a new generation of success. Of course the standard at Penn State is high as they've won eight of the last nine NCAA Championships that were contested. If they hope to replicate that success, they'll need the underclassmen to make it happen. Cael thinks they can.

Berge is Back

Brady Berge suffered a head injury at the 2019 U23 World Championships and hasn't been able to remain healthy since then. That appears to have changed as Coach Sanderson explained that Berge is finally healthy and ready to compete.

Sanderson described Berge as a "peacemaker" and a guy who unites the team. At his best, Berge has always been a threat to do serious damage on a national level. A healthy Berge could mean good things for Penn State.

Penn State Believes They Can Win NCAAs

After Cael Sanderson took the mic, sophomore Big Ten champ Aaron Brooks answered questions. His expectations for the team were simple. He believes they can win an NCAA title in 2021.

Their strong belief should come as no surprise to anyone, even though Iowa is the current favorite in the NCAA rankings. Penn State has made a habit out of winning titles. This year they'll have to attempt that feat with a lineup that only includes two guys, Roman Bravo-Young and Nick Lee, who have been on the podium at NCAAs.

What's The Starting Lineup?

The question about the starting lineup was a question that neither Sanderson nor Brooks was able to answer. The plan is to finish the season with the strongest lineup possible, but what does that look like? Based on Penn State's current roster, here's a guess:

125 - Robbie Howard

133 - Roman Bravo-Young

141 - Nick Lee

149 - Beau Bartlett

157 - Brady Berge

165 - Joe Lee

174 - Carter Starocci

184 - Aaron Brooks

197 - Michael Beard

285 - Greg Kerkvliet

That's a pretty salty squad. One of the biggest questions has been where Bartlett and Lee fit. Since Lee is only listed at 141 while Bartlett is listed at both 141 and 149, it makes sense that Lee will probably compete at 141.

Can Penn State Really Compete For A Title?

This is the question we won't really be able to answer until the season is over. It's hard to believe that only two of Penn State's ten starters have set foot on the podium at NCAAs, and none of them have stood on the top spot. When is the last time Penn State returned a lineup like that?

Despite their current lack of achievements, Cael Sanderson has a history of creating teams that overcome the odds and win titles. Can this squad make it happen? They're confident that they can, they have a ton of potential, and we'll find out soon enough.

Match Notes: #15 Ohio State vs #22 Rutgers Goes To The Wire

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We've got Sunday Big Ten wrestling on tap between #8 Ohio State and #14 Rutgers. The action starts at 12:00 PM EST, 11:00 CT. With 12 ranked individuals including #1 Sebastian Rivera at 141 and #1 Sammy Sasso at 149, this will be an action-packed dual.

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Match Notes: #4 Nebraska Overpowers #24 Northwestern

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It's a great afternoon for a Big Ten Live Blog, in my humble estimation.

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Match Notes: Iowa Routes Minnesota 35-4

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#1 Iowa cemented they would be the team to beat this year with a dominant performance last week against top ten tournament and #4 dual ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers. Now they're back on the mat against a tough Big Ten opponent in #12 Minnesota.

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Live Updates: #14 Pittsburgh vs #5 NC State

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Keep up to speed with everything going down between #14 Pittsburgh and #5 NC State with live updates of every second. Be sure to refresh often. My friend and enemy Christian Pyles live blogged the other top 20 showdown in the ACC, #19 Virginia vs #10 Virginia Tech, right here. 

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Virginia Tech Downs UVA, 19-15

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Virginia Tech holds off a scrappy UVA team in Blacksburg, VA!  Check out all the details below.  

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6 Reasons To Watch Oklahoma vs UNI & Iowa State

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Oklahoma makes its way to West Gym on Sunday for a pair of duals against Northern Iowa and Iowa State. This event is packed with 16 ranked wrestlers and 5 ranked matchups and plenty of good reasons to tune in.

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How to Watch: 2021 Oklahoma vs Iowa State

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Here's how to watch the 2021 Oklahoma vs Iowa State on FloWrestling.

SIx Michigan High School Wrestlers To Watch In 2021

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With eight nationally-ranked wrestlers, 26 returning state champions and 11 Division 1 recruits (and counting), the state of Michigan is loaded with grappling talent. 

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Why Penn State Has A Mountain To Climb, & Why They Still Can

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In order for Penn State to maintain its run of dominance, a new crop of youngsters will need to get up to speed quickly. That's a tall order for a number of reasons, but if anyone can lead a fresh group of wrestlers to a title, it's Cael Sanderson and company. Here's why this crop of Nittany Lions has a number of obstacles in its way, and why they just might be up for the challenge.

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How to Watch: 2021 Oklahoma vs Northern Iowa.

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Here's how to watch the 2021 Oklahoma vs Northern Iowa. on FloWrestling.