2021 NCAA Wrestling Championship Watch Party

Which MAC Wrestlers Have The Best Shot at All-American Honors: 125-157

Which MAC Wrestlers Have The Best Shot at All-American Honors: 125-157

Which Mid-American Conference wrestlers have the best chance to become All-Americans at 125-157?

Mar 14, 2021 by Mark Spezia
Which MAC Wrestlers Have The Best Shot at All-American Honors: 125-157
With 40 qualifiers, including 11 ranked in the top ten, the Mid-American Conference could be well-represented on NCAA Championship podiums this week in St. Louis.

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

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

With 40 qualifiers, including 11 ranked in the top ten, the Mid-American Conference could be well-represented on NCAA Championship podiums this week in St. Louis.

While the MAC should come away with its share of All-Americans, will any of them stand atop the podium as the conference's first national champion since Missouri's J'den Cox in 2017?

The Tigers' Brock Mauller, sixth in the last NCAA Championships contested on the mat in 2019, says he can. 

In a recent interview with television station ABC 17 in Columbia, Missouri, the unbeaten Mauller, ranked third and seeded third at 141 pounds, was asked if there is anyone in his bracket who can stop from becoming a national champion.

"Myself," he answered. "I don't think there is anybody in my bracket who can stop me from winning this national title. If I stop wrestling, don't open up and do what I do, then bad things can happen (but) as long as I open up and do what I've been training for, I should get through. It's a tough tournament, but I believe I'm the best wrestler in the country (at 141). I think I can make it happen."

Here is a closer look at the MAC wrestler in each weight class from 125-157 pounds who appears to have the best chance to become an All-American.

125 POUNDS

Drew Hildebrandt (Central Michigan): The No. 4 seed is a three-time NCAA qualifier and 10-0 this season with a pin, a technical fall and three major decisions. Hildebrandt, currently ranked No. 5 in the nation, was seeded sixth for last year's cancelled NCAA Championships and was later named a first-team All-American by the National Wrestling Coaches Association.

He went 1-2 in his first NCAA Championships appearance in 2019. 

The senior has won 22 straight matches overall knocked off 19th-ranked Noah Surtin (Missouri) for his second MAC title last month.

Hildebrandt opens against 29th-seeded Zurich Storm of Campbell, who is 8-5. Next would be either 13th seed and 14th-ranked Liam Cronin (Nebraska), who is 9-3, or No. 20 seed Jake Ferri of Kent State (13-2).

Hildebrandt has beaten Cronin twice, but they have not met since 2017. He owns three wins over Ferri, the last coming at the 2019 NCAA Championships. 

Next would likely be fifth-seeded and sixth-ranked Brody Teske of Northern Iowa (12-1). Hildebrandt defeated him, 6-0, last season. 

Barring a shocking upset, Hildebrandt would earn a meeting with No. 1-ranked top seed and two-time NCAA champion Spencer Lee (Iowa), who was also seeded first last season. Lee is 7-0 and a heavy favorite to capture another title. Hildebrandt suffered an 18-0 technical fall loss at the hands of Lee in their only meeting in 2018. 

Overall, Hildebrandt is 10-6 against other wrestlers in the field.

The Twitter account Virtual NCAAs predicts that Hildebrandt will become an All-American by finishing eighth.

133 POUNDS

Matt Schmitt (Missouri): The No. 6 seed is 10-1 with two technical falls and two major decisions. Schmitt, ranked ninth, has won 10 straight matches following a season-open loss to 13th-ranked and 14th-seed Zach Price (South Dakota State).

Schmitt, a junior, is a three-time NCAA qualifier who reached the round of 16 in 2018. He also qualified in 2019 and is 3-4 in NCAA Championships matches. He transferred from West Virginia to Missouri last year.

Schmitt's biggest wins this season have been a 4-3 nipping of 12th-ranked Zach Redding (Iowa State) and 12-0 blanking of 19th-ranked Devan Turner (Oregon State). 

Schmitt opens against 27th seed Jacob Allen (Navy), who is 8-5. Next would be either No. 11 seed and 11th-ranked Anthony Madrigal (Oklahoma) or No. 22 seed and 24th-ranked Mario Guillen (Ohio). 

Madrigal (8-8) and Schmitt met during the 2018-19 season with Schmitt recording a 20-1 technical fall. Schmitt shut out Guillen, 6-0, at this year MAC Championships. Guillen is 8-3 this season. 

Winning his first two matches would likely earn Schmitt a match against No. 3 seed and fourth-ranked Korbin Myers (Virginia Tech), who is 8-0. 

Overall, Schmitt has faced seven wrestlers in the field, going 5-2.

141 POUNDS

Dresden Simon (Central Michigan): On Sept. 24, 2019, the two-time NCAA qualifier posted the words "I will be a 2020 All American" on Twitter. 

The COVID-19 pandemic, of course, prevented Simon from even trying to make that happen, although he was later named a second-team All-American by the NWCA.

So, on March 12, 2020, the day after the NCAA Championships were cancelled, Simon updated his goal: "I will be a 2021 All American," he wrote. Both posts are pinned to the top of Simon's Twitter account.

Simon, ranked ninth and seeded ninth, will get an opportunity to finally make his All-American dream a reality this year. The senior is 9-1 with two pins, two technical falls and two major decisions and has beaten 18th-ranked McKenzie Bell (Rider) this season.

Simon, seeded 12th last season, has been perfect since a season-opening, 4-2 to loss to 10th-ranked Allan Hart (Missouri).

However, he faces a brutal side of the bracket. Simon opens against No. 24 seed Connor MacGonagle (Lehigh), who is 4-4. 

Next would be either eighth-ranked, fourth seed Chad Red (Nebraska) or No. 25 Drew Mattin (Michigan). Red, a two-time All-American, is 11-3 while Mattin is 9-6  and is a three-time NCAA qualifier who has twice reached the round of 16. Last season, Simon beat Mattin (7-1), but lost to Red (9-3). 

Unless a huge upset happens, Simon would then meet top seed and No. 1-ranked Jaydin Eierman (Iowa), a four-time qualifier and three-time All American who is 8-0 this season. 

Overall, Simon owns a 7-5 record against other wrestlers in the field.

149 POUNDS

Brock Mauller (Missouri): Mauller, who has won 34 straight matches overall, is 17-0 with a pin, a technical fall and three major decisions. The three-time NCAA qualifier was named a first-team All-American by the NWCA after being seeded fourth for last year's NCAA Championships.

Mauller's biggest win this season, by far, is a 7-5 decision over fourth-ranked Boo Lewallen (Oklahoma State), a 2018 All-American. The junior has also knocked off 16th-ranked Triston Lara of Northern Iowa, 5-3, and is 10-2 against other wrestlers in the field.

Mauller opens against Cleveland State's Marcus Robinson (8-4) whom he just blanked, 6-0, to secure a third MAC championship. 

Next would be either 10th-ranked, 14th-seeded Michael Blockhus (Minnesota) or 25th-ranked, 19th-seeded Casey Robb (Navy). Robb is 8-1 this season and Blockhus 8-6. Neither has faced Mauller in collegiate competition.

Quarterfinals would likely mean a meeting with ninth-ranked, sixth-seeded Bryce Andonian (Virginia Tech), who is 8-2. 

Barring a significant upset, Mauller would run into second-ranked and second-seeded Austin O'Connor (North Carolina), who is 8-0. He edged Mauller, 4-3, for fifth place at the 2019 NCAA Championships. 

The top seed is top-ranked Sammy Sasso (Ohio State), who is 12-0. 

The Twitter account Virtual NCAAs predicts that Mauller will drop a 6-4 decision to O'Connor in the semifinals before falling, 4-3, to Sasso in the third-place match. 

157 POUNDS

Jesse Dellavecchia (Rider): The senior, who has won 23 straight matches overall, is 7-0 with three pins and two technical falls. He is a three-time NCAA qualifier who reached the round of 16 in 2019. He edged seventh-ranked Jarrett Jacques (Missouri) for a second straight Mid-American Conference title last month. 

Dellavecchia, ranked fourth and seeded fourth, opens against North Carolina's Josh McClure (5-5). Next would be either 16th-ranked and 13th-seeded Hunter Willits (Oregon State), who is 9-3, for No. 15 seed Cody Bond (Appalachian State), who is 15-4. Dellavecchia has not faced any of the three in collegiate competition. 

Reaching the quarterfinals would likely earn Dellavecchia a shot at fifth-ranked and fifth-seeded Kaleb Young (Iowa), who is 5-1 and placed fifth at the 2019 NCAA Championships. He defeated Dellavecchia, 12-3, at the 2017 Midlands. 

Another quarterfinals possibility is ninth-ranked and 12th-seeded Brady Berge (Penn State), who is 8-2.

Barring a major upset, top-ranked and top-seeded Ryan Deakin (Northwestern) would be waiting for Dellavecchia in the semifinals. Deakin, sixth in 2019, is 6-0.

Overall, Dellavecchia is 7-2 against other 157-pound NCAA qualifiers. 

Dellavecchia was also seeded fourth a year ago and named a first-team NWCA All-American.

The Twitter account Virtual NCAAs predicts he will finish fourth at this year's NCAA Championships.