NCAA Prospect Rankings
Brayton Lee Tops One Of The Deepest Weights
The 157-pound prospect rankings appear to indicate this will be a very deep weight within the next few years. To wit, there is a Cadet world champ that we have as the seventh-best guy. That world champ is Will Lewan, and we'll get to him in a second.
Brayton Lee is an interesting choice at the top of the heap. He never won a national tournament, and yet it's basically impossible to argue with his resume and win ledger. He is an explosive leg attacker who has gotten steadily better in every year of high school and appears to be trending up still as he enters college at Minnesota.
Brock Hardy holds a bit of "ace-in-the-hole" value for Nebraska because he will be taking a two-year Mormon mission, thus making him an incoming class of 2020 recruit. He had always done very well in Fargo and this year won Ironman and Reno.
Jaden Mattox might be the most advanced on top of any prospect at this weight and could start early on for the Buckeyes. A state champ this year in Ohio for Central Crossing and a FloNats champ, Mattox could have a Shakur Rasheed-like impact in college.
Talk to anyone who has wrestled Travis Mastrogiovanni and they'll tell you he's enormous, they'll tell you he's strong, and they'll tell you he is an absolute pain to wrestle. His propensity for going upper body could be seen as gimmicky or be presented as something that might not work in college. But he has an extremely varied arsenal and the leverage to use it. You know who else relies on big moves a lot? Mark Hall.
Justin Ruffin is exactly the type of kid proving that the state of Georgia is on the rise. He's heading to SIUE and has performed well in just about every major tournament he's entered in while in high school. Ruffin trains at Compound, the same club that produced Taylor Lujan.
Carson Manville already has wins over the top-ranked guys at 126 and 132lb and is only a freshman. He will likely end up wrestling 138 or 145 this summer and has a bruising, physical, straight-on style, albeit one that can be described as a modernized 2018 version of the "Iowa Style."
Will Lewan comes in seventh, which was not easy. Prior to his run over the summer, Lewan was a guy who "just won" and did it better than just about anyone. But he didn't generate a whole lot of offense in the process and was always a few notches below his peers on the Big Board. Then he won a Cadet world title and became a top 10 prospect in his grade. After a few losses his senior year, I think he has come back down to where our perception of him was last year, though he's still very much good enough to be a multiple-time All-American for the Michigan Wolverines.
Ruffin took wins over Brevin Balmeceda, a Super 32 champ, and Artalona, a Fargo champ, in the same tournament this year. Coleman was an Ironman finalist, Markus Hartman beat Lewan in the state finals, and Kevon Freeman beat Ryan Thomas in the state finals.
Please remember that these are prospect rankings and not the same as the high school weight class rankings. Wins and losses play a part, but this is more about the long-term potential for these young men. If you have any questions or concerns, please DM @wrestlingnomad on Twitter or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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