So far this season we have seem high school wrestlers put on some incredible performances beating college kids left and right. Which of these guys should you keep an eye on that could make some huge waves in their true freshman? Here is our list of guys. A couple guys were left out because they will most likely not see the mat as a starter as a true freshman.
#5 Clayton Whiting (Mizzou Commit)
Whiting is a guy I do not think many have talked about a lot just due to him not really being on the scene too much at major tournaments. The main match that sticks out to me is the finals match at the Luther Open where he took on Iowa’s Abe Assad. Looking at this match you would have just written it off that Assad would bully him being that he was a ranked D1 wrestler at a point, that was not the case at all.
Whiting took the finals match 4-3 pulling a stunner that went somewhat viral knocking off a wrestler from the best D1 school in the country as a high schooler. What this match showed us more than anything was Whiting is college ready and can hang physically, conditioning wise with the extra minute, and he can stay poised in big matches.
We feel that he is a very good fit at Mizzou if he does end up seeing the mat. Making the starting lineup will be a hard task for him as a freshman as he will have to get through Jeremiah Kent who is a top 20 wrestler on most rankings at the moment. Even if he does not see the mat as a starter in his first season we think he will still be making noise at open tournaments as a freshman.
There seems to be a lot of untapped potential in his wrestling style as well and it will be very interesting to see what he can do for Mizzou as only a freshman. This is why Clayton Whiting falls in at number 5 on this list.
#4 TJ Stewart (Virginia Tech Commit)
We feel like TJ Stewart is a guy who is going way under a lot of peoples radar right now due to the fact that he is wrestling up at 215 weighing only 200 and is not showing the level of dominance you would expect. Stewart won the Ironman championships in dominant style where he was not really challenged at all, he was able to get to his attacks and finish quick as well as not get taken down at all with his quickness and ability to get to go behinds.
Virginia Tech is a very good fit for him and it should do him well. Whether he will make the lineup as a freshman is always hard to tell as a high schooler coming in but he definitely has the potential to do so. We will most likely be seeing him down at the 197 weight as supposed to the 285 weight class where he obviously does not have the frame to bulk up that much and remain competitive.
I feel that the one set back that Stewart does have going into the college scene is his ability to get out of bottom as a smaller wrestler. Whether you want to write this off because he is small wrestling 215 or not it was pretty apparent in his match at Powerade against Dayton Pitzer. The match was close the entire time in neutral however once they got onto the mat is where Stewart met his match and Pitzer was able to take the win.
Looking at the future of Stewart on the college scene it looks very bright. Even if he does not have too much production as a freshman his career seems like he should have a good amount of success on the collegiate scene.
#3 Dylan Fishback (NC State Commit)
Fishback is currently the number one ranked wrestler at 195 pounds and to be completely honest there is not really a flaw in his wrestling style. If you are going to beat him you just have to pull something crazy or be straight out better.
He took out Minnesota commit Gavin Nelson at who’s number one and he took out Michigan commit Rylan Rodgers in the finals of Ironman with a late takedown while reportedly going through an injury and wrestling through it. We feel he is a guy who is very solid in all positions and does not seem to get the credit that he deserves.
NC State is an amazing school for him with the guys that they have developed at the upper weights in recent years, most notably 4x World Team Member Nick Gwiazdowski. This list also includes Mike Macchiavello and the Hidlay brothers. Fishback could very well cement himself as a staple competitor at 197 pounds if that is where he does decide to wrestle in college.
#2 Nic Bouzakis (Ohio State Commit)
Bouzakis is pretty much everything you could ask for in a high school wrestler, he is insanely strong, he is quick, and he is technical. He has been one of the most dominant wrestlers in the country for a while and it should not be really surprising that he makes this list.
The Buckeyes have produced some phenomenal talent at the lower weights including Nathan Tomasello and Joey McKenna. Bouzakis seems like a great fit for what they are trying to accomplish and with Ohio State having one of the most stacked recruiting classes ever he will have a good wrestling room beside him with Jesse Mendez coming in as well.
What Nic can accomplish in this first year is going to come down to how he can transition into the college scene. Judging by what he has done and how well he has wrestled on the folkstyle scene in college he should have no real trouble in doing so.
Whether he decides to go down to 125 or stay at 133 is not known at the moment but if he does go 133 he can have a very successful season as a freshman. Maybe not an All American just yet but he could very well be looking at making the national tournament and winning a few matches to help out the Buckeyes.
#1 Nick Feldman (Ohio State Commit)
Well it is pretty obvious why this guy is at the top of the list, seems like everyone has been talking about Nick Feldman recently. With his dominant performance at Ironman and him walking through the second best kid in the country 12-0 who knows what the limit truly is for Nick Feldman.
People all the time are comparing Feldman to Kyle Snyder and Gable Steveson which may be a little of a premature comparison but at the rate that he is developing it is by no means out of the question. If we recall correctly it may have been over a year since Feldman has given up a takedown which is absolutely insane to say the least.
The main question is how good can Feldman do as a true freshman. It is pretty obvious that he will take the starting spot with Tate Orndorff heading out but the heavyweight field is only getting better and better. Feldman has just added another piece to that, but where does he fit in. Right now if he were to hop in at this very moment we would not be mad with top 15. However a year from that he could very well be looking at a top 5 finish and if he genuinely is the next Kyle Snyder or Gable Steveson that is when we will find out.