This year was a frustrating year in many ways for VT, but it end with a very satisfying NCAA tournament, in which Yates and Carter finally AAed and both got 5th place finishes. Next year, with injured and redshirted wrestlers returning, could be a VERY impressive year for VT wrestling. Here's a look at the major storylines going into the offseason:
1) HELLO, AGAIN: Jarrod Garnett (125/133) and Jesse Dong (157) will return to the lineup and will be in the hunt to join Carter and Yates as All Americans. Brian Stephens (149) and David Marone (285), both round of 12 guys may rejoin the team as well. This is Garnett's and Dong's last chance for AA honors, and I expect they will meet the challenge.
2) NEW BLOOD: Huston Evans (174/184), Sal Mastriani (157), Ty Walz (285) and Dawson Peck (285) will be joining the team. Evans will get an immediate look at 174. Look for Derek Borlie (197) to join the team as a transfer and make an immediate impact. Borlie should quickly climb the rankings at 197 and has AA potential. Several redshirt freshman are poised to contribute next year: Lex Ozias (149), Bubba Schleffel (165/174), and Austin Gabel (174/184). Ozias and Gabel wrestled well in open tourneys, while Schleffel nursed an injury. Ozias will be in the mist at 149 and Gabel looks to be competing with Malvestuto and Vetterlein for the spot at 184.
3) WEIGHTY MATTERS- The biggest offseason storyline will be what weight class Garnett, Carter, Neibert and Yates end up....as the team will most likely will be built around these decisions. The master plan for Devin Carter had him moving up to 141 and possibly redshirting. However, with his success this weekend, the coaches are more likely trying to find the best route to give Devin (and VT) a NCAA title. Devin, in his post-tourney comments, indicated that he's unsure what weight he'll wrestle at. Carter's decision could impact Garnett's decision to move up to 133. Garnett has established himself as a NCAA round of 12 wrestler and should be in the running for AA honors next at 125, but wrestled the last month at 133, with strong results...so if Carter moves up Garnett might move as well, to compete with Eric Spjut at 133. Neibert struggled with weight at 141 and if Carter moved up and didn't redshirt, he would most likely move up to the logjam at 149. After this tourney, Pete has to be thinking how he can bring home a NCAA title for VT. He's awful big for 165 and might want to wrestle in any class that David Taylor isn't in.
4) MARONE, RETURNING?- David Marone hasn't decided whether or not to return and that will impact how the bigs are brought along. Ideally, they like to start Marone, back him up with Walz, and redshirt Penny and Peck. If Marone doesn't return, Penny will get the nod at 285.
5) 149 LOGJAM- Brian Stephens redshirt this year while recovering from an injury and did not participate in team workouts for most of the season. If he returns, he'll have to shake of some rust to challenge a strong field: Brascetta, Ozias, and possibly Neibert.
6) REDSHIRTS- Carter is the big question-mark....the coaches will have to decide whether redshirting Carter is the best route to a NCAA title. Redshirting Carter next year will be extremely difficult, as the team should be VERY highly ranked next year. My guesses at redshirts are Brascetta (if B. Stephens returns and Neibert stays at 141), Mastriani, Strube, Moon, Dickson, Penny (if Marone returns), and Peck.
The following guys stand a good chance of AAing next year (I've listed the classes that I think they have a chance at:
Garnett (125, not sure about 133)
Carter (133, 141)
Neibert (141, not sure about 149)
B, Stephens (if he returns to form 149)
Yates (165, 174)
Marone (if he returns and stays healthy....285)
Thread: VT Wrestling : Looking forward
Sun Mar 18 2012, 11:23 AM #1
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- November 08, 2004
VT Wrestling : Looking forward