125- Nathan Tomasello (Ohio State)
- I like to make bold picks, but on occasion you tend to end up with a well documented foot in your mouth. Last October, I made the (at the time) surprisingly successful prediction that Tomasello would end up the highest placing Buckeye freshman. He took 1st while Kyle Snyder took 2nd and Bo Jordan took 3rd. It's rare to be right when you're just a simpleton like myself. Despite being the returning Big Ten and National champ, Tomasello may not be favored once again. I like to point out Big Ten champ there, because his National title was not the result of one bracket opening up. Sure Nico Megaludis (Penn State) returns, but Tomasello was just a freshman and we have yet to see his ceiling.
133- Cody Brewer (Oklahoma)
- Brewer had a shortened season with injury and not much competition before March leaving many to wonder where to seed the once All-American. The committee handed him a harsh 13, but Brewer responded with putting up points like he was the '99 St Louis Rams. Turns out Kendrick Maple was in the process of dropping down to that weight in the room simultaneously and Coach Cody has always developed elite talent. Expect the same this year even though the weight will be deep.
141- Anthony Ashnault (Rutgers)
- I'm flipping gears a bit here from the earlier recorded podcast. Ashnault is an extremely talented New Jersey wrestler who ended his freshman campaign defaulting to an 8th place All-American finish. He can go takedowns with anyone as he has proven on the freestyle circuit. I think he'll continue to improve and maybe be a nice bold pick for me. I always love guys that can go takedowns, and Ashnault is certainly one of them.
149- Jason Tsirtsis (Northwestern)
- The whole Tsirtsis thing is well documented. Even as a fan who is picking him for the 3rd year in a row, I used the term "Tsirtsising" which means to stall on your feet to win a match with rideouts. We will see is this off-season was spent getting ready to prove these methods weren't the only way he can get his hand raised. The thing is I don't think it has ever been his only method available to him, and we will see him back on top. He'll also be an interesting addition to the freestyle ladder next summer as well.
157- Isiah Martinez (Illinois)
- After a historic freshman season, it's hard to imagine anyone else winning this weight. Weirder things have happened. A darkhorse pick form me is Aaron Walker (The Citadel) . The kid is lanky, difficult to handle, and fun to watch.
165- Alex Dieringer (Oklahoma State)
- We are about to watch one of the best wrestlers in college history wrestle his senior season. Last year, 165 was loaded with talent and Dieringer made it look easy. Prepare for more of that.
174- Davonte Mahomes (Michigan)
- It's a homer pick of sorts, but this kid is seriously that good. Also, let's think of the training partners that he has at his disposal. The room consists of a lot of talented guys right around his weight especially when you add the Cliff Keen WC in to the equation. One of the most impressive things about watching Mahomes is his gas tank. You see the speed and technique, but few notice the endurance to round out a wrestler who will take the NCAA's by storm this year. I'm not sure on the National Championship, but he is as capable as anyone in this wide open weight class.
184- Gabe Dean (Cornell)
- Dean is from a neighboring and rival high school from where Kevin & I coached. Instead of wrestling in a lot of the "feature" national pre-season tournaments Dean was winning state championships in football as an option quarterback. That's why it was no surprise to us when an unseeded Cornell 184 won the Cliff Keen in Vegas as a freshman. Of course, he then became the first guy to officially blow up "Wrestling Twitter" a few weeks later when he stopped a 400 match winning streak (okay exaggeration). Dean will win again this year and in turn have more National Championships than (Wrestling) State Championships.
197- Morgan McIntosh (Penn State)
- McIntosh is ready. He was really impressive in March with a dominant win over Kyle Snyder and a really good NCAA tournament sans one match with Hartmann (Duke). I don't think he lets that happen again this year. I also think he's an interesting addition to the freestyle Olympic year fray in 2016.
285- Nick Gwiazdowski (NC State)
- We are homers and huge Adam Coon fans. Although, Gwiz may win his 3rd NCAA Title this year which doesn't happen among heavyweights in the modern era (not since 1988). Coon is still improving so it'll be interesting to see them lock up this season.
Team: Penn State
- They have the firepower with the individual scoring at NCAA's to really make it hard to match this year. Watch out for Michigan at Big Tens though. Their top to bottom strength will challenge Cael in Iowa City. However, when it gets to the Garden I can't imagine anyone topping them. I'm not a believer in Oklahoma State this year. I actually think the biggest challenge to Penn State in the big apple is Ohio State & Iowa.