197 is going to be interesting this year. Last years champ has already graduated. The other finalist (and recent World Champion) is taking an Olympic Redshirt year, the year before's National Champ is reportedly bumping up to Heavyweight (not that it would affect my call anyway), which leaves us void of talent at 197... NOT! This weight class is never easy, and these talents making moves only leaves other extraordinarily talented wrestlers to challenge one another for the NCAA Championship.
Morgan McIntosh is one of the giant talents still waiting to win an NCAA Championship, and this year is the year it happens. Here is a list of things he has going for him.
- Cael Sanderson is his coach, not only has this been beneficial in the past for many, but they are similar in size, and I trust they are training partners from time to time. There is no way that this isn't preparing him to go on a tear this year.
- This is his Senior year. There is something to be said for a heightened sense of urgency, and I trust that he will approach each match with that in mind.
- The only person returning at 197 who McIntosh didn't beat last year (he lost to both Cox and Snyder early in the season, but avenged both losses later in the season) is Connor Hartman of Duke, who I don't believe is much to worry about truthfully.
Keep in mind, Kyle Snyder just won a World Championship, but he isn't a Big Ten or NCAA Champion. Those belong to Morgan and Kyven Gadson respectively.
McIntosh was the highest ranked recruit in the country coming out of High School a couple years back, and it's about time that he gets his NCAA Title. Honestly, looking back at the last couple of years of NCAA Championships, it's not his fault that he didn't win it yet. We are in a great age for extremely talented 197 pounders. Last years brackets had the National Champ, a World Champ, the defending National Champ, and no shortage of other monsters fighting for supremacy. Additionally, McIntosh through the year with only 1 Big Ten loss, being to Snyder earlier in the season. The Big Ten had 5 of the 8 All Americans last year, so I'd say he's consistent.
Basically, like Jay Borschel, Coleman Scott, Frank Molinaro, Kyven Gadson, and many other greats with one NCAA Title; I expect Morgan McIntosh to win it this year. It's your time Big Mac, do work.