4 minutes and 13 seconds is all it took for Conor Youtsey to announce his return to the mat Sunday afternoon.
This Fall, Conor Youtsey decided to step away from wrestling, and pursue his masters degree. Add teammate and Michigan heavyweight Adam Coon taking a red shirt, this was looking more like a rebuild, than a squad that could challenge for a championship come March for the Wolverines.
Flash forward to January. Michigan's starter at 125lbs, Austin Assad, is now out for the season. Assad's backup, RS FR Mike Volyanyuk is also out for the season with his own injury. This left Michigan forfeiting 125, and losing valuable points in critical Big Ten dual meets.
That's when Michigan Head Coach Joe McFarland reached out to Conor about putting the block M back on for one last run. Youtsey jumped at chance.
His first test would come against Anthony Rubinetti of Northwestern this past Sunday.
Youtsey told Michigan Wrestling's twitter page in an a post match interview "Alot of emotions going on this whole weekend. It's been a quick turn around getting into the lineup, I found out last Friday that we'd be making this thing a go again. And after getting everything compliant by the NCAA and jumping in, and I guess it was just treat it like a practice match. Just go out there plug away, do what I can, get my attacks and have seven minutes of fun."
Youtsey wouldn't need the whole seven minutes. He would finish off Rubinetti with the fall in 4:13. Youtsey wrestled like an assistant coach, only doing as much as he needed to do, and doing it right.
Once he get's his lungs back, and spends some time sharpening his skill, "Mr. March" as he's been called by some, could look to make more noise come tournament time. And that could be a bad thing for the nations other 125 pound wrestlers.
Youtsey has had up and down season's during his tenure at Michigan. The Wolverine grappler has only produced a (64-43) record over his three seasons as a starter for U-M. His highest finish at the Big Ten Tournament has been 5th in 2015.
You can throw all the stats, rankings, and wins out the window once the NCAA tournament starts.
Youtsey was unseeded entering the 2015 and 2016 NCAA tournaments. That didn't matter. Youtsey pulled off upset after upset at both tournaments to end up with All-American honors both seasons (6th in 2015 and 5th in 2016).
Conor Youtsey has become the man you don't want to wrestle at the NCAA Tournament. With the way he turns it on in March, he just might destroy a few more dreams in St. Louis.