3/2: The Big Ten official pre-seeds were released after this article was published. For this weight, in order, they are: Deakin (NW), Young (IA), Lee (MN), Coleman (PU), Berge (PSU), Lewan (MI), Saldate (MSU), Model (WI), Cleary (OSU), Licking (NE), Doetsch (MD), Mologousis (IL), Baughman (IN)
So here we are with 157. Typically this is one of my favorite weights, but there’s just something missing. That’s not a slight against anyone in the Top 6, they’re just not a can’t miss guy like a Nolf or an IMar or a Ness. These guys are very good, and we should see a handful of All-Americans, but I highly doubt this is going to be a weight people are going to be revisiting on YouTube in a few years to rewatch the classics. The B1G has 7 spots in the NCAA preseedings, which does make things interesting because there are 6 guys who deserve spots and...well, let’s save that for a bit. Rankings are, amazingly, not provided by Intermat. These are from the NCAA’s 2nd set of coaches rankings, which will feature prominently in the seedings.
The Defending Champion
#1 Ryan Deakin - Sr, justNorthwestern (3-0 with 1 TF 1 MD)
Key win - 12-0 MD vs. Lee
Key loss - none
Deakin was MIA for most of the season before showing up on Valentines Day to pummel a pair of badgers (**swoon**) in his triumphant return, including a 6:15 tech fall over starter Garett Model. The next weekend he followed that up with a major decision over Brayton Lee. Rust appears to be minimal, and there’s no reason he shouldn’t be considered an easy favorite at the B1Gs. If everything breaks right, we should get to see a rematch with NC State’s Hayden Hidlay in St. Louis, but we can save that for another day.
The Contenders (alphabetically)
#9 Brady Berge - Jr, Penn State (5-0 with 1 MD)
Key win - 3-1 over Lewan
Key Loss - None
If Berge’s overcome his injury issues, he’s got just as good of a shot of getting a chance to lose to Deakin as anyone else. His defense is outstanding, which is good because he only tends to score a ton of points against subpar opponents. Luckily for him there are plenty of those to go around.
#7 Kendall Coleman - So, Purdue (8-1 with 3 MD)
Key win - None
Key loss - 3-2 SV to Lee
If you want points and excitement, Kendall Coleman is (usually) your man! The defending runner-up at 157 absolutely tuned up the weaker wrestlers, and had an outstanding match with Lee that honestly could have gone either way. Coleman’s my favorite guy at the weight, and anything from 2nd to 6th is possible.
#6 Brayton Lee - So, Minnesota (7-2 with 1 TF)
Key win - 3-2 SV over Coleman
Key losses - 12-0 MD to Deakin, 4-3 TB to Young
Lee bumped up from 149 after finishing 4th at the B1Gs last year, and he’s adapted perfectly well to the new spot. Good enough to give nearly anyone a match, but not quite good enough to finish, he’ll probably finish around 4th and will be decent enough along the way.
#9 Will Lewan - So, Michigan (5-1 with 1 TF)
Key win - none
Key loss - 3-1 to Berge
He’s...here. Lewan is the perfect representation of 2020-21 Michigan Wrestling in that he’s got a high seed by his name, but he hasn’t really proven that he deserves it. Perfectly capable against the dredges below, he probably won’t win and I’d be surprised to see him in the semis.
#5 Kaleb Young - Sr, Iowa (3-0 with 2 MD)
Key win - 4-3 TB over Lee
Key loss - none, other than his hairline
Young’s season has been marred by a fight with COVID, and he’s one of the more interesting guys here. The #2 seed in the B1Gs, he shit the bed losing to Nebraska’s Peyton Robb and Illinois’ Eric Barone and was the only Hawkeye not to place in last year’s Championships. The talent is there, but he’s never put it all together at once. Will this be his big opportunity, or is he just Tom Brand’s failson-in-law?
Everybody Else (Also alphabetically)
#32 Elijah Cleary - Sr, Ohio State (4-6)
Michael Doetsch - Sr, Maryland (2-3)
#30 Robert Kanniard - Fr, Rutgers (1-3)
Caleb Licking - Sr, Nebraska (3-4)
#26 Garrett Model - Jr, wisconsin (3-4 with 1 Fall)
Johnny Mologousis - Jr, Illinois (1-6 with 1 MD)
Matt Ortiz - Fr, Indiana (1-4)
#24 Chase Saldate - Fr, Michigan State (4-3 with 1 Fall and 1 MD)
So then there’s this. A stack of 8 guys with 0 wins against the Top 6 in the B1G. How bad are these guys? Only 1 (Saldate) has a winning record, and his highlight against the contenders is that he lost in SV against Coleman. He also did well against Brayton Lee and is my pick to get the 7th spot, but it’s not like I expect him to set the world on fire getting that last autobid. These guys got outscored 211-91 by the talent, and the only reason it’s that “close” is because there was only 20 matches. If anyone else is going to claw their way out of this quagmire of mediocrity, my best guess would be Cleary. He did a great job of losing valiantly to anyone with a pulse, and that might suit him well at the B1Gs. Other than that, these guys are just there for the highlight reel.
How will Ryan Deakin win the B1Gs at 157?
This poll is closed