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  • Photo: Sam Janicki

    Photo: Sam Janicki

    Current Big Ten Football Players with Wrestling Backgrounds

    2x National Prep Champion Colt Deery; now at the University of Maryland (photo courtesy of Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)

    We're only a day away from the start of college football, which is another sign that wrestling season is right around the corner. Today, we're not talking solely about wrestling, it's college football…and wrestling. Specifically, current college football players with wrestling backgrounds.

    Now DI football is too gigantic to look at every single team or conference, so we've just focused on the Big Ten Conference. It makes sense. It's the top conference for wrestling, all of its schools sponsor it and it has a huge footprint that includes most of the hotspots for the sport.

    Below are the 14 Big Ten schools listed in alphabetical order. Under each school, names are listed of football players we've uncovered with a history of wrestling. How great were they? It doesn't really matter. Some were national champions, while others had losing records or barely started. The line we drew was that they had to have wrestled in high school in some form or fashion. None that stopped at the youth ages or in middle school.

    Besides some of the football players/wrestlers, you'll find a statewide wrestling honor. Those were included for athletes that had achieved those distinctions. If nothing is by their name, they either didn't qualify for the state tournament or we were unable to uncover their specific history.

    Let us know if there's anyone (current) that has been left out. Our research started with the information listed on each school's football roster. Some had more details than others!


    #8 - Linebacker: Tarique Barnes (Cordova, TN)

    #17 - Linebacker: Gabe Jacas (Fort Pierce Central, FL) 2x Florida 3A State Champion

    #23 - Defensive Line: TeRah Edwards (Groveport Madison, OH)

    #25 - Outside Linebacker: Jared Badie (Oswego East, IL)

    #28 - Linebacker: Dylan Rosiak (East Lake, FL)

    #38 - Linebacker: Isaac Darkangelo (Detroit Central Catholic, MI)

    #63 - Offensive Line: Alex Palczewski (Prospect, IL)

    #68 - Offensive Line: Zachary Barlev (Plainfield East, IL) 2020 Illinois 3A State 6th Place

    #71 - Offensive Line: Hunter Whitenack (New Prairie, IN) 2022 Indiana State 7th Place

    #74 - Offensive Line: Dylan Davis (St. Stephen's Episcopal, FL)

    #91 - Defensive Line: Jamal Woods (Hueytown, AL) 2016 Alabama 6A State 5th Place


    #29 - Defensive Back: Liam Zaccheo (Jensen Beach, FL)

    #73 - Offensive Line: Tim Weaver (Saucon Valley, PA)

    #77 - Offensive Line: Joshua Sales Jr. (Brownsburg, IN)


    #31 - Fullback: Eli Miller (Lipscomb Christian, CO)

    #37 - Linebacker: Kyler Fisher (Southeast Valley, IA) 3x Iowa 2A State Runner-Up

    #38 - Fullback: Monte Pottebaum (West Lyon, IA) 2018 Iowa 1A State 8th Place

    #39 - Linebacker: Eric Epenesa (Edwardsville, IL)

    #50 - Defensive Line: Louie Stec (Nazareth Academy, IL) 2019 Illinois 2A State 6th Place

    #51 - Offensive Line: Luke Gaffney (Linn-Mar, IA) 3x Iowa 3A State Placewinner

    #58 - Offensive Line: Taylor Fox (East Buchanan, IA) 2019 Iowa 1A State 4th Place

    #59 - Offensive Line: Griffin Liddle (Bettendorf, IA) 2x Iowa 3A State Champion

    #67 - Offensive Line: Gennings Dunker (Lena-Winslow, IL)

    #70 - Offensive Line: Beau Stephens (Blue Springs, MO)

    #72 - Offensive Line: Kale Krogh (Ballard, IA)

    #73 - Offensive Line: David Davidkov (New Trier, IL)

    #76 - Offensive Line: Tyler Elsbury (Byron, IL) 2x Illinois 1A State Runner-Up

    #85 - Defensive Line: Logan Lee (Orion, IL) 2x Illinois 1A State Champion

    #93 - Defensive Line: Anu Dokun (Iowa City West, IA) 2020 Iowa 3A State Qualifier

    #95 - Defensive Line: Aaron Graves (Southeast Valley, IA) 2x Iowa 2A State 4th Place


    #29 - Linebacker: Ian Maloney (Belle Vernon, PA)

    #41 - Defensive Back: Rex Fleming (Northern, MD)

    #51 - Offensive Line: Coltin Deery (Malvern Prep, PA) 2x National Prep Champion


    #55 - Defensive Line: Mason Graham (Servite, CA)

    Michigan State

    #27 - Linebacker: Cal Haladay (Southern Columbia, PA)

    #42 - Linebacker: Carson Casteel (Florence, AL) 2019 Alabama 7A State Qualifier

    #50 - Offensive Line: Brian Greene (Eisenhower, WA)

    #56 - Offensive Guard: Matt Carrick (Perry, OH)


    #60 - Offensive Line: John Michael Schmitz (Flossmoor, IL)

    #92 - Defensive Line: Danny Striggow (Orono, MN) 2019 Minnesota AA State Champ

    #99 - Defensive Line: Lorenza Surgers (Panther Creek, NC)


    #44 - Edge Rusher: Garrett Nelson (Scottsbluff, NE) 2018 Nebraska Class B State Champion

    #54 - Offensive Line: Bryce Benhart (Lakeville North, MN) 2019 Minnesota AAA State Champion

    #72 - Defensive Line: Nash Hutmacher (Chamberlain, SD) 4x South Dakota State Champion

    #75 - Offensive Line: Trent Hixson (Skutt Catholic, NE) 2016 Nebraska Class 5 State 5th Place

    #76 - Offensive Line: Beau Schaller (Waukee, IA)


    #26 - Running Back: Evan Hull (Maple Grove, MN) 2019 Minnesota AAA State Qualifier

    #40 - Linebacker: Jason Reynolds II (Eagles Landing Christian, GA)

    #46 - Defensive Line: Devin O'Rourke (Lincoln Way East, IL) 2018 Illinois 3A State 5th Place

    #69 - Offensive Line: Charlie Schmidt (Libertyville, IL) 2018 Illinois 3A State Qualifier

    #74 - Offensive Line: Nick Herzog (Blue Valley, KS) 2021 Kansas 6A State 5th Place

    Ohio State

    #42 - Cornerback: Lloyd McFarquhar (Brush, OH)

    #53 - Offensive Line: Luke Wypler (St. Joseph's, NJ)

    #81 - Tight End: Sam Hart (Cherokee Trail, CO) 2020 Colorado 5A State Champion

    #86 - Defensive Tackle: Jerron Cage (Winton Woods, OH)

    #94 - Long Snapper: Mason Arnold (Carrollwood Day, FL) 2x Florida 2A State Runner-Up

    Penn State

    #41 - Linebacker: Kobe King (Cass Tech, MI)

    #48 - Linebacker: Cody Romano (Blair Academy, NJ)

    #55 - Defensive Tackle: Fatorma Mulbah (Susquehanna Township, PA)

    #77 - Offensive Line: Sal Wormley (Smyrna, DE)

    #78 - Offensive Line: Golden Israel-Achumba (Dematha, MD)

    #94 - Defensive End: Jake Wilson (Nazareth, PA)

    #97 - Defensive Tackle: PJ Mustipher (McDonogh School, MD) 2017 National Prep Runner-Up


    #32 - Safety: Joseph Jefferson II (Pike, IN)

    #92 - Defensive Tackle: Mo Omonode (West Lafayette, IN) 2021 Indiana State Runner-Up


    #27 - Defensive Back - Timmy Ward (Canton, PA) 2020 PIAA AA State 6th Place

    #40 - Defensive Back - Sebastian Jusma (Teaneck, NJ)

    #43 - Defensive Back - Andrew Vargas (Ridgefield Park, NJ)

    #48 - Defensive Line: Kyonte Hamilton (Georgetown Prep, MD) 2020 National Prep Champion

    #50 - Defensive Line: Jordan Augustine (Weequahic, NJ)

    #55 - Defensive Line: Zaire Angoy (Irvington, NJ)

    #73 - Offensive Line: Terrance Salami (Holy Cross, NJ) 2021 New Jersey State Qualifier


    #14 - Safety: Preston Zachman (Southern Columbia, PA) 2020 PIAA AA State 3rd Place

    #45 - Linebacker: Garrison Solliday (St. Thomas Academy, MN)

    #59 - Linebacker: Aaron Witt (Winona, MN)

    #65 - Offensive Line: Tyler Beach (Port Washington, WI)

    #95 - Nose Tackle: Keeanu Benton (Craig, WI) 2018 Wisconsin D1 State Runner-Up

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