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  • Photo: Photo/Tony Rotundo

    Photo: Photo/Tony Rotundo

    How have wrestlers coming off college seasons fared at Worlds?

    In August, the U.S. will send their freestyle world team to the UWW World Championships in Paris. This year's eight-man squad features two wrestlers who recently finished their collegiate careers this year, Thomas Gilman and J'den Cox, and two more who will be back on the mats for the next NCAA season, Kyle Snyder and Zain Retherford. While wrestlers coming directly off collegiate seasons seem to be doing better and better on the international level, it is not an entirely new phenomenon. The following looks back at all the world championship performances of wrestlers coming directly off collegiate seasons since 2007.

    Kyle Snyder gets his hand raised after winning the Olympic gold medal (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)

    2016 Olympics

    After defeating Kyle Dake in the Olympic Trials finale, J'den Cox headed to Brazil to represent the U.S. in the 86-kilogram division. He won his first two matches over Amarhajy Mahamedau (Belarus) and Alireza Mohammed Karimimachiani (Iran) before falling to eventual silver medalist Selim Yasar (Turkey). Cox bounced back with a victory over three-time world medalist Reineris Salas Perez. The Missouri wrestler then returned to school where he won his third NCAA title with an undefeated 28-0 season.

    At the 2016 Olympics, Kyle Snyder won his second world-level medal at 97 kilograms. He ran through Javier Cortina (Cuba), Albert Saritov (Romania), and Elizbar Odikadze (Georgia) to reach the finals. There Snyder defeated Azerbaijan's Khetag Goziumov in a close 2-1 match. This past season at Ohio State, Snyder went 17-0 and won his second NCAA heavyweight wrestling title.

    James Green won a bronze medal at the Worlds after finishing third at the NCAAs (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)

    2015 World Championships

    Despite having never won an NCAA title, James Green became a world medalist in 2015. After finishing third the 2015 NCAA tournament, he then turned to freestyle and won a spot on the world team. On U.S. soil at the 2015 World Championships, Green defeated Johnthan Scott (Costa Rica), Robert Olle (Slovakia) and Arun Kumar (India) before falling to eventual silver medalist Hassan Yazdani of Iran. Green was then pulled into the repechage and defeated Miroslav Kirov (Bulgaria) for bronze.

    Before he was ever an NCAA champion, Kyle Snyder won his first world championship. Three months after falling to Kyven Gadson in the NCAA final, Snyder defeated Olympic gold medalist Jake Varner in the finals of the U.S. World Team Trials to earn a shot at the World Championships. He won his first four matches by a combined score of 27-5 before defeating Abdusalam Gadisov (Russia) in the finals to score his first world title.

    2014 World Championships

    Tony Ramos finished his Iowa Hawkeye wrestling career by winning his first NCAA title. He originally planned to take a year off from wrestling, but he ended up entering the 2014 World Team Trials instead. In the Trials finale, he dominated Olympian Sam Hazewinkel in two-straight matches 4-0 and 5-1 to earn a spot on the team. In his first match at the 2014 World Championships, Ramos fell against Bekhbayar Erdenebatyn of Mongolia 7-4.

    Ed Ruth made the U.S. World Team in 2014 (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)

    In 2014, Ed Ruth finished his collegiate wrestling career with his third NCAA title for Penn State. He then defeated Keith Gavin in the finals of the World Team Trials to go to the World Championships. Things started off great for Ruth with a 12-2 victory over Yusup Melehayev of Tajikistan, but then Ruth was eliminated by eventual bronze medalist Mohammad Hossein Mohammadian of Iran. Ruth stayed in wrestling until 2016. After failing to make the 2016 Olympic team, he transitioned to MMA. He is currently signed to Bellator and holds a 3-0 professional record.

    2011 World Championships

    In 2011, Jordan Burroughs finished his collegiate wrestling career with an undefeated 36-0 season for the Nebraska Cornhuskers. He became the school's first two-time NCAA champion and finished his collegiate run with a 128-20 record. Burroughs then won a spot on the U.S. team at 74 kilograms and began his historic run with a world championship. In the finals, he defeated Iran's four-time world medalist Sadegh Goudarzi.

    2010 World Championships

    In 2010, Brent Metcalf wrapped up his second NCAA championship for the Iowa Hawkeyes with a 3-2 victory over Ohio State's Lance Palmer. Metcalf then entered the World Team Trials at 66 kilograms and defeated veteran Jared Frayer in the best-of-three finals. His run of success came to an end at the World Championships as he fell to Otar Tushishvili of Georgia in the first round in two periods (1-0, 2-2).

    2009 World Championships

    After an injury plagued season in 2008, Dustin Schlatter took a redshirt year away from Minnesota to rehab his injuries. While on the redshirt year, he ended up winning a spot on the world team. In the best-of-three trials final, he scored a pair of 1-0, 1-0 victories over Travis Paulson to earn the spot. At the World Championships, Schlatter lost his only match to India's Ramash Kumar in three periods (1-0, 0-2, 1-1). He returned to Minnesota for year senior year, but once again, he was forced to deal with injuries and ended up defaulting out of the NCAA tournament.

    Jake Herbert finished his collegiate wrestling career at Northwestern with a 149-4 record, two NCAA titles and a Dan Hodge Trophy. He then won the chance to represent the U.S. in the 84-kilogram division at the 2009 World Championships. Herbert ended up reaching the finals before losing to Zaurbek Sokhiev (Uzbekistan) and taking home a silver medal. Along the way, he defeated world champions Abdusalam Gadisov (Russia) and Sharif Sharifov (Azerbaijan). Herbert continued to compete internationally and made several world teams, but he was never able to bring home another world-level medal.

    After winning his first title at the 2009 NCAA tournament, Jake Varner went on to win a spot on the 2009 World Team. At the World Championships, he won his first two matches over Daniel Ligeti (Hungary) and Takao Isokawa (Japan) before being eliminated by Iran's world silver medalist Saeid Abrahami. Varner returned to Iowa State and won his second NCAA title the following year. In 2011, he returned to the World Championships and won a bronze medal, and in 2012 he broke through and took home the Olympic gold medal.

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