Anthony Cassar gets interviewed by ESPN at the NCAAs (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
Four-time defending national champion Penn State has lost two key starters for the season.
Returning NCAA champion Anthony Cassar (285) and 2018 All-American Kyle Conel (197) are out for the season due to injury. Nittany Lion head wrestling coach Cael Sanderson made the announcement Tuesday.
Freshman Seth Nevills will replace Cassar at heavyweight, while All-American Shakur Rasheed will step in for Conel at 197 pounds. Nevills is 6-0 this season and won tournament titles at the Mat-Town Open and Wilkes Open. He was the nation's No. 6 overall recruit in the Class of 2018. Rasheed was a seventh-place finisher at the 2018 NCAAs at 197 pounds. He was a Big Ten runner-up last season at 184 pounds.
Cassar, who started the season with a 3-0 record, recently reinjured his shoulder at Senior Nationals in Fort Worth, Texas. He defaulted out of the competition. Cassar will now focus on rehabbing his shoulder with hopes of competing at the Olympic Team Trials in April.
Conel, a transfer from Kent State, started the season with a 3-3 record.
Penn State will return to action this weekend after not competing for over a month. The Nittany Lions host Illinois on Friday and Northwestern Sunday. Penn State is currently ranked No. 2 in InterMat's tournament rankings and No. 4 in the dual meet rankings.
I think Rasheed replacing Conel may be a wash, but losing Cassar is definitely going to cost Penn State points.
His loss also sucks for fans as he was a great Heavyweight to watch.
Cael has also said that Cassar will not pursue his eligibility for 2021.