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I have seen the threads on here that discuss the highly touted athlete that flames out and underperforms tremendously throughout their college career, which, while interesting, is really a sort of negativity I am not in the mood to discuss here.  Instead, I would love to hear more about those who defied the odds of their recruitment stats & achieved greatness in the sport.  The less accolades, the better.

 

And before anyone says them, I am very aware of both stories of JB and Cassar.

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8 minutes ago, Truzzcat said:

drew foster was never a HS state champ 2x AA 1 time champ

 

14 minutes ago, BigRedFan said:

Gabe Dean was the #73 ranked recruit in Flo's rankings.  Finished 3,1,1,2 at NCAAs for Cornell.

Love both - anyone got anyone older examples though?  I am looking to hear about some older stories.

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Honestly a great program example of this overtime was Minnesota in the JRobinson era. Identifying the type of recruit who works in your system. Lots of guys from Minnesota class A(schools under 400 enrollment) have done well and AA’d or won titles.

 

Kevin Steinhaus, Brett Pfarr, Brad Pike, Owen Elzen, Jacob Volkmann, Chad Kraft, Brad Gibson, Matt Nagel, Tyler Safratowich and Zach Sanders all made the awards stand from small town Minnesota. In addition to that you brought in Tim Hartung and Cole Konrad from Small town Wisconsin. These guys all way out performed recruiting rankings, that is if they were even ranked and many of these guys were not.

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Derek Moore never finished higher than 5th at the California HS State Championships, but he was an undefeated NCAA champion at 141 for California-Davis in 2007, techfalling the heavily favored #1 seed Ryan Lang from Northwestern 17-2.  He also got the Outstanding Wrestler award. 

Edited by NM1965
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32 minutes ago, ugarles said:

Travis Lee 4x AA and two nattys out of Hawaii.

Good pick. I remember Travis Lee saying in an interview that he didn't get much attention from D1 programs at first (except for Cornell) but was highly recruited by the likes of Iowa and Oklahoma by his senior year. He chose Cornell because Koll was the first to believe in him.

Interestingly, a reason why Lee was such an unknown early on was because he only picked up wrestling going into high school. He wasn't without his accolades, though. That dude competed in Judo since age 5 and won multiple national championships. Many thought he'd be an Olympian before he moved on to wrestling.

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Daniel Cormier gave up a scholarship to play football at LSU (some reliable sources say it's because he didn't have the grades) solely to continue wrestling.  Spent 2 years at a community college before getting the opportunity to wrestle at Okie State.  

Edited by PortaJohn

I Don't Agree With What I Posted

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25 minutes ago, PortaJohn said:

Daniel Cormier gave up a scholarship to play football at LSU (some reliable sources say it's because he didn't have the grades) solely to continue wrestling.  Spent 2 years at a community college before getting the opportunity to wrestle at Okie State.  

The only shocking revelation from that story is that he had to go to community college to get his grades up for Okie State 😄

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Dan St. John .... never won a HS state title and won 2 NCAA titles

Chris Pendleton.... Won one state title....not highly recruited...struggled his first year at OSU  and ended up a 2x NCAA champ

Idaho... never won a state title or NCAA title... but won a couple of the days here on the board. BOOM! 

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Sponsored by INTERMAT ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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32 minutes ago, Idaho said:

Dan St. John .... never won a HS state title and won 2 NCAA titles

Chris Pendleton.... Won one state title....not highly recruited...struggled his first year at OSU  and ended up a 2x NCAA champ

Idaho... never won a state title or NCAA title... but won a couple of the days here on the board. BOOM! 

You have your priorities straight.

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Drowning in data, but thirsting for knowledge

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4 hours ago, PortaJohn said:

Daniel Cormier gave up a scholarship to play football at LSU (some reliable sources say it's because he didn't have the grades) solely to continue wrestling.  Spent 2 years at a community college before getting the opportunity to wrestle at Okie State.  

Here's one a lot of people don't know: Shelton Benjamin who went 5 & 3 at MN (and WWE fame) originally went to NC State for football.

Other AAs who started playing football and transferred to wrestle:
- Adam Chalfant - Indiana 
- Jimmy Lawson - Penn State
- Airron Richardson - Michigan
- John Wise - Illinois
 

 

5 hours ago, Wrestleknownothing said:

@cowcards is your man. He has amassed an amazing database of biographical info to go with results.

Unfortunately, I don't have all that together yet to be able to give some good insights right now. I'm working on the state tournament placers though. 

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5 hours ago, Wrestleknownothing said:

He was #19 on the 2017  Big Board

Mekhi Lewis had also just won a world juniors gold. i don't think his being an impact wrestler was a surprise; i think making a run to the title from the 8 seed as a freshman was a surprise.

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5 hours ago, ugarles said:

i think making a run to the title from the 8 seed as a freshman was a surprise.

Agreed. It was a surprise, but it probably shouldn't have been. He was on a tear. RS year, Junior Worlds, then the NCAA tourney...💪

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17 hours ago, BloodRound said:

I have seen the threads on here that discuss the highly touted athlete that flames out and underperforms tremendously throughout their college career, which, while interesting, is really a sort of negativity I am not in the mood to discuss here.  Instead, I would love to hear more about those who defied the odds of their recruitment stats & achieved greatness in the sport.  The less accolades, the better.

 

And before anyone says them, I am very aware of both stories of JB and Cassar.

 

Great Topic: I can only leave two names b/c I am at work and this would take up too much of my time.  But here is my start.  

1998: Kurt Angle: 285 (undersized) Clarion U. Did not go to a 'big name school' b/c he wanted to wrestle for Coach Bubb and play football.  You know the rest of his story.

2009: Ryan Williams: 141 lbs. Old Dominion U. runner up; 137 career wins.

 

  

 

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15 hours ago, CHROMEBIRD said:

Was Mekhi Lewis highly recruited? He seemed to take many by surprise his first year

He had a pretty high stock, but I remember that many saw his teammate, Stefan Glasgow, as the one with a higher ceiling.  He had just beaten Shane Griffith for a state title that year.  Goes to show you that it's not a sprint, but a marathon.

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Mike Macchiavello comes to mind when discussing wrestlers that "overachieved". He was a one-time state champ from North Carolina which is not exactly known as the toughest state. I believe I remember in an article that he had a negative record as a freshman in college. Either way, it was an impressive progression from HS to College.

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