The biggest high school freestyle tournament of the year is this weekend, and there is a lot to follow for Oklahoma State fans.
Based on the releases from USA Wrestling, at least four Oklahoma State wrestlers that have already made their way to campus will be competing.
Triston Wills (182): Wills, who will be a freshman next season at OSU, enters the tournament at what is by far the toughest weight class. Thanks to our former beat writer Hayden Barber, who now covers high school sports at the Wichita Eagle, I’ve been able to follow Wills fairly closely in his high school career.
He somewhat quietly crept up to beat Jalin Harper in the state finals a few years ago and has now made a bit of a name for himself. Can he take that next jump and beat some of the hammers at this crazy tough weight?
Daniel Manibog (152): Fargo is where Manibog had his first big coming out party last year. Being out of Texas he just wasn’t on a lot of recruiting radars or rankings. He was after his performance here. He knocked off a bunch of top-ranked wrestlers on his way to a fourth-place finish. The weight includes the returning champ along with some other pretty talented wrestlers. A high finish here could solidify some of the optimism created with what we saw Manibog do last year.
Jarod Kadel (138): Kadel will represent a state that typically doesn’t look favorably toward the Cowboys. The soon-to-be freshmen hails from Williamsburgh, Iowa. The multiple-time Iowa state placer will look to become a Fargo All-American for the first time here.
Chance McLane (145): McLane, representing his home state of Montana, is going Greco and freestyle here. McLane has a chance to break through and be a Fargo All-American for the first time. 145 is a pretty tough weight though, with five guys in the top ten registered it won’t be an easy task.
OSU’s monster 2020 recruiting class will also be on display.
Dustin Plott (182): As mentioned with Wills this is an insanely tough weight class and the most intriguing storyline for Oklahoma State fans is how is their top-rated recruit going to handle it? Plott’s proven he’s the real deal. A win here will cement that even further.
Jakason Burks (120): Burks is going both Greco and freestyle here. He’s certainly a contender in both. Last year he was a member of the Cadet World Team and has won a cadet freestyle title. Can he do it again as a junior?
Luke Surber (160): There’s not a high school wrestler out there with a faster-rising stock than Luke Surber right now. He has had a big-time summer and now finds himself as the No. 2-ranked prospect in the country at 174 according to FloWrestling. Like every weight here, it’s no easy task, but the way Surber has wrestled this summer, he’s definitely got a shot to take it.
Konner Doucet (220): The “big” man of this 2020 recruiting class, who most have projected as a college heavyweight is currently ranked No. 2 at 220 in Flo’s high school rankings. On paper he’ll be the second highest-ranked wrestler in this field and could see his close friend Braxton Amos if they both make the finals.
A number of Cowboy recruiting targets will be competing here.
Braxton Amos (220): Amos has the Cowboys in his top five and is the No. 2-ranked overall recruit in his class. The kid’s a definite blue chip and could face off with close friend Konner Doucet here. It wouldn’t be the first time for the pair to wrestle as they competed in the Super 32 final last year with Amos beating Doucet 5-0. Amos’ college plan is 197, so the natural assumption is if the Cowboys land Amos then Doucet would bulk up to heavyweight. Amos is wrestling greco and freestyle as well.
Carter Young (126): Young hasn’t officially committed, but you could almost certainly pencil him in as a future piece of the lineup for the Cowboys. He’s originally from Sand Springs, was coached by Derek Fix as a youth wrestler, and now resides in Stillwater. In Flo’s preview he’s projected as a finalist.
Wyatt Henson (126): Wyatt’s dad Sammy Henson was an assistant at OU before recruiting coordinator Tyler Caldwell made the Bedlam transfer to Stillwater. He was also the head coach at WVU with Caldwell as an assistant. So the OSU staff has been close to Henson for some time. He and Young both project from 141-149 in college where the Cowboys don’t have many incoming recruits at the moment.
Teague Travis (132): Travis is out of Missouri and is trained by Sammy Henson. Has the similar connections to Wyatt with Caldwell.
Nevan Snodgrss (170): Some injuries early in his high school career have allowed Snodgrass to stay under the radar a bit, but the Ohio product has come on strong of late and the Cowboys have taken notice. This would be a really nice pick up to go with the already stacked 2020 class.
Victor Voinovich (145): I’ve written a lot on how there’s just a bunch of straight forward connections for Oklahoma State and the top guys in the 2021 class. Caldwell’s little brother Kyle Haas is a World team member. OSU’s 2020 commit Trevor Mastrogiovanni’s younger brother Travis is a top recruit. Young is from Stillwater. It’s hard to see OSU missing out on any of them.
Though the Cowboys certainly seem to be in pursuit of all these other guys mentioned for 2021, I see Voinovich as sort of that last piece needed to fill out the roster long term. The lower weights will be very good with Witcraft, Burks, and Mastrogiovanni, and the upper weights seem stacked with the exception of 197 which will hopefully be filled by Amos or Ferrari. At 149 and 157, there are still some questions. If Manibog and Balmeceda grow out of the weight by their sophomore or junior years then Voinovich is an ideal prospect that could go 149 for a year or two then move up when the others graduate.
Overall there should be plenty to watch for Cowboy fans at Fargo over the weekend and into early next week. It will be streamed on Flowrestling. Juniors start on Sunday morning.
The Oklahoma, Kansas, and Florida rosters have been released and Colt Newton, Reece Witcraft, Price Perrier, Cade Lindsey, and Brevin Balmeceda are not on them and not expected to compete here.