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In Fix, Gfeller Cowboy Wrestling has Top Redshirts in the Country This Year

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The Open Mat, a wrestling news website, came out with a list of the top redshirt freshmen and the top and the top non-freshmen redshirt for this season.

OSU was on top of both lists, but it may surprise some as to which Cowboy they rated as the top redshirt freshman.

Kaden Gfeller at 141 topped the list, not freshman phenom and World Champ Daton Fix. I read the article when it came out, and I tweeted out I felt they got it right here in putting Gfeller over Fix. I really think they did. Not that I believe that Gfeller is going to have a career that’s better than Fix, but Gfeller has impressed.

Gfeller has been incredible in his redshirt year. His only losses are to top five guys and teammate Dean Heil. He also has 4-5 ranked wins over really good competition. He was a heralded recruit, but to some extent I think he flew under the radar because everyone stacked his resume next to Fix. Now that he’s in a completely stacked room at the lower weights, he’s developing and flourishing more than just about anyone projected.

I think the quality of wrestler he’s working with at OSU may be doing a lot for him. No wrestler that comes to OSU has a room in high school like they do at OSU. But as great a high school wrestler as he was, he didn’t have guys at Heritage Hall like some others do. Fix at Sand Springs at least had the Karstetters who were state champs and some other tougher competition. Naturally, Gfeller wrestled with the OWA and Team Oklahoma to where he definitely got some legit work as in high school, but the push he’s getting every day now seems to have really elevated his game.

Fix is listed at No. 4 since he’s only wrestled one tournament. In that tournament he was impressive. He didn’t wrestle college matches the first half of the season because he was training for the U23 Worlds. At the other big tournament we thought we’d see him in, the Southern Scuffle, he came down sick the day of. In all likelihood, if Fix had wrestled the full season he’d be number one or number two on this list at minimum.

Then you have Joe Smith as the top non-freshmen redshirt. His year has been similar to Fix in the fact that we haven’t seen him much, which is concerning. He wrestled all the way up at 174 at one tournament after spending the first two years of his college career at 157. John has said his infection issues that he’s had over the years have been part of the reason he’s been out.

Specifically, it’s why he didn’t wrestle at the Southern Scuffle. Hopefully the time off will clear up some of his infection/injury issues long-term. The jump in weight is a concern. It may shake up the lineup a bit next year, but Flowrestling has indicated the staff projects him back down at 157 next year. It’s hard to see him coming down from 74 to 157 but who knows?

Any way it plays out this is why I wrote the two-part piece on why OSU fans should be so excited going into next year, even though it seemed oddly-timed by falling in the middle of the season. OSU has a lot of firepower entering the lineup next year and a lot of good guys already on the roster and coming back. Take note that PSU and tOSU simply don’t have many on this list.

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