Many have wondered (including me) what changes might take place to Oklahoma State’s lineup when Boo Lewallen returns from injury?
Kaden Gfeller had been filling in nicely at 149. He’s a bit undersized, at a natural 141, but he’s been flat out dominant while stepping in for the All-American Lewallen. When asked if Boo could be back for the Southern Scuffle this was John Smith’s response.
“You have that hope,” said Smith. “I think for me, and for Boo, we’re not going to take any chances. He needs to be healthy and show that he can wrestle a two-day tournament that will require five matches to win.”
“He’s wrestled last year and most of his college career injured. He’s ready to go and ready to start back, but we need to pay real close attention to where he’s at and what we need to do”
When asked about Lewallen’s status when he comes back, Smith was pretty clear that Boo will get his job back at 149.
“Boo Lewallen’s our guy,” added Smith. “I’m not saying it hasn’t been exciting to see what Kaden’s done, it has, but Boo has a lot of experience”
Smith then indicated that Kaden Gfeller will go down to 141 when Boo returns.
“I’m sure Gfeller will look to move down somewhere in January when Boo comes back. I’ve watched the two of them wrestle and there’s a big difference between the two of them, but I will say, I’m really pleased in Kaden, and his efforts, and excitement, and what he’s done up to this point. There’s definitely a size difference there and he just hasn’t hit some of the better guys yet.”
So it goes back to being between Kaden Gfeller and Kaid Brock for 141.
That’s a little unfortunate for Kaden. It sounds like Lewallen probably won’t be back until after Reno, and likely not until after the Southern Scuffle. Gfeller will have the opportunity to start and shine at 149 at Reno, which is great, but Smith made it pretty clear that Boo will take that back over. So the job Kaden Gfeller’s gunning for is at 141.
As media and fans, you don’t get the day-to-day insight into everything that goes on in the room, but you can make assumptions that Kaid Brock won, and is winning that battle between him and Gfeller in the room, which is why he’s starting. If Gfeller were to go to Reno and/or the Southern Scuffle and finish ahead of Brock, then he makes a pretty strong argument for getting a shot at 41 as head to head isn’t the only basis you determine a starter on. He doesn’t have that opportunity up at 149.