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OSU Wrestling: Breaking Down Cowboys Weight by Weight, Including John Smith’s Comments

It’s wrestling season.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

It’s wrestling season.

Oklahoma State starts its season by hosting Bucknell at 7 p.m. Friday in Gallagher-Iba Arena. The dual will be streamed on ESPN+. The Cowboys have won 23 home openers in a row.

Although the season gets going this weekend, it won’t exactly be on a roll. After Friday, it will be three weeks before the Cowboys see the mat again at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational on Dec. 1-2. Their next dual won’t be until Dec. 8 against Lehigh at home.

“We’re still a team that’s developing,” Smith said. “I think whatever you see on Friday, this team’s gonna get better. I just see it. We need competition. We may need more than one match. The schedule was a little bit difficult this year.”

With the season starting and the roster riddled with new faces, here’s a breakdown of the Cowboys’ projected starting lineup and comments from John Smith about each weight from when he met with the media on Wednesday.

125: Troy Spratley

Troy Spratley, a redshirt freshman, is certainly not the only new face in this season’s lineup. He transferred from Minnesota after redshirting his only year there, going 8-2 and beating two future national qualifiers.

Spratley was also a bit of a nomad in high school. He won a state title as a freshman in Pennsylvania before moving to Collinsville, where he won a second state title in a different state. He then wrestled outside of school competition in Texas his last two years of school.

Smith had high praise for Spratley, especially for a freshman who’s been in Stillwater only a few months and hasn’t even put on an orange singlet yet.

“He’s got a lot of energy,” Smith said. “He’s got a lot of excitement in him. For me, it’s been a really, really good experience for the last few months seeing that kind of spirit in a young kid. He’s driven. He’s wanting to be good. He’s got a lot of things he needs to do to improve, but, boy, he gives himself an opportunity at doing it with his attitude. Really good attitude. (He’s) not afraid to work.”

133: Daton Fix

You know the name.

Daton Fix has become the face of this Cowboy wrestling program since arriving in 2017 out of Sand Springs. In his six years at OSU, Fix has made the NCAA finals three times and won four Big 12 titles. Fix’s college career has been prolonged by a regular redshirt, an Olympic redshirt and an extra year because of COVID-19. Fix, again, is preparing to qualify for the Olympics this summer. Some qualifying will take place during the season, which is why many speculated Fix would drop down to 125 because it’s closer to his Olympic weight.

Nonetheless, Fix’s storied career will conclude this season, and Smith hopes others in the lineup will step up and take a load off Fix during it.

“Daton, again, leads a lot by example,” Smith said. “I think he’s had a little bit more weight on his shoulders than I’d like to see in the last couple of years. Hopefully we’ll have some people that will pull some of that weight off and the level of energy to get everyone fired up as we move through this season and the start of the season.”

141: Tagen Jamison

Tagen Jamison essentially followed the same path as Spratley to Stillwater, as both graduated from Plano West High School and spent their first college year at Minnesota before transferring.

Jamison, also a redshirt freshman, did not compete at all last season, though, because of an injury. In high school, Jamison was a four-time finalist in Texas (and Oklahoma as a frosh), winning it as a sophomore and senior.

“There’s not a lot there,” Smith said. “I mean, go look at it from his past– he was injured last year, didn’t wrestle any. But what we see, we see a lot of promise in somebody that’s really serious about moving forward, so, again, a freshman at 125 and another freshman at 141.”

149: Teague Travis -or- Carter Young -or- Jordan Williams

Who knows how 149 pounds will unfold for the Cowboys with three possible options for Friday and beyond.

“I’m not gonna really announce who’s gonna wrestle on Friday, because at this point and time, I don’t know,” Smith said. “I have two days of practice and we’ll make some decisions.”

Carter Young, a junior, has the most experience of the trio, starting at the weight the past two seasons. He qualified for the NCAA Wrestling Championships both seasons.

Jordan Williams, a redshirt freshman, was a three-time state champion at Collinsville before transferring to Owasso as a senior and finishing in second. He was considered one of the top wrestlers in the country throughout his preps career.

Teague Travis, a redshirt sophomore from Stillwater, was a four-time state champion, with the first three coming in Missouri before moving to Stillwater and winning his last one in Oklahoma. He was 17-2 last season, with most of his competition coming in open tournaments.

157: Daniel Manibog -or Jalin Harper

Smith had the same outlook for 157 as 149, as it could be either Daniel Manibog or Jalin Harper stepping out there Friday night.

“I like what they’re doing,” Smith said. “I think they both recognize, ‘OK, this is the weak weight on this team and I need to do something about it.’ I like their spirit about their training and commitment to moving forward.”

Although both guys competing for the job here are redshirt seniors, there’s not much experience outside of open tournaments. Harper impressed as a sophomore filling in because of injury, even winning six matches in a row and cracking The Open Mat’s top 30. As a junior, Harper competed at three different weights, once again replacing injured starters. He was 13-8 as a junior. Harper didn’t appear in a dual last season, though, in his first senior season.

165: Izzak Olejnik

This may be Izzak Olejnik’s first season at OSU, but he sure doesn’t lack experience and accolades as a redshirt senior.

Olejnik transferred from Northern Illinois, where he was a two-time MAC champion and four-time national qualifier. Last season, he was an All-American, finishing eighth, and was named the MAC Championship Most Outstanding Wrestler.

“I mean, do your homework, he’s a good kid,” Smith said.

174: Brayden Thompson

Another freshman at 174, but Brayden Thompson is as fresh as they come.

Freshmen can compete in five matches and still maintain their redshirt, so Smith said Thompson will at least get that, and maybe even more if he impresses enough.

Thompson was 152-11 out of Lockport Township High School in Illinois and hasn’t lost a match since his freshman year. FloWrestling ranked Thompson as the No. 3 pound-for-pound wrestler in the class of 2023 and the top recruit at 182 pounds.

Although it looks like Thompson will get the start for the season opener, Smith said freshman AJ Heeg could also get an opportunity in the lineup. Heeg was a two-time state champion for Edmond Memorial High School before transferring to Stillwater High School his senior year.

184: Dustin Plott

Dustin Plott and Daton Fix may be the most recognizable names on the Cowboys’ roster right now.

Plott, a senior, will move up to 184 pounds after spending the last three years at 174. At 174, Plott earned a Big 12 title and All-America honor each the past two seasons.

“I think this can be a good move for Dustin,” Smith said. “There’s definitely a change in some of the adjustments you’re gonna have to make and you’re not gonna find that out until you start wrestling at this weight class. You’re not gonna find it out in the room. When you wrestle your teammates at heavy, you don’t recognize it. What he might recognize is that he’s a lot quicker, a lot faster at this weight, a lot stronger, a lot more pop to him.”

197: Luke Surber

Luke Surber made a name for himself last year when he pinned Keegan Moore in 34 seconds to walk-off the first Bedlam of the season.

Surber, a senior, has started for the Cowboys the past two seasons, but he was at heavyweight in 2021-22. Last season, at 197, Surber finished third at the Big 12 Wrestling Championships and was 23-10 with 12 bonus-point wins.

“Luke, it’s time to go,” Smith said. “He’s been stuck in that same area of where he’s ranked right now. I mean, it seems like he’s been there a little bit too long. Just need to improve on– the improvements need to be done mentally and just kind of letting yourself go and finding a new level that you can get to, and so I’m excited about that opportunity.”

Smith also mentioned Kyle Haas, who he said is battling an injury that’s “nothing serious.” Once Haas is healthy, he could also get a chance at the weight.

285: Konner Doucet

Smith went with experience over unproven talent at 285, at least to start.

Konner Doucet, a redshirt junior, will get the start Friday over highly touted freshman Christian Carroll.

“I like the fact that I got two good heavyweights,” Smith said.

Doucet qualified for the NCAA tournament last season after placing fifth at the Big 12 Wrestling Championships.

Carroll was the No. 1 pound-for-pound wrestler in the class of 2023 out of Jimtown High School in Elkhart, Indiana. He’s already competed at the U20 World Championships as a member of the U20 United States World Team and was the champion of the 2023 U.S. Open.

“He’s a competitor– I like him– but so is Konner,” Smith said. “Just know that they got five opportunities to wrestle. Will (Carroll) wrestle? Yeah, he’ll wrestle, somewhere. Yeah, he’s gonna start a match.

“That’s why you have ranking matches. It settles the team and puts people in position to start and where you go from there is kind of up to your attitude and your performance.”


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