Martin: Way-too-early look at the 2020 Iowa State wrestling lineup

Iowa State’s Alex Mackall and South Dakota State’s Danny Vega wrestle in their quarterfinal matchup at 125 pounds on March 7 at the Big 12 Championships inside the Bank of Oklahoma Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 

Zach Martin

As the sports world is put on pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s never too early to start discussing the starting lineups around the country for Division I wrestling teams.

Here is how Iowa State might look come November 2020.

125 pounds – Alex Mackall

Mackall is coming off a runner-up finish at the Big 12 Championships and has cemented himself in the top 20 among the lightweights. Only two seniors in the top 15 are graduating, which gives the Ohio native a chance to break the top 10 in the early rankings.

This will be his last year in a Cyclone singlet and he’ll hand off the reins of this weight to redshirt freshman-to-be Aden Reeves.

133 pounds – Todd Small OR Austin Gomez

This will likely depend on what Head Coach Kevin Dresser and his staff think the best course is. 

Recency bias shows Small behind the eight ball coming off a 1-4 Big 12 Tournament, but he was in the top 20 consistently after a fourth place finish at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. He beat three ranked opponents during his first year in the starting lineup.

Gomez was a presumed top five wrestler at 133 and had it not been for a concussion, he probably wrestles at the CKLV and the rest of the year.

This will be one weight a lot of eyes will be on.

141 pounds – Ian Parker

The Big 12 Champion, Parker, has earned his keep at an incredibly deep weight. Only Ohio State’s Luke Pletcher and Wisconsin’s Tristan Moran, both in the top 10 and the former ranked No. 1, graduate.

Parker, his conference rival Dom Demas of Oklahoma, Penn State’s Nick Lee and Stanford’s Real Woods will be the cream of the crop next year at 141. It wouldn’t surprise anyone if Parker is on top of the podium next year.

149 pounds – Jarrett Degen OR Gomez

Hear me out.

Gomez had no problems putting on weight last summer, weighing he said close to 170 pounds at media day. Now the question is, can he jump two weight classes? 

I think yes.

His body frame can work at 149 with added muscle, considering he definitely grew a couple inches. He’s flashy enough where he’d be able to get plenty of bonus point victories.

Obviously, Degen has made this weight his home his entire college career. His height makes him such a bad matchup for other guys and he’s also just nutty on the mat.

If Dresser wants to put out his best possible lineup, this might be the best scenario. Put this on the list of weights of eyes watching closely.

157 pounds – David Carr OR Degen

If Gomez takes 149, Degen would bump up a weight.

While you take a possible “bad matchup” out of the picture, his style can still cause problems for guys at 157. The Montana native would have to prove he can put on a few pounds consistently for this move to happen.

No one knows Degen better than Dresser, so whatever the latter decides, the former will listen and be open to it.

If Degen stays at 149, then Carr will look to earn his second conference title and get on the podium at NCAAs. He has proven himself to be a top three and maybe best wrestler at 157.

165 pounds – Carr OR Logan Schumacher

Chain effect would be taking place here. With Gomez and Degen moving up, Carr would follow.

Honestly, I want this to happen. Can you imagine Alex Marinelli versus Carr in a Cy-Hawk dual? Travis Wittlake versus the Ohio native in Stillwater and possibly Big 12s? 

Sorry, just got goosebumps.

If everyone stays the same with Chase Straw graduating, this will be Schumacher’s weight for the foreseeable future.

He wrestled at 165 two seasons ago, burning his redshirt and going 18-14 that culminated in a sixth place finish at the Big 12 Championships. Maybe sitting last year on the sidelines will help him.

174 pounds – Sam Colbray

Finally, after three different weights, Colbray has a home.

He wrestled the best he ever had following the midseason cut, picking up the best win of his career against Northern Iowa’s Bryce Steiert. 

And, the best might be coming soon.

This weight was loaded with seniors and since the NCAA didn’t give winter athletes another year of eligibility, it widely opens up a chance for Colbray to get a run at the podium.

Eleven of InterMat’s top 20 will be graduating, including seven of the top 10. Colbray finished the year ranked 12th, meaning he might be vying for a preseason top 5 ranking at 174.

184 pounds – Marcus Coleman OR Julien Broderson

This might be one of the few weights that will come down to a wrestle-off.

While it was evident Coleman wrestled the best he had following his losses to South Dakota State’s Zach Carlson and Oklahoma State’s Anthony Montalvo in the regular season, which ended in a top five finish at Big 12s, he’s got someone behind his tail.

Broderson will enter his redshirt freshman season eager to prove he belongs in the starting 10. He’s a leg attack away from becoming dominant because his ability to turn and pin people is second to none.

This weight and the next weight present more questions than answers right now.

197 pounds – Joel Shapiro OR Francis Duggan OR Broderson

Shapiro ended up getting the better of Duggan at the Harold Nichols Cyclone Open, but struggled in his redshirt freshman year at a tough weight. Duggan did the same.

The only way I think Broderson ends up in this mix is because he wrestled at 195 in high school, has the frame to bulk up to 197 and also versatility.

In case Shapiro or Duggan struggle again, there’s a backup plan that still gives Broderson a chance to be in the lineup if he falls to Coleman.

Again, this might either come to a wrestle-off or a coaches decision.

285 pounds – Gannon Gremmel

Following a runner-up finish at the conference championship, Gremmel will enter his final year in a similar position he ended his redshirt junior year.

A big question mark.

His ability to ride guys out was vastly different at the end of last year, but his assertiveness offensively was inconsistent. It doesn’t get any easier next year.

Heavyweight is one of the youngest weights in Division I with just six of InterMat’s top 20 graduating. Gremmel will have to continue growth offensively to make noise.

Incoming freshman Cody Fisher likely enters as Gremmel’s backup, ready to take over in either 2021-22 or if an injury were to happen to Gremmel.