There is a ton of excitement brewing over this freshmen class, which may have come in a tad underrated at #12. Much like our Iowa recap, Iowa State is replacing a very talent class – one that was #6 ranked – and seniors Kyven Gadson (197) and Mike Moreno (165) have been extremely important as two time All-Americans for the program. The other senior in the Cyclone lineup is Luke Goettl, who has manned 141, 149, and 157 over his career in the Cyclone lineup.
Nathan Boston – 125
Boston is 7-2 on the season competing in only two Open tournaments in November, but what we saw in the limited sample size was something to be excited about. His two losses are to teammate Kyle Larson (3-1) and to one of the best wrestlers in the NCAA at 125 Alan Waters (5-1). Positive takeaways from his losses? He hasn’t been blown out yet, even by Waters, who is usually a regular season warrior.
His signature win, over fellow true freshman Stevan Micic, who took third at the Midlands championships for Northwestern. Micic probably would have been a top 20 wrestler had he indeed been the varsity starter. The hope for Boston is that he will indeed be able to hold 125, as he reportedly missed weight at the Southern Scuffle.
Dante Rodriguez – 141
How good has Dante Rodriguez been? Well after two open tournaments, coach Kevin Jackson decided to roll the dice and pull his redshirt to make 141 an open competition between him and sophomore John Meeks. Rodriguez established himself as the clear #2 after pinning teammate Cristian Lopez in the very first tournament on the year in Mason City.
He followed that with a runner-up finish at the Harold Nichols Open, losing only to Missouri starter, and top 8 ranked, Lavion Mayes 8-7. In his first ten matches to begin his career, Rodriguez recorded falls in eight of his nine wins.
He officially had his redshirt pulled in the Iowa dual where he lost to veteran Josh Dziewa 9-2. A lopsided score, but Rodriguez showed that he had potential scoring that upset, trying to throw the Hawkeye. He scored a big win at the Cliff-Keen Las Vegas tournament against Mark Grey (Cornell) where he hit a late five point move to win 10-6. Since opening the 2015 dual season the freshman is 2-1 with his loss coming to Dean Heil (Oklahoma State). He’s not a lock to wrestle the post season for Iowa State, but his win over Morales of West Virginia this past weekend is a big win for his resume.
Ryan Schuman – 141
Just a 4-3 record for Schuman, with his last outing being a 3-2 performance at the Grand View Open. Since he doesn’t have any signature wins, it’s hard to glean from his small sample of what kind of wrestler Schuman will be (as opposed to Boston at 125).
Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer – 149
Only 9-6 so far on the year, but he has also split time between 149 and 157. To me 149 appears to be the ideal weight for Renaldo, and he is just wrestling up at 157 as he continues to adjust to DI wrestling. The only issue I see with 149 and Renaldo is Gabe Moreno, who would be tough to try and beat out to be the starter at this weight class.
157 may be the best weight for Renaldo to battle for a starting spot next season, but again he may be giving up some size. He went 2-2 at the Grand View Open while competing at 157, losing to Iowa backup Patrick Rhoads, and Walforf’s Jenkins. His best win would be his 13-4 major decision over Indiana 149 starter Trevor Moody.
Logan Breitenbach – 165
Breitenbach is 12-6 on the season up at 165, but is considered to push at the 157 spot. He is currently 2-4 against DI competition, but all of that could be the product of wrestling up a weight as well as the regular adjustment to college wrestling a true freshman goes through. I think Breitenbach brings a lot to the table at 157.
Marcus Harrington – 197
The good news is I don’t have to rank the top true freshmen, but Harrington has certainly proven that he has star potential. Harrington is 16-5 on the year, with notable losses to teammate Gadson, top 20 wrestler Huntley (Michigan). He has also already picked up some wins that should clue you in on what to expect from him going forward.
For instance at the Grand View Open he scored a 6-5 win over Iowa backup Kris Klapprodt, a wrestler that appeared to be close to starting for the Hawkeyes this season. He’s split with former UNI heavyweight starter Cody Krumwiede, losing 7-4, and winning 9-3. But perhaps the most notable win on Harrington’s resume is his 2:30 fall over then top 20 ranked Luke Sheridan (Indiana) at the Harold Nichols Open.
While the loss of Gadson will sting for the Cyclones, replacing him with a youngster with as much potential as Harrington helps lessen the blow.