A lot has been said surrounding John Smith’s decision to redshirt some incoming, high-profile wrestlers in the hopes for future teams to be that much better. However, there are still some exciting wrestlers to watch for the Cowboys this season.
Look no further than Chandler Rogers at 165 pounds. The homegrown redshirt junior is coming off a 25-8 record during the 2016-17 season which included a fifth place finish at the NCAA National tournament, Rogers’ first All-America honors.
Rogers is arguably the most exciting wrestler to watch for Oklahoma State. He possesses an attacking style of wrestling that puts him in positions for falls or rack up points quickly, at least.
He led the Cowboys in falls in 2016 with 11, while also tallying four major decisions and a technical fall during the season. He certainly has the skills to make some noise at 165 this year.
However, the weight class is still one of the toughest to win. In order to capture his first title, Rogers will have to go through the likes of Vincenzo Joseph of Penn State, Isaiah Martinez of Illinois, and Logan Massa of Michigan. Good thing for Rogers is that these guys are no strangers, as he wrestled each one in the last month of the 2016 season.
Rogers’ record against the other three was far from good, as he fell to Joseph by major decision and Martinez and Massa by decision, none of which were close matches.
That just means that Rogers will have tape to study on all three of them and should have another full season to pick apart tendencies and strategies of each en route to Nationals.
Coach Smith always has supremely talented wrestlers on the floor, however if there is going to be a wrestler to pick up his first national championship this season, I’d have to say it will be Rogers. His aggressive nature catches opponents off guard and he’ll have another full season to add more weapons to his already extensive bag of tricks.
Jeff Hopper graduated from Oklahoma State University in 2008 and has been a football season ticket holder since 2005. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.