*Grades representative of upcoming 2020-21 season
* No graduations
Who’s Coming Back?
* Senior Chad Red Jr. (Three-year starter)
* Junior Christian Miller
* Sophomore Jordan Kelber
* Redshirt freshman Tyler Deen
*Recruiting rankings from InterMat
* No recruits added
Well, this weight class seems pretty cut and dried.
Or does it?
As I mentioned in my previous previews, some possible reshuffling at 125 and 133 pounds could force some moves at 141 and beyond. I do believe that if Chad Red is going to move up to the vacant spot at 149 pounds, it’ll be because it gives him the best chance to succeed. If he’s a natural 141-pounder, then my vote is for him to stay here. Don’t move up in weight unless it’s beneficial to the athlete.
A perfect example of this is Ohio State’s Luke Pletcher, who moved up from 133 pounds to 141 for his senior season and dominated. The Buckeye avenged his lone loss on the season when he beat Penn State’s Nick Lee to win the conference championship and end the year with a 26-1 record.
So, in the event that Red does move up to 149, my money is on Ridge Lovett as the starter here, as I said in my 133-pound preview.
If Red stays put, this is his weight class. The senior-to-be is a two-time All-American and would almost assuredly been an All-American again this year if the NCAA Wrestling Tournament would not have been cancelled. Red finished third at the Big Ten tournament and was riding some serious momentum into the national tournament. I expect very big things from Red as a senior, no matter what weight he takes the mat at.
Behind Red, Nebraska has some options and some quality depth. Junior-to-be Christian Miller had a largely impressive sophomore campaign, while Jordan Kelber and Tyler Deen will add quality depth and developmental potential.
A Plainview, Neb. native, Miller went 12-3 on the year and even collected a win over a ranked opponent earlier in the year when he pinned then-No. 20 Alex Madrigal of George Mason. Later that day at the Journeymen Collegiate Classic, Miller lost to then-No. 2 Dom Demas of Oklahoma 13-10, especially impressive for any reserve. He went on to win the UNK Younes Hospitality Open and the Hastings college open before dual season ramped up.
Miller won his first dual match in the first dual of the season against Chadron State at the Nebraska Duals. In his only other dual action in Nebraska’s final dual, Miller moved up to 149 pounds to face then-No. 7 Brayton Lee of Minnesota. Moving up a weight class against an elite opponent, Miller was put in a tough situation and was dominated by Lee in the 23-8 tech-fall loss. Regardless, Miller is an extremely solid backup option for Nebraska behind Red who could afford the senior some matches off if need be.
Behind Miller, the most impressive reserve 141-pounder this season was redshirting freshman Tyler Deen, who finished with a 10-6 record. Sophomore-to-be Jordan Kelber struggled as a redshirt freshman with a 1-4 record.
In all honesty, I believe Chad Red is comfortable at 141 pounds and I look forward to seeing him take the mat as a senior on a very-solid Husker team. Nebraska’s potential lineup will include multiple senior All-Americans with many more young, talented wrestlers. Next season’s Nebraska team could be even better than this year’s squad that just finished 2nd at the Big Ten tournament, and I expect Red to be a major contributor to that.
Projected Depth Chart
- Chad Red Jr. (Sr)
- Christian Miller (Jr.)
- Tyler Deen (R-Fr.)
- Jordan Kelber (Soph.)