* Junior Kyle Ruettiger
* Junior Johnny Blankenship
Who’s Coming Back?
*Grades representative of upcoming 2020-21 season
* Redshirt Sophomore Peyton Robb (2020-21 starter)
* Redshirt Sophomore Jake Silverstein
* Redshirt Freshman Bubba Wilson
*Recruiting rankings from InterMat
* No incoming recruits
There may not be more moving parts at a weight class than there are at 157 pounds, at least potentially.
Obviously, returning starter Peyton Robb comes back for his sophomore year, but I see it as a foregone conclusion that he moves up to the vacant spot at 165 pounds. After missing weight in the year’s last dual, Robb seems almost guaranteed to move up, especially considering the dire situation at 165 pounds with the graduation of All-American Isaiah White.
So, I am operating under the assumption that Robb will not be at 157 pounds next season. So, who does that leave for the Huskers here?
First, let’s touch on the pair of losses. Juniors Johnny Blankenship and Kyle Ruettiger don’t look to be back next year after being honored on senior night against Michigan earlier this year. Blankenship put together an impressive career, finishing with a 50-17 career record. As a junior, Blankenship went 15-4 while also recording his first career dual win against Chadron State. Ruettiger leaves the program with a 2-4 career record.
Returning contenders include Jake Silverstein and Bubba Wilson. Silverstein, a sophomore-to-be, finished the season with a 9-7 record and a dual win against Indiana where he moved up to 165 pounds and defeated Dillon Hoey 11-7.
However, all signs point to Bubba Wilson taking this starting spot with Robb moving up in weight. In fact, I’d argue that having an up-and-comer like Wilson at this spot affords the Huskers the opportunity to move Robb up. Wilson is another highly touted recruit from that class of 2019 that’ll look to make some noise after redshirting. During his redshirt year, Wilson went an absurd 19-1 and won four of the five tournaments he wrestled in (he finished 2nd in the other, with his lone loss on the season coming in the final).
Wilson also racked up bonus points in his wins, as over half of his wins earned bonus points with five pins, two technical falls and three major decisions. A Manhattan, Kan. native, Wilson was ranked No. 11 at 152 pounds coming out of high school.
There is also the possibility that someone moves up from 149 pounds to add depth or even compete for the starting job. In my opinion, the most likely to move up would be incoming freshman Brock Hardy, who is finishing up his two-year LDS mission. After taking two years off away from the mat, it’s possible and almost likely that he may not be able to make the 149 pound weight limit any longer.
As I said, I’m operating under the assumption that Peyton Robb moves up to 165 pounds to take over for the departing Isaiah White. With the losses of Blankenship and Ruettiger, that leaves a competition between Silverstein and Wilson. In the end, Wilson will earn the spot which he could hold down for years to come. Silverstein will serve as a more than capable backup, so despite the lack of depth and experience, the Huskers actually have a pretty good situation here. Potentially...
Projected Depth Chart
- Bubba Wilson (R-Fr.)
- Jake Silverstein (R-Soph.)