Six-time Olympic and World Champion Jordan Burroughs and six-time World Teamer and two-time Medalist James Green competed for Team USA at the Bout at the Ballpark on Feb. 12.
After Team Iran dropped out of the dual, Team USA faced a last-minute team made up of international competition. The matches weren’t all that competitive, but you have to hand it to the guys that competed on short notice.
James hit the mat first at 70 kg and made short work of Canada’s Dillon Williams, downing him 10-0 by technical superiority in the first period.
Jordan Burroughs took the mat shortly after at 79 kg against Colombia’s Nestor Taffur who previously wrestled at Boston University.
Burroughs did the same to Taffur, making short work of him in an 11-0 technical superiority win. Burroughs used a couple takedowns and a point for Taffur grabbing his singlet before he used three rolls from the gut wrench position to earn the stoppage.
Brock Hardy Impresses at MWC Open
Husker freshman Brock Hardy, who is currently redshirting, looked impressive in his season debut at the MWC Open. After wrestling at 149 pounds last year, Hardy was also making his debut down at 141 pounds, where he is expected to take over next year with senior Chad Red expiring his eligibility.
Hardy won the title at 141 pounds at the MWC Open, finishing with a 5-0 record. He started the tournament with two wins by pinfall before winning via 19-4 tech fall in the quarters. In the semifinals, Hardy won 13-1 by major decision over Ethan Turner. In the final, he beat Oklahoma City’s Caden Manion 19-1 via tech fall.
Also competing for Nebraska at the MWC Open were Blake Cushing (141 pounds) finishing third, Quinton Chavez (125) finishing 5th, and Joshua Licking did not place at 157 pounds with a 3-2 record. Cushing went 4-1 with his lone loss a 2-0 decision to Manion. Chavez finished with a 4-2 record on the day. Nathan Haas was also on the bracket, but he had two “no contest” matches.
Hardy isn’t your typical freshman on redshirt, though. Last season as a true freshman during the free Covid year, Hardy started the season as the starter at 149 pounds before Ridge Lovett took over later in the year. Hardy went 5-3 overall and 3-3 in duals. He started his career with a win over then-No. 19 Michael Blockhus of Minnesota in a dual. Later in the year, he pinned then-No. 19 Jonathan Moran of Indiana in a dual. A big-time recruit coming out of high school before taking a two-year Mormon mission, Hardy is perfectly suited to slot in after Red leaves.
With his season debut at his new weight, Hardy joins a long list of impressive redshirts that figure to start or push for starting spots with the Huskers losing four senior starters.
Hardy is now 5-0 on the year, while Silas Allred has been very impressive with a 7-0 record at 197 pounds. He has five wins by pinfall. And of note, earlier in the year at the Daktronics Open, Allred pinned Iowa State’s Yonger Bastida who is currently ranked No. 11 in the country. Bastida figures to move up the rankings next week after upsetting No. 4 Rocky Elam of Missouri in a dual on Wednesday night. Bastida is now 17-3 on the year and also holds a win over No. 2 Jacob Warner of Iowa.
Also impressive as redshirts are junior Boo Dryden who is 13-0 at 133 pounds and freshmen Jagger Condomitti (9-1 at 165) and Nathan Haas (8-0 at 184).
Hardy, Haas and Allred figure to replace Red, Taylor Venz and Eric Schultz next season, while Dryden will likely start for the Huskers at 133 in 2022-23. Condomitti will likely compete with current starter Bubba Wilson at 165.
Second Set of NCAA Coaches Rankings
The second set of NCAA Coaches Rankings came out on February 11. According to the NCAA...
“The coaches’ rankings are determined by a vote of 14 coaches in each weight class with two head coaches from each of the seven conference. For ranking purposes, coaches may only consider a wrestler that has been designated as a starter at a respective weight class. Wrestlers must have five Division I matches in the weight class to be considered with at least one within the last 30 days.”
The coaches poll ranks wrestlers 1 through 33 to represent the 33 wrestlers who qualify for the NCAA Championships at each weight. Eight Huskers were included in those rankings.
- No. 7 Chad Red Jr. - 141 pounds
- No. 6 Ridge Lovett - 149 pounds
- No. 10 Peyton Robb - 157 pounds
- No. 32 Bubba Wilson - 165 pounds
- No. 6 Mikey Labriola - 174 pounds
- No. 11 Taylor Venz - 184 pounds
- No. 3 Eric Schultz - 197 pounds
- No. 12 Christian Lance - 285 pounds
Huskers Add 2022 Recruit
On January 31, Nebraska secured the commitment of Hayden Mills out of Kansas for its 2022 class. Mills, who joins Danny Nini and Cameron Graham as late additions to the class, is a two-time Kansas state champion and three-time finalist for Blue Valley Southwest High School.
Mills will join Nebraska for the 2022-23 season and projects in college at 133 or 141 pounds. He’s currently 32-4 on the year as he looks for his third straight state title.