|JR||Tirso Lara||Brent Fleetwood-Redshirt|
With the graduation of 3X NCAA qualifier Josh Rodriguez, the heir apparent to the 125 pound weight class-probably the most successful weight in the D1 era for the Bison-looks to be redshirt freshman Paul Bianchi. Bianchi, a three-time Wisconsin state champion, had a strong 14-5 redshirt season. He defeated NDSU teammate Arthur Payne 8-5 at the Bison Open, and finished a respectable 3-2 at the Midlands. More impressive than his record, was Bianchi’s development over the course of last season ultimately leading to a second place finish at UWW Junior Nationals last April. At that tournament, Bianchi wrestled some of the best young 125 pound prospects in the country, and lost only to Junior World Champion Daton Fix. In that tournament, and at Junior World Team Trials in June, Bianchi showed a strong motor and great offensive attacks. It seems very likely to me that Bianchi makes an immediate impact in the Big 12 and nationally.
In the offseason, NDSU grabbed a nice transfer at 125 in Brent Fleetwood. Fleetwood was an NCAA qualifier for Central Michigan last season and will redshirt this year. At one point last season, Fleetwood was ranked 18th in the country by Amateur Wrestling News. He finished last season 21-7 and third in the MAC at 133.
Behind Bianchi this season is Tirso Lara. Lara missed did not compete the past two seasons but finished 3-8 in 2014-15.
|133||Starter||Next Man||Keep Your Eye On|
|FR||McGwire Midkiff – Redshirt|
|SO||Cam Sykora||Sawyer Degen-Redshirt|
Last year, one of the biggest bright spots for the Bison was the immediate impact made by rs freshman Cam Sykora. Sykora finished an impressive 26-8 on the year, and most importantly was 12-0 o dual competition. The five time state champion from Wheaton, MN finished 3rd in the Big 12, was an NCAA qualifier, and tilted his way to bonus points in 21 matches. The Bison are notably thin behind Sykora, but feature two very intriguing grapplers likely to be redshirted as true freshmen. Sawyer Degen was a 4X Montana state champion for Belgrade High School and finished seventh at USAW Folkstyle Nationals last April. McGwire Midkiff was a big school state champion for Council Bluffs, IA Thomas Jefferson last spring and went 7-2 at Junior Duals for Team Iowa.