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TOM’s College Wrestler of the Week – Feb. 12th, 2018

Adam Coon, Michigan

We’ve seen Kyle Snyder (Ohio State) take losses before. When he won his first world title in 2015, he had been pinned by Kyven Gadson (Iowa State) in the NCAA finals at 197 earlier that year. He lost four times that season in folkstyle. Since he moved up to 285, his NCAA record had been flawless. Still, we saw him lose once in a while on the international circuit, but he always brought his best in the most important matches. Snyder claimed NCAA heavyweight titles the last two years while also maintaining his spot as the best 97 kg in the world. After he beat three-time world-level champion Abdulrashid Sadulaev (Russia) at the 2017 World Championships, though, it was fair to wonder if he might run off a winning streak, in all styles, that stretched over several years. He won the Yarygin for the second time and hadn’t lost anywhere since February of 2017 at the World Cup. Until Sunday night.

Many had wondered what the next showdown between Snyder and Adam Coon (Michigan) would look like. While the Buckeye stays relatively close to his freestyle weight, making him a small heavyweight, Coon often pushes the 285-pound limit and tipped the scales at just north of 280 this weekend. He lost to Snyder, 7-4, at the 2016 NCAA tournament before redshirting last year after an injury. With most NCAA heavyweights struggling to put up much resistance, all eyes shifted to the mountain-like Wolverine as the wrestler most likely to shock the wrestling world. The first of potentially three scraps between the top-two capped an entertaining dual yesterday and it was evident from the start that Coon’s size would be an issue. Beyond that, the two-time All-American proved to be a threat when Snyder missed on an attack, nearly countering for an early takedown. That would be a theme throughout. Not only could Coon keep Snyder off the board, he had the ability to score himself. He did so in the first period, shooting to a leg, working up into a body lock, then running the Buckeye across the mat before finally securing the takedown and nearly back points on the edge. The two traded escapes and Snyder kept coming, displaying the heart of a champion. However, Coon had every answer and as the home crowd roared their approval, he dealt Kyle his first NCAA loss at 285, his fifth college loss overall, and his first loss anywhere in nearly a full year.

For his remarkable efforts, Adam Coon is TOM’s College Wrestler of the Week!

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