The 2021 NCAA Division I wrestling season was one-of-a-kind. The season wasn't fair at times, as a litany of teams had COVID-19-related pauses and stoppages. But, at the end of it all, 80 All-Americans, ten individual champs, and a team champion stood above the rest at the season's end – these feats alone are reasons to be grateful.
Another unexpected outcome from this pandemic-altered 2021 campaign was getting to see newcomers shine, many of whom made a big splash into the starting lineup as true freshmen. Watching a true freshman burst onto the NCAA scene sans a redshirt year of unattached wrestling is relatively uncommon under normal circumstances.
In 2021 however, the season did not count against an athlete's four seasons of eligibility, allowing true freshmen to get some action in the varsity lineup without compromising eligibility. As such, watching the true freshman starter was a routine occurrence in 2021. And, my goodness, weren't these freshmen studs it fun to watch?
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