As we move closer to the normal start of the collegiate wrestling season and talk to more coaches, a common strategy that keeps coming up is that coaches will redshirt "anyone that can redshirt, will redshirt." Of course, that's not a blanket statement across all programs, but expect to see it more than an average year. Coaches saw their student-athletes get an opportunity to compete at the national tournament taken away in March after the cancelation of the event due to the spread of COVID-19. With so much uncertainty surrounding college athletics and the entire country, coaches would hate to see athletes robbed of a shot at competing at the NCAA Tournament in two consecutive years.
With all of the questions hanging over the 2020-21 season, TOM has decided to look at who could actually redshirt for many of our top programs. Of course, incoming freshmen could all redshirt (except at a select few schools), so we're not talking about them. We're discussing wrestlers that have already been on collegiate rosters with the option of redshirting available to them.
The Hawkeyes have rarely sent freshmen out to compete attached under Tom Brands, so they don't have too many decisions to make. Of course, the biggest is Spencer Lee. The 2020 Hodge Trophy winner has never redshirted and is eligible for an Olympic redshirt. He selflessly went last season to help ensure the Hawkeyes could win a national title. Expect, the Iowa staff to be extremely cautious and 100% convinced a national tournament will happen before officially wrestling Lee. Jaydin Eierman announced he was leaving Missouri and would join Iowa as a graduate transfer last year. Eierman took an Olympic redshirt in the 2019-20 season and could do the same again next year. The other decision of the non-true freshman variety comes at 184 lbs. Abe Assad had his redshirt pulled after a strong performance at the Midlands last year. As a former Cadet world medalist, he would be entitled to an Olympic redshirt, as well.
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