original photo courtesy of Northwestern athletics
The Open Mat’s College Wrestler of the Week award goes to Northwestern’s redshirt freshman Lucas Davison. Lucas entered the weekend with a modest 6-4 record and held the #25 ranking at the 197 lb weight class. On Friday, Davison had a meeting with a familiar foe, second-ranked Christian Brunner of Purdue. Already this season, the pair had squared off at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational and the Midlands. Both of those previous bouts went to the Boilermaker wrestler 3-1 and 8-5. This meeting saw the match tied up late in the third period after a Brunner takedown. As the final seconds on the clock expired, Davison was very close to earning a match-winning reversal. The sequence was reviewed and confirmed, sending the match into sudden victory. In the extra time, Brunner initiated the offense, but it was the Wildcat freshman who countered and scored the decisive takedown to win, 4-2. If that wasn’t enough, Davison had a date with 2018 All-American Shakur Rasheed (Penn State) on Sunday. Rasheed was unranked because he had made his season debut Friday in a win against Illinois. The Penn State grappler got on the board first with the only takedown of the first period. Undeterred, Davison waited until the third period to do most of his damage. He struck with two takedowns in the final stanza and a ride out after the second score to win 7-5.
With the 197 lb weight class constantly in flux, two wins over opponents like Brunner and Rasheed will certainly help boost the freshman in tomorrow’s rankings update. Davison now moves to a perfect 5-0 record in dual meet action. His 3-4 record in tournaments is more of a function of who he has been paired against, rather than an indictment of his talent. Two of those losses came to Brunner (a finalist at both tournaments) and the remaining losses came to opponents that are currently in the top-23 nationally.
Davison, a two-time Indiana state finalist and one-time champion, came into Evanston as the #62 recruit in the Class of 2018. Last year, while redshirting, Lucas was 9-4 competing unattached. That redshirt season was highlighted by a third-place finish at the Midlands. There Davison earned wins over three eventual national qualifiers. Over the summer. Lucas made the Junior World Team in freestyle and came back from Tallinn, Estonia with a silver medal after competing at 92 kg.