As the regular season approaches, it’s time to look way head to see which wrestlers appear to be the leading candidates for the coveted Hodge Trophy. In 2018-19, Zain Retherford claimed his second Hodge, joining his coach Cael Sanderson, Ben Askren, and David Taylor as the only multiple-time winners of the award. Now with Retherford out of the picture, the trophy is up for grabs among several worthy candidates. The competition for the Hodge will be heated as Zain is the only one of the five finalists that graduated. Here are TOM’s top ten Hodge Trophy candidates for the 2018-19 preseason.
Stevan Micic (Michigan) 133 lbs
Stevan Micic’s second season at Michigan was tremendous, as he made the NCAA Finals for the first time and gave the eventual champion Seth Gross (South Dakota State) serious threat. Micic was able to improve upon his bonus point percentage from 53% as a freshman to 72% as a sophomore. The only problem is that while he is able to dominate on the mat, it doesn’t translate to falls. Over his first two seasons, Stevan only has had two per year. An upset of Gross and an undefeated season could catapult him up this list and into serious Hodge contention.
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