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Wright makes adjustments in redshirt season

By Jocelyn Syrstad

 

In order to solidify his spot at the Michigan State Open this weekend, Quentin Wright needs to call his parents to determine if they can provide him a ride.

 

Since the freshman is going to redshirt this season, the Penn State wrestling team can’t pay for Wright or provide him transportation, so he has to do everything on his own. He will not compete in any of the team’s dual meets this year, but he will participate in numerous open tournaments.

Although Wright won’t officially compete with the Nittany Lions until next season, he has already made an impression with his coaches and teammates after wrestling in Wrestle-offs on Sunday.

“He’s obviously a very experienced freshman who has had a lot of opportunities to wrestle,” Penn State coach Troy Sunderland said. “He brings the full package. He is a good guy who is a hard worker and is willing to learn both on and off the mat.”

 

In Sunday’s Wrestle-offs, Wright impressed the Lions by recording two falls against Matt Dodds. He ended up losing to junior David Erwin, 5-2, in the 174-pound weight class final.

Junior Brad Pataky said he liked what he saw from Wright on Sunday, and he seemed tough. Sunderland agreed, saying he had confidence Erwin would earn the starting position, but the close scores showed him how good Wright really is.

 

“He’s going to bring a lot to this team, there’s no doubt about that,” Dodds said. “He’s a really hard worker, one of the hardest workers I’ve seen.”

 

Penn State saw that work ethic from Wright when he was in high school. Wright is Bald Eagle Area High School’s only two-time PIAA wrestling champion, and he was one of the overall top recruits in the country.

 

Wright said he feels he has adjusted well to collegiate wrestling. He said in order to prepare for tougher competitors he just needs to focus more on what he’s good at, and on where he is beating himself in matches.

 

“It’s kind of like when you come out of high school academically and you come into college and you have to study more and be more focused on the things that you do,” Wright said. “It’s the same way in wrestling except everyone’s on the same playing level. Basically, everyone is just as good as everyone else.”

 

Wright said he is more relaxed now after completing his first several weeks of practice and his first collegiate meet. Now, he said he wants to focus on breaking down each period so he improves with every match as he goes through the season.

 

Sunderland said the freshman understands the technical mistakes he has made, and he is devoted to working on them.

 

Sunderland said Wright has impressed him from the beginning, and he is determined to win.

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