April 18, 2008
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The past month has been incredibly rewarding for Brent Metcalf. In rapid succession, the University of Iowa 149-pound sophomore has won a Big Ten championship, Big Ten Outstanding Wrestler award, an NCAA title, NCAA Outstanding Wrestler honors, and the Hodge Trophy for 2008. Now he can add one additional honor: 2008 Rev Wrestler of the Year.
Each year, this award is given to the nation’s top coach across all divisions of college wrestling, and is determined in balloting by RevWrestling.com writers and executives. Brent Metcalf is only the second individual to earn Rev Wrestler of the Year honors; Missouri’s Ben Askren won the award twice, in both 2006 and 2007.
Metcalf nabbed four of the seven first-place votes to earn a total of 53 votes. Keith Gavin, Pittsburgh’s 174-pound NCAA champ with a perfect 27-0 record, was a distant second with 35 votes (including three first-place votes). Tied for third place: Penn State’s 197-pound champ Phil Davis, and 125-pound champ Angel Escobedo of Indiana, each getting 21 votes. Right behind them was Metcalf’s Iowa teammate Mark Perry. The two-time NCAA 165-pound champ received 20 votes to take fifth place in the balloting.
In his first year of official college competition (having wrestled unattached in the 2006-07 season after transferring from Virginia Tech), Brent Metcalf put up some impressive numbers. He built a 39-1 record (the only loss was to North Carolina State’s Darrion Caldwell), getting twelve pins, seven technical falls, and nine major decisions. In fact, seventy percent of his wins were by pin, technical fall, or major decision. In another statement on Metcalf’s dominating style, none of his matches went into overtime. At the 2008 Big Tens, Metcalf dominated his way through the tournament, getting two pins and a 15-3 win in the semifinals before defeating Minnesota’s Dustin Schlatter, 5-3, in the finals. Two weeks later, at the 2008 NCAAs, the Hawkeye won all but one of his matches in decisive fashion, culminating in a 14-8 victory over Penn State’s Bubba Jenkins in the title bout.
“Brent Metcalf separated himself from an incredibly gifted field of 149 pounders through hard work in the practice room,” said Tom Franck, RevWrestling.com staff writer. “All season long, Metcalf attacked right from the opening whistle, even against dangerous opponents whom some coaches might advise trying to slowly wear down. His offensive philosophy was so wholehearted that he sometimes found himself giving up the initial takedown or two. Leads against Metcalf were always short-lived as his pace simply could not be matched.”
“Metcalf demonstrated an uncanny ability to make crisp, last-second adjustments throughout his matches,” Tom Franck continued. “His wrestling was so consistently sharp and without falter that he denied many valiant scoring attempts from opponents, often countering with his own counter-takedowns.”
Brent Metcalf’s success at Iowa isn’t a total surprise, given his great prep career. At Davison High School in Michigan, Metcalf crafted a perfect 228-0 record, earning four state titles, and claiming Michigan’s “Mr. Wrestler” honors in 2005. He also was a two-time FILA Junior World champion, and six-time Junior Nationals champion.
Launched in October 2005, RevWrestling.com covers all aspects of amateur wrestling, including high school, all divisions of college wrestling, freestyle and Greco-Roman competition, and grappling, as well as mixed martial arts. The Web site, located at www.revwrestling.com, provides wrestling fans with timely wrestling news coverage, along with unique content features such as Rev Rankings, exclusive athlete profiles, Q&As, Rev Rewind historical articles and profiles of legendary wrestlers and coaches, and hard-hitting analysis of major issues affecting amateur wrestling.
2008 Rev Wrestler of the Year
1st-5th-Place Votes: 9-7-5-3-1
Place – Name, School: Total Votes (First-Place Votes)
1. – Brent Metcalf, Iowa: 53 (4)
2. – Keith Gavin, Pittsburgh: 35 (3)
T3. – Phil Davis, Penn State: 21
T3. – Angel Escobedo, Indiana: 21
5. – Mark Perry, Iowa: 20
6. – Mike Pucillo, Ohio State: 9
7. – Coleman Scott, Oklahoma State: 8
8. – Tervel Dlagnev, Neb. Kearney
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