If you know Steen is close to Howard you know much more than anybody I have talked to. Right now Steen is a step down from the Howard who wrestled in the NCAAs in 2021.I'd put him pretty close to RH when he's on his game. And I'll say the practice partners he's working with have improved him tremendously from highschool.
it's such an absurd claim to make lol. they wrestled 2 months ago and it wasn't close lol. it's on camera and everything.If you know Steen is close to Howard you know much more than anybody I have talked to. Right now Steen is a step down from the Howard who wrestled in the NCAAs in 2021.
I think a lot of people have mentally written Howard off (which is disappointing) so some are trying to talk ourselves into thinking Steen is ready to go anyways. I get it, Howard's injuries are very bad. Shoulder surgeries in back to back years and after a year off, he got hurt at both tournaments he's tried wrestling in. It doesn't look very ideal, especially since folk is a lot more brutal on the joints (McKee tore Robbie's shoulder the second time on a very strong power half)it's such an absurd claim to make lol. they wrestled 2 months ago and it wasn't close lol. it's on camera and everything.
Most of the kids in big 10 lineups are state champs. Many end up being non-starters or Non-Qualifiers. It truly is amazing how frigging good AA kids really are, then of course then there is the elite.I thing Gary can and will be elite. But I think Robbie already is (when healthy).
and i also think this is telling of where psu is as a program. guys who are good, but not great get written off as holes because they won't score meaningful tourny points. think beau bartlett this year at 149. he was really good. just not good enough for penn state standards. similar with howard. came in as a big recruit (though rawer than many thought) and hasn't developed into an elite wrestler. but he's still solid and will be competitive with a lot of really good guys as you noted. he does a lot of things well. coming out, my critique of him was i wasn't sure he had elite offense, especially leg attacks, and couldn't go score when he absolutely needed to. to me, that's still his issue. and his injuries the last 2-3 years have probably really hurt his chances to improve there.I think a lot of people have mentally written Howard off (which is disappointing) so some are trying to talk ourselves into thinking Steen is ready to go anyways. I get it, Howard's injuries are very bad. Shoulder surgeries in back to back years and after a year off, he got hurt at both tournaments he's tried wrestling in. It doesn't look very ideal, especially since folk is a lot more brutal on the joints (McKee tore Robbie's shoulder the second time on a very strong power half)
I refuse to give up on Howard. It sucks but maybe it's a case like Anthony Cassar (who had chronic shoulder injuries) where he just needs one magical year that nobody ever forgets. After his junior year of HS, Howard was viewed easily as a slam dunk 125/133 prospect. 3x Cadet Teamer, amazing scrambler, not a shabby folk wrestler either. There is a reason Iowa pursued him heavily as well (when you had Drake in your backyard and obviously your coaches know lightweights)
Potential was high but he was also viewed as a relatively raw folk prospect. I thought he impressed for the most part as a freshman. He definitely knew what he was doing but didn't have the mat time to have developed a ton of offensive attacks. He looked like he belonged on the mat with Barnett and DeAugustino (who are both AA level guys obviously) after basically no practice time. You were right that injuries definitely stunted his development but I also think he was very rusty coming off basically a 14 month competition lay off (in which he only had one month of mat time anyways)
I like your post; only thing I’d say is that in my mind, AA is elite. That’s the vantage point from which I was speaking. Totally understand you pointing out that even within 1-8, there are levels and separation.Most of the kids in big 10 lineups are state champs. Many end up being non-starters or Non-Qualifiers. It truly is amazing how frigging good AA kids really are, then of course then there is the elite.
Cael has an amazing eye for talent, but a PA state champ who has dreamed of being a lion, and dreamed of being coached by Cael may not be enough.
Any time you need a reminder about how far elite is above AA, just rewatch Nolf's one legged destruction of Jordan in the semis. Your talking about the semis of the national Tourney and Jason was mercilously playing with his food. That is my definition of the elite of the elite.
Cael turns elite kids into multi time champs better than anyone else, whereas some of the other programs turn elite kids into multi time AAs.
The jury is out on Robbie's ceiling, but he had elite talent and potential coming in and if he can stay healthy, who knows. I love Steen's grit and he is very talented, but I don't consider him elite. Give him 4+ years in the program, several years as a starter, and if he could eeke out a low AA, it would be huge.
It's more likely he will provide some solid duals insurance if Robbie gets hurt again. He might start a year if Robbie moves up, but between that possibility and Robbie's injury history, I think the Suriano's curse has not yet lifted, and getting McGowan would solve what could prove a huge need. I say full court press. It's odd that he remains uncommitted after saying it was coming soon in March.
And the kid clearly wants to wrestle and is up for the challenge. He's got a point to prove, and he can certainly bring the fire. Hopefully he'll prove all of the naysayers and doubters wrong. 🤞🏼and he needs the matches. a pitch count works when you're a finished product. he's not going to get where he wants without wrestling.
What you lay out is an optimal team. I sat in REC Hall off and off between 66 and 94 and steady over the past 18 years. This lineup would be the one I’d be most interested to see. Super dynamic mix of vets and young studs. It will be interesting to see exactly how Cael manages the slots (125 to 165) in the late fall and over the New Year tourneys. Looking at downsides, this lineup is one that can tolerate a few injuries and still stand at the top in March.A healthy Howard at 125 wil make for an amazing squad. I think the men in blue are the favorites with or without him but the following lineup, if healthy, is going to be must see wrestling:
Also something that proves why fans aren't coaches.
... similar with howard. came in as a big recruit... and hasn't developed ....even if he has guys like Howard, Berge, Bartlett, S. Nevills, etc... "miss."
I agree but I do cringe when I think about Robbie going against Spencer's armbar and power half.
You gotta love RH's passion, optimism, and work ethic!
I was thinking the same thing when I read the post.I can't believe I am saying this, but I would go with Steen for that dual.
This may be the one justifiable 'duck' scenario with which I could get on board.
Big 10s and Nationals he'll have to face him, but the dual is a throw away.
No McGowan, forget McGowan… Guessing u haven’t been following Robbie’s tweets.. once his shoulder heals he’s going to be a completely diff wrestler.. crazy it’s as if he hasn’t even started yet.. just wait on it u’ll c…You can place me at the top of the list of guys who are quite concerned about Robbie's health long term, even to the extent where I see McGowan as a must get.
You can also place me at the top of the list saying the jury is still out on Robbie in terms of determining his ceiling. The poor kid has been hurt seriously on and off for the past 2 years. No athelite can return to peak performance, regardless of the sport for at least a season of going at it full speed. It takes a long time to regain the confidence in the injured shoulder and go all out without sub consciously holding back. Confidence is everything in wrestling.
I remain cautiuosly optimistic, as clearly we haven't seen anywhere near a fully developed RH in our program. It's unfair to typecast, most notably implying he is a miss, based upon what we have seen so far.
PS - I see Bartlett much in the same light. Give both kids 1 if not 2 more years, then we will know.
If he’s playing catch and release with the Claw by x mas, doubt you can sit him out in the New Year and beyond
Yea, put the best out there, not super concerned with 5 years from now , future looks good under this regime for some reasonWe didn't need RBY to win in 2019 and he definitely could have used the redshirt but we started him from the first dual. Barring a total punt like 2010 or 2015, I think Cael tends to wrestle the best possible lineup.
I get what you're saying, but am not convinced RBY is the best example.We didn't need RBY to win in 2019 and he definitely could have used the redshirt but we started him from the first dual. Barring a total punt like 2010 or 2015, I think Cael tends to wrestle the best possible lineup.
I’m a big fan of Carr. When I said no shot I meant at winning the title. He doesn’t even look like a huge 157. O’toole and Griffith I think he’d have major issues with. It’s make a great weight even better.Kennedy wrestles a lot like Marinelli. Very powerful clean attacks and brute bullying. It’s very effective and can overwhelm many (it did Facundo in 2019) but yes, his MO isn’t scrambling. As for Carr, he 100% has a shot at 165. I’d take him over anyone but Keegan right now tbh.