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2019-20 UVU Team Preview

By, 10/24/19, 3:30PM MDT


UVU Intrasquad will be on October 30th at 6:30pm at the Lockhart Arena. Free admission for all. We will have UVU shirts, singlets and hoodies for sale at the event.


Overall Team Outlook

The 2019-2020 season has very high expectations for the Wolverines. This is the season that they have been building for and they have plenty of talent to turn some heads. They have five wrestlers ranked in the top 20, more than ever before. They have more All American potential than ever before. Only two wrestlers in the history of UVU Wrestling have ever reached All American status and now in one year UVU could surpass that number and get 3 or 4 guys on the podium. The key to UVU having success will be staying healthy, injuries have killed them in the past. Their strongest weights will be 149, 165, 174, 184, & 285. They should be very solid at 157 and 197. The question marks come at 125, 133 and 141. They have the potential to be solid at each of those weights, but they will be young and will need to improve throughout the season. As a team they are better than they were a year ago and probably the best team in the history of the program. 

Weight by Weight breakdown

125 Projected Starter: Josiah Nava (Freshman) or Will Edelblute (Freshman)

Credentials: Last year both Josiah and Will were redshirts in the UVU wrestling room. Josiah went 12-6 on the season. In high school he placed 3rd at the High School nationals while also winning the Doc B in 2016, he wrestled in Colorado. Will is from Idaho where he was a 2x state champion. Last season as a redshirt Will went 10-3 on the year. 

  • Challengers: None
  • Redshirts: None
  • This upcoming season has a big question mark at 125lbs. Both Josiah and Will were successful in high school but can they transition to college and help UVU solidify a weight class they struggled in last year? For UVU to maintain a top 20 team ranking and compete against some of the better teams they need some production out of this weight class. On October 30th we should see Josiah and Will battle it out for the starting spot and we will get a glimpse of what the future holds at this weight. With no redshirts on the roster and only these two listed at 125, UVU has to have them develop as these two are the future at this weight right now. 

133 Projected Starter: Isaiah Delgado (Sophomore)

Credentials: Went 7-17 overall last season while starting for the Wolverines at 133lbs. 

  • Challengers: Ty Smith (Sophomore), Chip Estrella (Freshman)
  • Redshirts: Sam Edelblute 
  • 133 pounds is an interesting weight for the Wolverines. Just a few weeks ago they had Taylor LaMont slated to start here but has since decided to take an Olympic redshirt and pursue the 2020 USA Olympic team in Greco Roman. The projected starter is Isaiah Delgado but Ty Smith is a transfer from Drexel that might put a wrench in that plan. Ty was a 2x National Champion back in high school and then as a freshman he competed for Drexel University where he went 8-3, only competing during the first half of the season as an illness took him out of action the rest of the season. This will be a great battle all season long, another match we expect to see on October 30th at UVU. All signs point to Isaiah making improvements from last season and with these two pushing each other 133 pounds could be a solid weight for UVU.  Behind both Isaiah and Ty we have Chip Estrella and redshirting is Sam Edelblute. Sam is a tough wrestler who gets after it and will be fun to see his progression in the college room this season. 

141 Projected Starter:  Cameron Hunsaker (Freshman) or Nick Rino (Freshman)

Credentials: Cameron is from American Fork and was a 2x state champion and was a 2x All American. Nick Rino is from New Mexico and was a 4x HS state champion and 2x Folkstyle National Champion. Last season as a redshirt he did not compete in any matches. 

  • Challengers: Dylan Gregerson (Sophomore)
  • Redshirts: James Emmer (New Mexico), Derek Fisher (Pleasant Grove)
  • This is probably the weight with the biggest question mark at who will be starting. Along with 125 and 133 there is no clear starter but the difference at 141 is there are more contenders than the lighter two weights. With so many wrestlers at this weight the Wolverines have to develop these guys quickly and turn this weight into a strong point for them.  Hunsaker is coming off an LDS mission but before he left was one of the top Utah wrestlers. Nick Rino is probably the most accomplished high school wrestler of the bunch with 4 state titles and 2 national titles. Nick was injured last season so for both Hunsaker and Rino this will be their first season of collegiate action. I expect the battle to come down to one of those two. Dylan Gregerson has the most experience but can he beat both and grab the starting spot as the top challenger. Dylan had the opportunity to take an Olympic Redshirt but will instead compete this year.  October 30th should be a fun night at 141 as we should see some great battles for starting spots. James Emmer and Derek Fisher will be redshirting this season.  

149 Projected Starter: #13 Matt Findlay (Junior)

Credentials: NCAA Qualifier and went 17-4 last year losing in the round of 12 at the NCAA tournament. Currently ranked #13 in the country

  • Challengers: Landon Knutzen (Junior), Josh Tolentino (Freshman)
  • Redshirts: Briggs Hoopes (Wyoming)
  • Matt Findlay will be moving up to 149lbs this year from 141lbs last year. Last season he was 1 match from being an All American. Injuries have hurt Matt in past seasons but a healthy Findlay can go with anyone in the country. If Matt can stay healthy, I expect an All American finish from the Junior.  Landon Knutzen and Josh Tolentino will be Matt's back ups this season. Landon has seen time in the line up off and on and we could see him at 157 a little also. 

157 Projected Starter: Jed Loveless (Sophomore)

Credentials: Transfer from Wyoming, wrestled at Payson HS here in Utah. Went 11-12 last season for Wyoming competing at both 149 and 157lbs. 

  • Challengers: Spencer Heywood (Sophomore) & Jerry Rubio (Freshman)
  • Redshirts: Kekana Fouret (Idaho)
  • Jed Loveless comes back to Utah from the University of Wyoming and will be the frontrunner to start at 157lbs. Jed will be a nice addition to the middle weights for Utah Valley.  A weight we have struggled with in the past will be solid this upcoming season and will be key in helping the Wolverines maintain a top 20 rankings this season. Spencer Heywood and Jerry Rubio will be pushing Loveless for the starting spot. We should get to see these matches on the 30th at the intrasquad. Fouret will be redshirting but is a nice addition to the program. Fouret was a 3x state champion and National All American in high school. 

165 Projected Starter: #8 Demetrius Romero (Senior)

Credentials: Went 28-5 overall last season, is a 2x NCAA Qualifier and Big 12 Champion. Starting the season ranked #8 in the country.

  • Challengers: Koy Wilkinson (Junior)
  • Redshirts: Corbin Smith (Wasatch), RJ Bingham (Mt. Crest)
  • Demetrius is one of UVU's top wrestlers and highest ranked coming in at #8 to start the season. Demetrius was 1 match shy of becoming UVU's 3rd All American. This season he is set up nicely to get on the podium and will be a very strong weight for UVU. Koy Wilkinson will be his back up, Koy has seen some starting time off and one for the Wolverines. Redshirting will be Corbin Smith from Wasatch and RJ Bingham from Mt. Crest. Both wrestlers are just off an LDS Mission. 

174 Projected Starter: #10 Kimball Bastian (Senior)

Credentials: 2x NCAA Qualifier, 19-12 last season

  • Challengers: Jacob Armstrong (Freshman)
  • Redshirts: None
  • Kimball has been a starter since his freshman season and another weight where the Wolverines are strong. Kimball has one last chance to get on the podium and is very capable of becoming an All American.  In his senior season Kimball will be challenged by Jacob Armstrong. Jacob has recently returned from an LDS mission but prior to him leaving he redshirted for the Wolverines and won the National Collegiate Open. Currently he is injured but once he gets healthy he will be battling for a starting spot. 

184 Projected Starter: #14 Tanner Orndorff (Senior)

Credentials: 3X NCAA Qualifier, went 20-14 as a Junior and went 2-2 at the NCAA Tournament last season

  • Challengers: Gary Jantzer (sophomore)
  • Redshirts: None
  • Tanner is moving down to 184 from 197, where he has wrestled for the past 3 years. Tanner doesn't get tired and is his strongest in the 3rd period. Look for Tanner to once again make some noise on the national scene this year. His lone challenger will come from Gary Jantzer.  Gary will push Tanner but I expect Tanner to win the spot. Gary got hurt last year which cut his season short but as a freshman was able to knock off the 18th ranked wrestler during the season. 

197 Projected Starter: Jayden Woodruff (Freshman)

Credentials: Undefeated as a redshirt at 10-0, HS All American

  • Challengers: Ashton Seely (Sophomore)
  • Redshirts: Payson Anderton 
  • Jayden comes in with a lot of excitement surrounding him. Last season as a redshirt he went 10-0 on the season. In high school he was a Folkstyle All American and the Wolverines will rely heavily on him during the season. His challenger will in Ashton Seely from Juab high school. Ashton went 11-12 last year as a freshman. The two should square off on October 30th at the Intrasquad match. Payson Anderton is the lone wrestler redshirting but comes from  Idaho and was a 3x State Champion. 

285 Projected Starter: #12 Tate Orndorff (Sophomore)

Credentials: As a freshman went 26-9 and qualified for the NCAA Tournament. Went 2-2 at the NCAA Tournament

  • Challengers: Chase Trussell (Freshman)
  • Redshirts: None
  • Tate will be looking to become UVU's youngest All American as a sophomore. He is a very exciting wrestler that is great at throws. Tate scores points and doesn't slow down, he will have fans on their feet so don't sleep on this heavyweight. Morgan's Chase Trussell will be behind Orndorff and will be ready if called upon. Chase had a solid redshirt season last year going 16-4 overall so if Orndorff goes down UVU shouldn't skip a beat with Trussell in the line up. UVU doesn't have any heavyweights coming in so they could be looking to bring someone in shortly.