Behind Iran the United States of America is the second best wrestling country in the world, and pound for pound boasts some of the best individual wrestlers in the world.I’ve decided to take on the tough task of ranking the ten best wrestlers in the United States.
1. Jordan Burroughs- Coming out of high school in New Jersey, Burroughs wasn’t very highly recruited, but quickly showed coaches around the county they had made a mistake. While at the University of Nebraska Burroughs was a 3x All-American and 2x national champion. Once graduating from Nebraska Burroughs found the same success on the international scene. Since that time Burroughs has won 3 world championships including a 2012 Olympic gold medal.
2. Jake Varner- Unlike Burroughs, Jake Varner was one of the highest touted recruits coming out of high school. While at Iowa State, Varner was a 4x national finalists and 2x national champion. Like Burroughs, Varner saw great success on the international scene almost immediately. In 2011 he brought home the bronze medal at the world championship, and in 2012 like Burroughs he was an Olympic gold medalist.
3. Kyle Dake- Nicknamed “Kid Dynamite” Dake has been nothing but dynamite his whole career. In 2013 Dake won his fourth straight national title at Cornell becoming only the the third wrestler in NCAA history to win four national titles. Dake also made history by becoming the only wrestler in NCAA history to win four national titles at four different weight classes. At the World Team Trials in 2013 Dake pushed Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs to the brink, and many in the wrestling world think he is the future of United States wrestling.
4. David Taylor- Nickmaned “The Magic Man” Taylor has been a wrestling progidy since he was a young kid. Taylor won four Ohio high school state titles, and at Penn State helped lead the Nittany Lions to four straight national titles. As an individual Taylor was a 4x national finalists and 2x national champion. Just last week Taylor also pushed Olympic champ Jordan Burroughs to the brink, giving up a takedown with just 15 seconds left to lose.
5. Tervel Dlagnev– Dlagnev is the only wrestler on this list that didnt wrestle Division I. Instead, Dlagnev was a 2x Division II national champion at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Much like the others on this list Dlagnev has found much success on the international wrestling scene. Dlagnev was third at the 2009 world championships, and at the 2012 Olympics finished in fifth place.
6. Brent Metcalf- Known as one of the most intense wrestlers of recent times, Metcalf was a 3x national finalists and 2x national champion from the University of Iowa. While Metcalf has been on multiple United States world teams he has yet to medal at a world championship. However, many believe he is very close to breaking through and wrestling better than he ever has before.
7. Angel Escobedo-Escobedo has been very successful in every level of wrestling in his life. While at Indiana University, Escobedo was a 4x All-American and won a national title as a junior. Since graduating the Hoosier has become a mainstay on the international scene. In 2013 he was fifth at the world championships, and many believe he has yet to reach his full potential.
8. Jimmy Kennedy- While Jimmy Kennedy was a 3x All-American at the University of Illinois he is the most surprising of those on this list. After completing his career at Illinois, Kennedy took some time off and it didnt appear he was going to continue his wrestling career. However, Kennedy has burst onto the scene. Just a week ago he knocked off 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Coleman Scott, an appears to be the United States man at that weight moving forward.
9. Logan Stieber- Logan Stieber holds the special distinction of being the only current college wrestler on the list. Through three years at Ohio State, Stieber is a 3x national champion. Like David Taylor, Stieber was a 4x Ohio high school state champion and has been since as a wrestling prodigy since he was a young kid. Stieber has also had success at the international level. In the summer of 2013 Stieber beat world number one and Russian Opan Sat. Much like Dake and Taylor, Stieber is the future of American wrestling.
10. Keith Gavin- While at Pittsburgh, Gavin was a 2x nationalist finalist and a national champion as a senior. Gavin immediately transitioned onto the international scene and has found success. While he hasn’t won a world medal up to date, he is ranked in the top ten in the world and due to break through soon.
“The future of United States wrestling is brighter than its ever been,” USA wrestling employee Richard Immel said. “I believe in 2016 the United States is going to send the best team they’ve ever had on the mat,” Immel added.