Tough news broke for the Penn State Wrestling team on Tuesday, as heavyweight and reigning national champion Anthony Cassar will miss the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury, as announced by Cael Sanderson. Kent State transfer Kyle Conel will also miss the remainder of the season due to injury.
The Daily Collegian reported that Seth Nevills (brother of former Nittany Lion Nick Nevills) will replace Cassar in the starting lineup, burning his redshirt in the process. The younger Nevills was the No. 10 overall-rated recruit in his class, and the No. 2-rated heavyweight.
Losing Cassar is a tough blow for the Nittany Lions, as he had quickly become one of the most feared wrestlers in the country. The move to heavyweight for the 2018-19 season proved to be a fruitful one, as he went 30-1 overall, with his only loss coming to Oklahoma State's Derek White in the Southern Scuffle. He went on to dominate White by a final of 10-1 to secure his individual national championship. He defeated Minnesota's Gable Steveson by a final of 4-3 to claim his individual Big Ten championship.
The Lions will now pin their heavyweight hopes on Nevills and hope that he can adjust quickly to the collegiate competition.
Conel, who also missed the majority of the 2018-19 season, won't get his chance to prove that he can still be a top-tier competitor thanks to injuries. Since going 30-11 and placing third at 197-pounds at nationals during the 2017-18 season with the Golden Flashes, Conel just hasn't been able to stay on the mat. He was previously granted a medical waiver which allowed him to be eligible for the 2019-20 season with the Nittany Lions.
Hoping for all the best for Cassar and Conel in their recoveries.