Penn State was dealt a huge blow on Wednesday when Cael Sanderson revealed that Greg Kerkvliet is not expected to compete this season for the Nittany Lions. Kerkvliet is one of the best heavyweight prospects in the country, and entered this season as the No. 5 ranked wrestler on Intermat.
Cael Sanderson said they don't anticipate heavyweight Greg Kerkvliet to compete this season— Collegian Wrestling (@TDC_Wrestling) February 10, 2021
With Kerkvliet out, No. 7 Seth Nevills should remain the starter for the Nittany Lions. Nevills came in last season for the injured Anthony Cassar. He is 3-0 on the season with two bonus point victories, and will be contending for an All-American place at the 2021 NCAA Tournament.
Nevills is a very talented wrestler, but filling the shoes of Kerkvliet is going to be tough. This news could have a pretty big impact on the team race for Penn State. The Nittany Lions were already the underdogs to No. 1 Iowa, and losing Kerkvliet is not going to help their cause. The Hawkeyes have No. 3 Anthony Cassioppi, who beat Nevills last season.
That said, heavyweight is one of the most difficult positions in the country to fill, and having Nevills provides Penn State with some much needed depth in Kerkvliet's absence.