Ed. Note: Say "hi" to Tony Hager, the newest addition to BHGP. He's going to be helping me out with the wrestling coverage at BHGP; our plan is to do it bigger and better than ever. Tony's been floating around the Iowa interwebs scene for a while; most recently he posted as pin2win at Hawkeye Nation. -- Ross)
Yep, you read that right -- Tony Ramos will be wrestling at 141 lbs. to open this season. The NWCA announced yesterday that Ramos will be representing the Hawkeyes at the All-Star Classic on November 2nd. Ramos will wrestle an old rival at the All-Star Classic, Devin Carter from Virginia Tech. Carter redshirted last year and wrestled unattached at the Hokie Open, Nittany Lion Open and Midlands. He has a 71-12 overall record and was an All-American back in 2012 , so he is no slouch. The record between the two stands at 2-1 in favor of Ramos. Carter beat Tony back in 2011 in the Midlands finals by a 6-4 decision in overtime. In 2012, Tony beat him on two occasions -- once by a 3-2 score at the National Duals and later by a score of 8-3 at the NCAA Championships.
Rivalry renewed? Maybe, maybe not -- but is anyone not a rival for Tony Ramos?
"I don't know if it is a rivalry but I do know that whoever steps across the mat from me better be ready for a fight," said Ramos.
It seems like Tony can scare people in the stands with his signature stare down before each match so I asked him what his record is in staring contests. He said he is an impressive 100-0; if anyone out there wants to give him a challenge DM me on twitter (@hagertony) and maybe I can get it set up.
Ramos really wanted to wrestle Logan in the All-Star classic but that request was turned down by Ohio State's head coach Tom Ryan. Even though he didn't get his wish to wrestle his bigest rival he is excited to be a part of this event.
"I am very honored to be a part of this event. There are many great athletes that have competed and will be competing in it this year," noted Ramos.
Right now there are 14 All-Americans and five National Champions in the All-Star Classic with 133, 157 and 184 still left to be filled. The Hawkeyes have not had a wrestler in the Classic since 2009 (when Dan Dennis beat Maryland's Steve Bell, 9-8).
As for the weight issue... Tony is bumping up to 141 just for this event, in order to get the best possible match. So don't read too much into the move in weight classes. Tony plans to wrestle 133 lbs all year long, so we can table any speculation of getting Cory Clark and Thomas Gilman into the lineup at 125 and 133.
"Weight is not the reason I will be at 133. We want to get the best possible match up that we could even if it was an out of weight class match," explained Ramos.
This will be Tony's last year at Iowa and he will go down as one of the greatest light weight wrestlers in Iowa history. He is currently 88-12 as a Hawkeye and a two-time All-American. He placed 3rd in 2012 and 2nd in 2013. Could this be the year he stands at the top of the podium? It is no secret that Tony has some of the best workout partners in the nation, but I asked him who really influences him the most on and off the mat.
"There are many people that I have learned many different things from in the past four and half years. Obviously the Brands brothers are big role models for me because they have helped me get to where I want to be today. Also Mark Ironside, he has taught me many things from mental aspect of wrestling and just life lessons. He is a great guy to be around and I really look up to him," said Ramos.
Finally, Ramos might not be the only Hawkeye competing at the All-Star Classic. Derek St. John and Ethen Lofthouse are also being considered for the event (at 157 and 184, respectively), but nothing has been confirmed yet. Follow me on Twitter (@hagertony) for updates on these two.
For more info on the event head over to the NWCA website.
125: Nahshon Garrett, Jr. (Cornell) vs. Jarrod Patterson, Sr. (Oklahoma)
141: Tony Ramos, Sr. (Iowa) vs. Devin Carter, Jr. (Virginia Tech)
149: Logan Stieber, Jr. (Ohio State) vs. Kendric Maple, Sr. (Oklahoma)
165: David Taylor, Sr (Penn State) vs Michael Moreno, Jr. (Iowa State)
174: Andrew Howe, Sr (Oklahoma) vs Matt Brown, Jr. (Penn State)
197: Taylor Meeks, Jr. (Oregon State) vs. Scott Schiller, Jr. (Minnesota)
285: Mike McMullan, Jr. (Northwestern) vs. Tony Nelson, Sr. (Minnesota)