It’s entirely possible that you may have noticed the complete lack of Gopher Wrestling coverage around these parts this year. There are a couple things that have played into that. An active family and work responsibilities cut into the chances I had to watch matches, and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that all of the off-the-mat events of the past year have left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth. Things have not gone well for the Gophers, and I didn’t want to pile on. Things changed a bit today.
There will be a post up tomorrow morning to discuss the surprising results from the Gophers at the NCAA Championships in St. Louis, but the Gophers got a huge boost going forward with the verbal commitment of Apple Valley, MN junior Gable Dan Steveson. Yes, his name is Gable Dan and we beat Iowa for him. And Penn State (Impending National Champions Penn State!!!) and Oklahoma State. Steveson is #4 pound-for-pound wrestler in FloWrestling’s most recent poll, the top Junior, a 3-time Minnesota Champion who hasn’t lost a match since 8th grade, and a 2-time World Champion. I’m honestly at a loss for superlatives when trying to describe how big of a deal this is. The last time the Gophers had a commit of this stratosphere was when Dustin Schlatter arrived in 2005 as the #1 recruit in the country, and he went on to win a National Championship, 2 B1G Championships, and was a 3-time All-American. While it takes hard work, talent, and a bit of luck to reach those accomplishments, I feel that Steveson will be more than capable of achieving them.
Gable Steveson is great. He’s put up amazing results against guys his age. After he tears through the competition next winter he’ll come to the University of Minnesota where he’ll compete against people with more experience and are more physically mature. I have no doubt that his skill and gifts will be more than enough to overcome that and make an immediate impact at the next level when he arrives.