HUSKIES MOVE UP IN RANKINGS

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With the start of the 2011-12 season only one month away, WrestlingReport.com unveiled their updated preseason rankings. Among the changes were in the 125 weight class, where Huskie sophomore Nick Smith jumped three spots to No. 26. Additionally, Rob Jillard fell one position in 133 to No. 29.

Outside the individual rankings, The Open Mat looked at the Mid-American Conference in the conference preview series. TOM picked senior Brad Dieckhaus to return to the MAC Tournament final at 184, while Matt Smith (147) and Sam Bennett (157) are projected to finish in the top four at the conference tournament. As a team, here is what they said about NIU:

"The Huskies will look towards Dieckhaus to lead a rather young team this year. Did you notice that eight of ten starters are only sophomores? The Huskies will have a very young group this season. Look for (Caleb) Busson and (Mike) Lukowski to take steps forward and possibly move forward from their finishes last year .... They are a very young team so that could change, but it depends on how the younger guys develop during the season."


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