Penn State Wrestling: Predicting Max Dean’s 2021 season

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Continuing our weekly Penn State Wrestling prediction series by trying to predict how Max Dean’s 2021-2022 season will play out

Last week we shined a spotlight on the reigning NCAA Champion at 133, Roman Bravo-Young, and as you would expect, we predicted more greatness from the standout Nittany Lion.

Now we’re onto one of the potential mysteries for this year’s Penn State squad, Cornell transfer Max Dean.

As before, this weekly series is going to focus on the following areas:
1) Biggest key to success in 2021-2022 season
2) Expectations for 2021-2022 season
3) Bold prediction for 2021-2022 season

With that, let’s dive into our predictions for Penn State Wrestling’s Max Dean!

Penn State Wrestling’s Max Dean’s key to success in 2021-2022

A key component to success in any sport is simply getting time on the court, field, pitch, ring, or wrestling mat so you can actually have the opportunity for success. And this is exactly where we’re going to start with Max Dean.

As of the writing of this, I’m only guessing Dean will end up locking down the 197 spot for the Nittany Lions in the 2021-2022 season. However I’m also guessing the existing All-American at 197 on Penn State’s team (Michael Beard) will have some say in the matter.

If you’re familiar with Max’s collegiate career, then you will know he’s no slouch himself as he’s a two-time All-American and was the 2019 NCAA runner-up at 184 in the last full season he wrestled.

So, Dean’s first key will be to defeat Michael Beard in a wrestle-off for the 197 spot.

It’s no secret Cael Sanderson likes to make the atmosphere in practices mimic real matches, which includes actual college wrestling referees for wrestle-offs. So I’m sure the battle between Dean and Beard will be intense.

If and when Dean wins the 197 slot, his next key will be to get in the groove of handling a collegiate wrestling workload again. As I mentioned before, Max was the NCAA runner-up at 184 the last full year he wrestled. And that was two years ago.

While he did complete in the Edinboro Open and National Collegiate Open in 2020, he didn’t wrestle a single official match last season.

It’s not always easy for people to transition back into a demanding and grueling schedule. Trying to balance practice, classes, dual meets, and a social life can be difficult. So hopefully Max won’t have any issues in doing so.

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