Dom Bradley, NCAA All-American heavyweight for the University of Missouri, will be taking an Olympic redshirt for the 2011-2012 season, according to the Columbia (Mo.) Tribune Friday.
Bradley, who would be a senior this fall, placed third in the 285-pound bracket at the 2011 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in March. Yet the 22-year-old Mizzou big man has considerable freestyle experience as a 2009 Junior World Champion and by placing third at the 2009 and 2011 Senior World Team Trials.
By taking advantage of the new Olympic redshirt rules, Bradley can pursue an Olympic dream without losing any college eligibility… or upsetting Missouri head wrestling coach Brian Smith.
“I sat him down and said, ‘What’s your ultimate goal in wrestling?’ ” Smith told the Columbia Tribune.
When Bradley told his coach he wanted to make the U.S. Olympic team, Smith responded, “Then you’ve got to do this. With the Olympics being only every four years, you don’t know where your body’s going to be at, where you’re going to be at in four years.”
The native of Blue Springs, Mo. hopes to follow in the footsteps of another Missouri Tiger, two-time NCAA champ Ben Askren, who represented the U.S. in freestyle competition at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Bradley knows it will be a challenge. A number of other 120 kg/265 pound wrestlers have the same dream, including two-time NCAA heavyweight champs Steve Mocco (University of Iowa, Oklahoma State) and Tommy Rowlands (Ohio State). What’s more, by taking the redshirt, Bradley has given up his Missouri mat scholarship, and is now working as a desk clerk at the local Holiday Inn.
Bradley joins other top collegiate wrestlers in using the Olympic redshirt this fall, including 2011 NCAA 197-pound champ Dustin Kilgore of Kent State, and University of Wisconsin All-Americans Andrew Howe, Travis Rutt, and Tyler Graff.
Want to know more? Read the Columbia Tribune article on Dom Bradley’s Olympic redshirt.
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