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‘I Think He’ll be a Multi-Time National Champ’: Penn State Wrestling Star Carter Starocci Expects Greatness From True Freshman

Iowa wrestler Nelson Brands vs. Penn State's Carter Starocci (Photo by Penn State Athletics)

It probably takes a lot for Penn State wrestling star Carter Starocci to be impressed.

After all, the man is a three-time national champion and hasn’t lost a match in almost three years, and those things aren’t accomplished without setting a high standard.

So it’s high praise when Starocci is complimentary toward another wrestler, and after Sunday’s dual meet demolition of Indiana, Starocci gave a glowing review of one of Penn State’s promising true freshmen.

Josh Barr had a successful Rec Hall debut Sunday.

Filling in for Bernie Truax at 184, Barr took care of Indiana’s Roman Rogotzke with a 13-4 major decision.

Barr came to Penn State wrestling after a fantastic career at Michigan’s Davison High School, where he went 125-1 and won four state championships.

If Starocci’s prediction comes true, Barr isn’t down winning individual titles.

“I think he’ll be a multiple time national champ for sure,” Starocci told reporters after the meet.

For Starocci, Barr is “one of those kids.”

“You just got to kill him because he’s going to keep coming after you just nonstop. When I wrestle someone for the first time, just to see their breaking point. He just never stopped. I think having that (mentality), the skills are going to keep adding on every single practice.”

Barr wasn’t the only Penn State freshman who impressed Sunday.

At 149, Tyler Kasak had a tall task against No. 14 Graham Rooks, a national qualifier last season who was one win away from becoming an All-American.

Kasak didn’t just hold his own against Rooks, he dominated him, winning a 15-0 technical fall.

At 125, Braeden Davis kicked off the day with another win, improving to 10-0. Davis has wrestled in the maximum five competitions, meaning coach Cael Sanderson has to think about whether or not to burn Davis’ redshirt.

“We’re going to have to have some difficult discussions this week before we wrestle again,” Sanderson said.

Penn State wrestles again Friday at No. 12 Michigan. The dual meet is scheduled to begin at 6.

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