Brock Martin took another step toward making his return to the wrestling mat Sunday.
The Oklahoma State redshirt sophomore weighed in at 240 pounds prior to the No. 11 Cowboys’ 26-6 dual win against No. 24 Missouri at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, but didn’t compete. It was the first time Martin, who plays defensive end for the football team, weighed in for a dual since he and junior linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez joined the wrestling team for the offseason.
OSU wrestling coach John Smith went with backup Cornelius Putnam at heavyweight (285-pound weight class), and the 238-pound redshirt sophomore collected his first win with a 3-2 victory in a second tiebreaker against the 270-pound Jacob Bohlken.
Putnam and Austin Harris, who weighed in at 219 pounds Sunday, have shared the starting duties at heavyweight, but haven’t found much success with a combined 5-10 record. Smith isn’t ruling out Martin competing this season.
“I’m going to keep my options open,” Smith told the media after the dual. “[Martin] is pretty good, but he’s not ready physically. Physically, he’s not ready. You want to protect him a little bit. This time in the season, if you get tired in a match 90 percent of the time that’s when you get injured.
“I’m not ready to use him, but if he keeps clawing along that is an option toward the end. As we go into the Big 12 [Championship], more than likely, we have no shot at getting a heavyweight to nationals other than somebody that takes a spot. Somebody’s gonna have to take a spot. If we have three or four Big 12 guys have automatic spots for the conference then I want to put the best guy we can put in to maybe take a spot and make a trip to nationals.”
The Cowboys have four duals remaining this season, including a Big 12 doubleheader Saturday against Air Force at noon in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and at 7 p.m. against Wyoming in Laramie. OSU then returns to Stillwater for the second Bedlam dual of the season against Oklahoma on Sunday, Feb. 16 before heading north to face No. 1 Iowa on Feb. 23.
Smith will likely want to see Martin compete prior to the Big 12 Championship, where there will be five or six top-20 ranked heavyweight wrestlers March 7-8 at the BOK Center in Tulsa. It sounds like Smith doesn’t think Martin is ready for this coming weekend to compete against Air Force’s Kayne Hutchison (14-9) or Wyoming’s Brian Andrews (22-6). That points to the former three-time state champion from Oologah making his debut against OU redshirt freshman Josiah Jones (5-14) or redshirt sophomore Collin McCoy (3-6), or against Iowa freshman Tony Cassioppi (15-0), who is ranked No. 3 in the country. Harris defeated Jones 6-2 in OSU’s 23-9 dual victory against OU on Dec. 15 in Norman.
If Smith deems Martin’s conditioning up to par, Martin will probably debut against OU as it seems unlikely Martin would wrestle his first match since 2017 against a wrestler the caliber of Cassioppi. But then again Smith did pull Kaid Brock’s redshirt in 2015 in Norman against defending NCAA champion Cody Brewer, and Brock pinned Brewer.
If Brock Martin does wrestle, when will he make his debut at heavyweight?
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