Great things were expected of Andrew Howe when he arrived at the University of Wisconsin-Madison last fall. The Indiana native delivered "¦ and then some, with a 30-5 season, the 2009 Big Ten 165-pound title and Freshman of the Year honors, and being the only true freshman to wrestle for a title at the 2009 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. For all these reasons, Howe has earned the Rev Freshman of the Year award for 2009.
Each year, this award is given to the nation's top freshman wrestler across all divisions of college competition, and is determined by a vote of RevWrestling.com writers and executives. Howe joins previous Rev Freshman of the Year award-winners Mike Grey of Cornell University in 2008, Iowa State's Jake Varner in 2007, and Dustin Schlatter of the University of Minnesota in 2006.
Andrew Howe, who was 2009 NCAA runner-up at 165 pounds, won the award running away. He received all eight of the first-place votes, for a total of 72 votes. Minnesota's Zach Sanders, who earned All-American honors by placing sixth at 125 pounds, came in second in the balloting, with 33 votes. In third place was Quentin Wright of Penn State, 174-pound All-American, who received 30 votes.
2009 Rev Freshman of the Year
1st-5th-Place Votes: 9-7-5-3-1
Total Votes/(First-Place Votes)
1. Andrew Howe, Wisconsin: 72 (8)
2. Zack Sanders, Minnesota: 33
3. Quentin Wright, Penn State: 30
4. Cam Simaz, Cornell University: 14
T5. Frank Molinaro, Penn State: 11
T5. Scotti Sentes, CMU: 11
T7. Dustin Kilgore, Kent State: 7
T7. Joe LeBlanc, Wyoming: 7
9. Scott Winston, Rutgers: 5
T10. Tucker Lane, Nebraska: 3
T10. Tyler Nauman, Pittsburgh: 3
T10. Zach Rey, Lehigh: 3
13. P.J. Gillespie, Hofstra: 1
Andrew Howe overcame an early-season knee injury to make a positive impact for Wisconsin in his first year of college competition, compiling a 30-5 record. He became the first-ever Badger freshman to win a Big Ten title, earning conference Wrestler of the Year honors. Howe rode a 19-match winning streak to the 165-pound finals at the 2009 NCAAs, where he lost a 3-2 decision to Edinboro University senior Jarrod King. By placing second, Howe became the first Wisconsin freshman to earn All-American status since 1999, when Donny Pritzlaff placed sixth at 165.
Rev Freshman of the Year Winners
2009: Andrew Howe (Wisconsin)
2008: Mike Grey (Cornell)
2007: Jake Varner (Iowa State)
2006: Dustin Schlatter (Minnesota)
"At the beginning of the season, in talking about the highly-ranked freshman class coming into Wisconsin, head coach Barry Davis and assistant coach Donny Pritzlaff both singled out Andrew Howe as one to watch, "said RevWrestling.com staff writer Mark Palmer, who profiled Howe at the beginning of the 2008-2009 season.
"He had an incredible high school career at Hanover Central, winning three Indiana state titles, a 2008 Junior Nationals freestyle championship, and being the one wrestler from the Hoosier state to earn the Dave Schultz 2008 High School Excellence Award, "Palmer continues. "His regular-season performance at Wisconsin, coupled with winning the Big Ten title and being runner-up at the 2009 NCAAs, reinforced Howe's already impressive mat credentials as a first-year college competitor."