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Kollin wants Moore after losing in NCAA semifinals

Redshirt freshman wrestler Kollin Moore gets his hand raised after defeating Penn State’s Matt McCutcheon at 197 pounds on Feb. 3, 2017 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Nicholas McWilliams | Sports Editor

In just his first year of competition, Ohio State’s Kollin Moore upset Minnesota’s Brett Pfarr 15-11 to capture the Big Ten wrestling title in March. Two weeks later, Pfarr returned with a vengeance and eliminated Moore from a chance at a national championship in the NCAA semifinals.

Moore’s title hopes might have been dashed by his loss to Pfarr, but it showed the world that Moore could be a title contender in the 197-pound weight class with steady improvements

The loss was one of only four for Moore during his freshman campaign.

Going into his second season, Moore, along with his coaches and fans, is hopeful he will elevate his game to the level of a national champion.

That goal might be closer than anyone has realized. Going into this season, there are no losses on Moore’s record to any wrestler still in the NCAA. Both Pfarr — who handed Moore three losses last season — and the reigning 197-pound champion, Missouri’s J’Den Cox, have graduated.

With those two gone, the 197-pound division could be Moore’s for the taking.

But even a preseason No. 1 overall ranking from FloWrestling, a spot on the U.S. Second World Junior Team, a Big Ten title and conference freshman of the year honors haven’t changed his vision for his growth as a wrestler.

The Burbank, Ohio, native was among the NCAA’s best on the offensive last season. Moore captivated many wrestling fans with his 33 wins last season. This included six pins, with perhaps the most impressive coming against Virginia Tech’s Jared Haught in last season’s NCAA consolation finals.

But it’s not just the pins that showed off his offensive skill. Moore averaged 18 points per match in bouts that didn’t end in a pin.

“Finishing, I think,…

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