UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Before heavyweight Nick Nevills takes the mat Saturday night for his match against Olympic and world champion Kyle Snyder, there was another Olympian waiting for Nevills in the Lorenzo Wrestling Complex on Wednesday.
"I'm about to wrestle with coach Cael (Sanderson) and I'm really excited about that," said Nevills, adding that he wrestles his coach usually a couple times per week. "He makes you wrestle the whole time and doesn't give you any easy takedowns, doesn't give you any easy escapes. He tries to get on bottom real hard so it's like you gotta keep wrestling through those positions which is really cool."
Nevills (20-3) is ranked No. 6 in the weight class while Snyder just returned to Ohio State after claiming gold in Russia at the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix last weekend. Widely regarded as the toughest open tournament in the world, the 22-year-old became the first U.S. man to win two Yarygin gold medals after he won last year as well. Snyder is also the youngest U.S. wrestling gold medalist after his victory as a 20-year-old in Rio in 2016.
That makes for one tall order for Nevills and also gives Saturday night's sold out Rec Hall crowd a chance to watch one of the best wrestlers in the world. Snyder majored Nevills last year during the dual in Columbus and the world champion didn't waste any time sharing his intentions on social media about the No. 2 Buckeyes' showdown against the top-ranked Nittany Lions Saturday night.
Now that I am back in the US of A, all my time and energy will be focused on PSU. There is no team I’d like to destroy more. pic.twitter.com/W9MHMtaQpu
Nevills laughed off Snyder's tweet, adding that the Olympian has all of his respect while in the midst of wrapping up a collegiate career that's only been surpassed by his dominance on the world stage.
How is Nevills different than the last time these two met?