Season Preview: Familiar storylines dominate 2012-13 headlines

There are plenty of wrestlers to check out this year, both returning stars and rising newcomers looking to stake their claim to a title. At the front of the line are nine wrestlers who have already claimed at least one national title -- and one who already lays claim to being the only wrestler to win three titles at three different weights. Kyle Dake of Cornell may head the list of those to watch as he looks to become the first wrestler to win for national titles without the benefit of a redshirt season, but he's not the only champion back worth watching. Check out these nine and watch for them in March.   

McDonough is back in 2012-13 with hopes of adding his name to an elite group as he shoots for his third NCAA title after winning crowns at 125 pounds as a freshman and junior. He owns a 100-4 career record (including 35 pins and 31 major decisions) with one loss in each of his championship seasons. As a sophomore, he had two losses, including one in the national title match, meaning he's looking for a fourth consecutive season of wrestling in the last match of the year at his weight. 
NCAA Photos
 

Stieber opened his collegiate career in high fashion, snagging an NCAA title at 133 pounds with an upset of top-seeded and defending champion Jordan Oliver of Oklahoma State. He produced a 33-2 record as a redshirt-freshman, leading Ohio State with 16 pins and was the Buckeyes' first Big Ten Freshman of the Year since 2001. Stieber cappped a fantastic 2012 as he fell in the final of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials to eventual bronze medalist Coleman Scott.
NCAA Photos
 

Expect Oliver to be on a mission as a senior after failing to defend his 2011 title a year ago. Oliver reached the 133-pound championship match for the second consecutive year by posting 18 pins, five major decisions and three technical falls on his way to a 28-2 record. His pin percentage (60.0 percent of his matches ended in a fall) set an Oklahoma State single-season record. A year earlier, Oliver won the national title with a perfect 29-0 record, and owns an 89-6 career.   
NCAA Photos
 

Talk about setting yourself up to be talked about as one of the greatest ever. Cornell's Dake became the first wrestler in history to win a national title at three different weights as he took the 157-pound crown in 2012, adding to his 141-pound (2010) and 149-pound (2011) championships. He sported a perfect 35-0 record as a junior and improved his career mark to 100-4 with 26 falls and 55 bonus-point wins. This year, he opened the season at 165 pounds as he potentially goes for a fourth title in a fourth different weight, which would push him further into a class of his own.
NCAA Photos
 

Taylor heads into his junior campaign with big plans in sight as he already has two championship match appearances under his belt. He took home the national crown in 2012, winning the 165-pound title by capping off the campaign with a 32-0 record. His only loss in two seasons of collegiate wrestling came in the 157-pound title match in 2011, and has a sterling 70-1 career record. Taylor has yet to lose a match in dual meet action and owns 23 pins, 24 technical falls and 17 major decisions for bonus points in 64 of his 71 career bouts. 
NCAA Photos
 

After winning the 174-pound NCAA title in 2012, Ruth enters this season with a 35-match win streak in tact. He went 31-0 a year ago with all but five matches ending with bonus points for the Nittany Lions. He was named national wrestler of the year by at least one national wrestling publication after finishing with a flurry, posting two technical falls and a major decision while going 5-0 at the national meet. Overall, he is 69-2 entering his junior campaign after placing third at nationals as a freshman.
NCAA Photos
 

Bosak brought home a national title a year ago after entering the NCAA Championship as the No. 4 seed at 184 pounds. He went 5-0 at the national meet, one of two Big Red titlists (also three-time champion Kyle Dake at 157 pounds). He notched win No. 100 at the EIWA tournament and sports a 106-27 mark with 32 pins and 64 bonus-point victories in his career. Bosak was also an All-American in 2011 when he placed fourth at the national meet. 
NCAA Photos
 

Wright has a chance a making history as he aims to become only the sixth wrestler in Penn State history to be a four-time All-American. More importantly, he'll be trying to become a two-time national titlist after winning the 184-pound championship as a sophomore. Wright, who also reached the national title match last season, has won at least 30 matches in two of his first three seasons and owns an 84-23 career mark, including 26 pins (14 a season ago).  
NCAA Photos
 

Nelson looks for a third consecutive All-America award and second consecutive national title as he returns for his junior season. In 2012, he ran through the NCAA field on his way to the heavyweight championship, finishing the campaign with a 32-2 record including winning his last 25 matches. Nelson, who gave up just four points in the NCAA tournament, owns a 55-10 career record after finishing seventh as a redshirt-freshman.
NCAA Photos