Sunday, December 19, 2010

Wrestling Prospect Lens: Frank Molinaro

It's that time year again. Christmas trees, wreaths, chimney stockings, and wrestling mats. For too many, the holiday season is an excuse to indulge in irresponsible spending. Meanwhile, for some, it marks the start of MMA's biggest feeder sport season -- wrestling season. With Christmas tournaments underway all across the country, things are heating up on the high school and college scenes. And as MMA becomes more and more popular, we can expect amateur wrestling to follow suit as it has become the precursor sport of choice for mixed martial arts. With that in mind, MMA Hotwire will run regular "Prospect Lens" entries, highlighting some of the top wrestlers, many of whom could do some damage in the cage. We will not assume that these athletes will take up a career in MMA (although some have already expressed that intent), but we will describe their skills in a light that shows their cage potential. So, without further or due, first up for the MMA Hotwire wrestling watch, Frank Molinaro...

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Frank Molinaro is one of the top college wrestlers at 149 lbs. Currently ranked #4 by Amateur Wrestling News, the Penn State junior has his eyes set on a Division I championship crown. Molinaro was a three-time New Jersey state champion, while wrestling for perennial wrestling powerhouse Southern Regional High School. So far, Molinaro has led a successful college wrestling career, earning All American honors in his first two seasons. In his first (2007-08) season, Molinaro entered the NCAA Championship tournament as a wild card entry, and fought through the brackets to place eighth, taking home All American honors.

Frank Molinaro is a tough, scrappy wrestler. He keeps constant pressure on his opponents, circling, working the head, and changing levels. He is also a feared leg rider. He is extremely powerful, well known for his insane fitness regimen. 

How his skills transfer to the cage:
Perhaps Frank Molinaro's best quality is his work ethic. Folks in Happy Valley will tell you that Frank just about lives in the gym. His hips and legs are probably his physical strong point, providing the speed and balance that top off his wrestling game, but are also excellent attributes for mixed martial arts. With the right striking coach to complement his wrestling abilities, Frank Molinaro could make a smooth transition from the mat to the cage.

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