MANHEIM, Pa. — The National Wrestling Coaches Association announced its 2020 Division I Scholar All-Americans on Thursday and five Husker wrestlers were recognized.
Seniors Collin Purinton (149) and David Jensen (285) capped off their respective careers by performing well both on and off the mat. Purinton ran off four straight victories following a first-round loss at the 2020 Big Ten Championships to finish in third place as the No. 7 seed, clinching an automatic bid to the 2020 NCAA Wrestling Championships. He also recorded a first-place finish at the Journeymen Collegiate Classic and defeated then-No. 3 Max Thomsen (UNI) on Nov. 24 en route to an 18-9 overall mark. The Banks, Ore., native, a 2020 Academic All-Big Ten Honoree, was also recognized by the NWCA on April 17 as a Second-Team All-American.
Jensen, who hails from Mobridge, S.D., finished his senior season with a 17-6 regular season record and qualified for the 2020 NCAA Wrestling Championships. He was presented the Heart & Soul Award earlier this week, in addition to being named to the Tom Osborne Citizenship Team. Jensen is a four-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, a two-time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and was named to the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll every semester he was on campus.
Juniors Taylor Venz (184) and Eric Schultz (197) were also recognized by the NWCA on Thursday. Venz earned First-Team All-America honors from the NWCA on April 17 with a 20-8 record and a career-best third-place finish at the 2020 Big Ten Championships. The Farmington, Minn., native is a three-time NCAA qualifier, 2018 All-American and won eight of his final nine bouts before the 2020 NCAA Championships were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Venz is a three-time Academic All-Big Ten Honoree and was a member of the NWCA All-Academic Team in 2018.
Schultz enjoyed a career year in 2019-20. The junior from Tinley Park, Ill., was also an NWCA First-Team All-American and was named Nebraska’s Most Outstanding Wrestler after compiling a 23-4 record and finishing runner-up at the 2020 Big Ten Championships. Schultz was an impressive 13-1 against dual competition and led the team in dual points (52), dual takedowns (73) and technical falls (5). He is also a three-time Academic All-Big Ten Honoree.
Rounding out the 2020 Division I Scholar All-Americans is Peyton Robb (157). The redshirt freshman from Owatonna, Minn., was named the Outstanding Male Newcomer earlier this week after helping the Husker wrestling team to an 11-3 record, a No. 4 national ranking and a runner up finish at the Big Ten Wrestling Championships. Robb posted a 20-6 record at 157 pounds and earned a third-place finish at the Big Ten Championships, including a win over second-seeded Kaleb Young (Iowa) in the quarterfinals. An honorable-mention All-American by the National Wrestling Coaches Association, Robb’s six losses in 2019-20 were to ranked opponents by a cumulative total of eight points.
In order to be named a Division I Scholar All-American, each honoree must have possessed at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA and be a 2020 NCAA Qualifier.