Jan. 18, 2011
PARK RIDGE, Ill. -- Sophomore/freshman Brandon Zeerip (Fremont, Mich./Hesperia HS) of the No. 11-ranked University of Michigan wrestling team was named Big Ten Conference Wrestler of the Week on Tuesday (Jan. 18) after headlining the Wolverines' weekend victories over No. 21 Purdue and No. 20 Central Michigan. The honor is the first for Zeerip in his collegiate career and the third for the Wolverines this season.
Zeerip made his collegiate dual-meet debut in impressive fashion last weekend, earning back-to-back bonus wins to guide Michigan past No. 21 Purdue (28-13, Jan. 14) and No. 20 Central Michigan (21-12, Jan. 16). He earned an upset victory in his first-ever appearance at Cliff Keen Arena, wearing out Purdue's No. 19-ranked Colton Salzar before pinning the Boilermaker wrestler at the 5:27 mark. Zeerip held a five-point advantage at the time of the pin after three takedowns and a first-period near fall. On Sunday, Zeerip converted on nine takedowns en route to a dominant 19-8 major decision against Central Michigan's Eric Cubberly.
The Wolverine rookie jumped into the 157-pound national rankings with the effort, listing 19th in the latest InterMat poll. After sitting all of last season with injury, Zeerip is now 23-7 overall and 2-0 in duals in his collegiate career.
Zeerip is the third Wolverine wrestler to earn Big Ten weekly accolades this season, joining senior/junior captain Kellen Russell (High Bridge, N.J./Blair Academy) and sophomore Sean Boyle (Lowell, Mass./Blair Academy). Russell garnered the distinction after capturing the 141-pound title at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, Dec. 3-4, while Boyle earned his nod after defeating Pittsburgh's then-14th-ranked Anthony Zanetta in the dual opener on Nov. 14.
The Wolverines return to Big Ten Conference action this Friday (Jan. 21), hosting Northwestern in a 7 p.m. match at Cliff Keen Arena. Tickets are available for purchase online and the first 300 fans will receive Michigan Silly Bandz.
Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423