They call him Batman.
Redshirt freshman 149-pounder Roger Wildmo has been in the starting lineup for the MSU wrestling team the past two meets, and has taken advantage of it.
Wildmo scored a 4-3 win against Northwestern on Friday night before pinning his opponent at Ohio on Sunday.
“(The pin) felt great,” Wildmo said. “That’s usually what I go for with my matches. It felt good to cradle him up again. If I don’t get the pin, at least get the win.”
He took the place of senior 149-pounder Dan Osterman, who was out for the weekend with a sore knee.
Osterman said they call Wildmo “Bruce Wayne” or “Batman” because he goes about wrestling much in the same way Batman goes about fighting crime.
“He never gets tired, and he always wrestles hard,” Osterman said. “That’s one thing you’re always going to get out of him, is 100 percent effort. He’s like the Energizer Bunny.”
Osterman and Wildmo are roommates, so the two talk and work out together frequently.
Before Wildmo replaced him in the starting lineup last weekend, Osterman had a word of advice for the talented, young wrestler.
“Just to be confident because you can’t make it bigger than it is,” Osterman said. “I was confident that he’d win both those matches. I think it’s huge for his confidence going forward.”
Wildmo is coming off an ankle injury that sidelined him for half the season, but said his conditioning is pretty much back.
Head coach Tom Minkel said Wildmo has a great work ethic and is a pleasure to coach.
“When we run, he runs the fastest, when we drill, he drills as hard as anybody,” Minkel said. “He’s just does the right thing day in and day out.”
A three-time state champion with a 230-2 record coming out of high school, Wildmo was the No. 33 recruit in the nation according to InterMat.
“I’ve always wanted to go here,” Wildmo said. “In high school, they’d ask me why, and (assistant coach) Chris Williams would have a youth club here. That’s how I got introduced to wrestling here, and I’ve known all the coaches pretty much my whole career.”
He is 11-1 on the season and 3-0 in dual meets with 5 pins.
Still, Minkel said there is a lot for Wildmo to learn because the strength of college wrestlers is at a much higher level than high school, a fact that Osterman can help with.
“In order to get where you want to go, you’ve got to work hard and earn it,” Minkel said. “Nobody gives you anything. When Danny goes, Danny’s all over him. The result of that is Roger has gotten much better, and there’s no doubt that he’s going to have a great career here.”
Though it might be hard to break into the starting lineup with Osterman back from injury, Bruce Wayne will continue to be running and grinding with the team.
But Osterman agrees with his coach that the Dark Knight will rise again.
“Batman,” he said. “That’s Roger Wildmo.”