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Fanco Feels Jimmy Lawson Has Potential For Greatness

Jimmy Lawson’s Emergence As A Legitimate Heavyweight Prospect Has Josiah Hritsko And The Rest Of The Penn State Sea Of Navy Blue On The Edge Of Their Seat

In his time as a Penn State diehard, the face of Fanco Wrestling has seen great after great after great compete before his very eyes, and now there’s a chance for yet another Nittany Lion to make a name for himself.

It may be almost a decade after Jimmy Lawson’s wrestling career ended and he may not be the first name that comes to Josiah Hritsko’s mind when he thinks of navy blue singlets, but there’s serious potential that Lawson may have one of the most impressive talking points at the ten-year Penn State National Championship reunion dinner next year (if one exists).

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“Jimmy didn’t start wrestling until a little bit later in college. He wanted to play football in college, so that’s the route he went, at first,” Hritsko recalls. “He was a tough heavyweight amongst a bunch of tough heavyweights at the time. He was an All-American in his senior year. Maybe he wasn’t a National Champion individually, but he got on the stand to become an All-American.”

The Penn State names such as Bo Nickal, David Taylor, Roman Bravo-Young and others have made such an impression on the sport, and the Penn State brand as a whole, that it’s easy to keep track of their every move in and out of the sport.

 Jimmy Lawson and Karl Williams face off during Dana White's Contender Series season six, week seven weigh-in at Palace Station on September 05, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

 Jimmy Lawson and Karl Williams face off during Dana White's Contender Series season six, week seven weigh-in at Palace Station on September 05, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Lawson’s emergence and re-introduction to the world has given Penn State wrestling fans the excitement of seeing a long, lost cousin unexpectedly re-appear in a Hollywood blockbuster.

He’s gone from a football player who never panned out to a wrestler who was comfortable living in the shadow of some of the pillars of the sport to a man on the verge of injecting electricity in the heavyweight division that hasn’t been there since Daniel Cormier retired.

There are certainly heavyweights worth getting excited for, but, for the most part, it’s been a while since seeing heavyweights on the ground has raised anybody’s heartrate, and Hritsko feels Lawson is the perfect guy to bring back excitement to heavyweight wrestling in MMA.

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“It’s no offense to him but there were some other Penn Staters at the time that kind of overshadowed him with their success,” Hritsko said. “I remember him, at the time, being a tough heavyweight and they were talking about NFL scouts coming to look at him because that was a path he was considering, so I remember some of that vaguely. Obviously, he didn’t end up going to the NFL, he ended up fighting MMA, which was a better path for him.”

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Lawson is en route to giving Happy Valley and Toms River another guy to beat their chest for and call “their guy.” Penn State is only a few fighters away from debatably dethroning Oklahoma State as UFC University. Hritsko is all but jumping for joy at the opportunity to be front row for both of their entire journeys through NCAA, through MMA and through dual sport greatness.

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“I’m psyched because you have Jimmy Lawson and Bo, two guys who overlapped a year when they were in college,” Hritsko said. “To me, it’s kind of cool because you have two guys who used to be teammates at one point, now fighting in the Contender Series. On top of that, maybe Jimmy Lawson isn’t remembered in the history of all these Penn State National Champions, but he can still be remembered as one of those guys that Penn State helped produce. Jimmy Lawson came out of that Penn State wrestling dynasty, and I think that is more of what excites me.”

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