Early Line-up Look: North Carolina State Wolfpack

Early Line-up Look: North Carolina State Wolfpack

An early breakdown of the North Carolina State Wolfpack for the 2023-24 NCAA season.

May 26, 2023 by Kyle Klingman
Early Line-up Look: North Carolina State Wolfpack


Head coach: Pat Popolizio

Assistants: Adam Hall, Timmy McCall, Kevin Jack

2023 NCAA tournament finish: 10th

2023 NCAA tournament points: 48

2023 NCAA tournament record: 23-19

2023 ACC tournament finish: 1st

2023 dual record: 14-1 (4-1)

Returning national qualifiers: 10 (Jakob Camacho, Jarrett Trombley, Kai Orine, Ryan Jack, Jackson Arrington, Ed Scott, Alex Faison, Trent Hidlay, Isaac Trumble, Owen Trephan)

Returning All-Americans: 3 (Kai Orine, Ed Scott, Trent Hidlay)

Last NCAA champion: Mike Macchiavello (2018)

Highest NCAA tournament team finish: 4th (2018)

Highest NCAA team finish under Popolizio: 4th (2018)

Most place winners under Popolizio: 4 (2018, 2021)

Last 10 NCAA Championships

2013: 63rd
2014: 19th
2015: 16th
2016: 11th
2017: 17th
2018: 4th
2019: 17th
2020: Canceled (COVID)
2021: 6th
2022: 10th
2023: 10th


North Carolina State essentially has its entire line-up back with a few caveats. 

Trent Hidlay — the team’s best wrestler — returns for his super senior season, but he is moving up to 197 pounds. That means returning 197-pound starter Isaac Trumble will redshirt and a spot is open at 184 pounds. 

Jakob Camacho — a three-time national qualifier — medically redshirted last season and returns for his sixth season at 125 pounds. Returning starter Matthew Singleton is penciled in at 165 but there’s no guarantee he can make it down that low again. 

Other than that, Pat Popolizio’s team is intact. And that’s good news for Wolfpack fans. 

Leading the way are All-Americans Hidlay, Kai Orine, and Ed Scott. NC State finished 10th at the NCAA Championships, which is objectively good — but this team wants more. Popolizio posted a 14-1 dual record with a lone loss to bitter rival Virginia Tech. 

Moving into trophy contention (top four) takes another 23 points based on last year’s results. That’s essentially an NCAA champion. Finding those points will take a true team effort. 

NC State earned a fourth-place trophy in 2018 with 80 points. Can this team recreate that magic in 2024?

Each of the returning All-Americans needs to place higher for that to happen. Hidlay enters the wild and wacky 197-pound class that includes returning three-time 184-pound NCAA champion Aaron Brooks of Penn State. Scott and Orine have opportunities to move up a spot or two, as well. Jakob Camacho reached the round of 12 in 2021 and can reach the podium since a few of the bigger names cleared out. 

The bulk of the points will come from another wrestler or two. Ryan Jack was seeded fifth at the national championships but only scored one point. An additional 10 to 12 points from the Wolfpack junior catapults this team into the top six. Jackson Arrington reached the round of 12 and was a match away from reaching the podium, while Owen Trephan is currently ranked seventh at heavyweight. Those three could split the difference and score the needed points to make a significant move.

North Carolina State’s motto is Pack Mentality. That’s how this team will improve during the 2023-24 season. 

North Carolina State’s Projected 2023-24 Line-up

125: Jakob Camacho, SR
133: Kai Orine, JR
141: Ryan Jack, JR
149: Jackson Arrington, SO
157: Ed Scott, JR
165: Matthew Singleton, SO
174: Alex Faison, SR
184: Dylan Fishback, FR
197: Trent Hidlay, SR
285: Owen Trephan, JR

125: Jakob Camacho, SR

Camacho returns to the line-up after a medical redshirt but he still has to get by last season’s starter Jarett Trombley. Trombley qualified for nationals at 125 in 2023 and 133 in 2021 but faces a log jam between these two weights. There is every reason to believe that Camacho will make the podium in 2024. 

133: Kai Orine, JR
2023 record: 18-8
NCAA tournament record: 3-3 (8th)

Orine had a memorable run at the ACC Championships where he knocked off Virginia Tech’s Sam Latona and Pittsburgh’s Micky Phillippi. The Imperial, Missouri, native eventually placed eighth at the NCAA Championships as the five-seed, but don’t overlook his fall and major decision during his first two matches. More bonus points from Orine at nationals and during the season can elevate this team. 

141: Ryan Jack, JR
2023 record: 21-5
2023 NCAA tournament record: 1-2

Four of Jack’s five losses came during the final seven matches of the season — and two came to conference rival Cole Matthews. He had a handful of signature wins throughout the season, including a pair of late-season victories over in-state rival Lachlan McNeil (North Carolina). Jack’s upside is bigger than his 1-2 record at the NCAA Championships. He just needs to prove it. 

149: Jackson Arrington, SO
2023 record: 23-9
2023 NCAA tournament record: 3-2

Arrington had a solid freshman campaign and reached the round of 12 at the NCAA Championships. Making gains in the crowded 149-pound field will be difficult but necessary for this team to improve. He can use Virginia Tech’s Caleb Henson — who he fell to 6-1 and 4-2 during the season — as his barometer for improvement. 

157: Ed Scott, JR
2023 record: 24-9
2023 NCAA tournament record: 5-3

Scott scored 16 points at the NCAA Championships, which was the most of anyone on the team. He picked up a pair of falls during the consolation round and won by injury default for fifth to add six valuable team points. There is every reason to believe that Scott can reach the national finals. He consistently improved against Nebraska’s Peyton Robb and he earned a fall over Virginia Tech’s Bryce Andonian at nationals but gave up 39 points to him during two losses during the season. 


Hear from Ed Scott after his fifth-place match at the NCAA Championships

165: Matthew Singleton, SO
2023 record: 11-7

Singleton is listed as the starter but don’t be surprised if he redshirts this season. Much depends on his ability to make it down to 165 pounds. Either Luke Ahrberg or Derek Fields will be the starter based on what Singelton does.

174: Alex Faison, SR
2023 record: 16-9
2023 NCAA tournament record: 0-2

Faison reached the NCAA Championships during his first season as the starter. His most memorable match was a 2-1 tiebreaker loss to Virginia Tech’s Mekhi Lewis in the conference finals. Every point counts, so a win or two at the national championships can go a long way for this team. 

184: Dylan Fishback, FR
2023 record: 15-6

Fishback replaces Hidlay who moved up to 197 pounds. He arrived at North Carolina State as one of the top high school wrestlers in the country, so this is his opportunity to take over a weight that was occupied by one of the best wrestlers in program history. 


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Fishback defeated Gavin Nelson at FloWrestling's Who's Number One

197: Trent Hidlay
2023 record: 24-3
2023 NCAA tournament record: 4-2

Hidlay returns for his final season after placing second, fifth, and fourth at the NCAA Championships. He spent the previous four seasons at 184 pounds and will attempt to navigate the clogged 197-pound field. This team goes where Hidlay goes. His leadership is fundamental to North Carolina State’s success. 


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Hidlay defeated Northern Iowa's Parker Keckeisen during the finals of the 2022 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational finals

285: Owen Trephan, JR
2023 record: 23-5
2023 NCAA tournament record: 2-2

Trephan had an 11-match winning streak near the end of the season that included some nice wins over quality opponents. This weight is still loaded but the Summerville, South Carolina, native is good enough to be a factor. Chase Horne will contend for the spot but this is Trephan’s weight until proven otherwise.