Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!
Already a subscriber? Log In
It's way too early to be doing an all-conference team for the 2020-21 NCAA D1 season, but that won't stop me from publishing them anyway! Here is a way-too-early look at some of the best college wrestlers at each weight from each conference.
These are solely based on FloWrestling's 2020-2021 D1 rankings, so please if you disagree with anything reach out to Andrew Spey (email: Andrew.Spey@flosports.tv; Twitter: @SpeyWrestle) and David Bray (email: David.Bray@flosports.tv; Twitter: @_DavidBray).
With there being so much time before the season starts, there is still a lot unknown and many of these wrestlers might not even be under the weight they will wrestle. This is mostly just a good way to see how the conferences stack up next to each other heading into the season ahead.
125 #1 Spencer Lee (Iowa)
133 #1 Sebastian Rivera (Northwestern)
141 #2 Jaydin Eierman (Iowa)
149 #1 Sammy Sasso (Ohio State)
157 #1 Ryan Deakin (Northwestern)
165 #2 Alex Marinelli (Iowa)
174 #1 Michael Kemerer (Iowa)
184 #5 Aaron Brooks (Penn State)
197 #4 Eric Schultz (Nebraska)
285 #1 Gable Steveson (Minnesota)
Average Ranking: 1.9
Total # Of Ranked Wrestlers: 79
Deepest Weight: 125/184 with 11 ranked wrestlers
While it is surprising to no one that the Big Ten has the lowest average ranking of any conference, it might be surprising just how low that average ranking of 1.9 is. It’s absurd. Six #1s, eight #1 or #2s, and all 10 in the top five. When comparing both depth and the best of the best in each conference, the Big Ten is dominant. Also surprising: only one Penn State wrestler, and they are the lowest ranking wrestler on the team.
Watch Sebastian Rivera defeat Seth Gross in the Big Ten semis below.
125 #10 Alex Mackall (Iowa State)
133 #2 Daton Fix (Oklahoma State)
141 #4 Ian Parker (Iowa State)
149 #4 Boo Lewallen (Oklahoma State)
157 #3 David Carr (Iowa State)
165 #6 Travis Wittlake (Oklahoma State)
174 #7 Anthony Mantanona (Oklahoma)
184 #11 Anthony Montalvo (Oklahoma State)
197 #1 Noah Adams (West Virginia)
285 #9 Gannon Gremmel (Iowa State)
Average Ranking: 5.8
Total # Of Ranked Wrestlers: 48
Deepest Weight: 133 with 7 ranked wrestlers
Despite Noah Adams being the only top-ranked wrestler, there are zero holes in the Big 12 lineup. All other wrestlers are in the top 11. Keep an eye out for redshirt freshman Parker Keckeisen of UNI as well. The #30 recruit in the class of 2019, he finished his redshirt season 16-1 with the lone loss coming to Abe Assad 6-5. Could possibly challenge Anthony Montalvo for the all-conference spot.
Watch Noah Adams win the Southern Scuffle below.
125 #5 Jakob Camacho (NC State)
133 #6 Micky Phillippi (Pitt)
141 #12 Zachary Sherman (North Carolina)
149 #2 Austin O'Connor (North Carolina)
157 #2 Hayden Hidlay (NC State)
165 #1 Mekhi Lewis (Virginia Tech)
174 #10 Clay Lautt (North Carolina)
184 #2 Hunter Bolen (Virginia Tech)
197 #3 Jay Aiello (Virginia)
285 #19 Deonte Wilson (NC State)
Average Ranking: 6.2
Total # Of Ranked Wrestlers: 33
Deepest Weight: 133 with 5 ranked wrestlers
Although the EIWA has 10 more total ranked wrestlers than the ACC, the ACC’s average ranked wrestler is 1.6 spots higher.
Watch Mekhi Lewis beat Vincenzo Joseph in the 2019 NCAA finals below.
125 #2 Pat Glory (Princeton)
133 #23, Nick Farro (Lehigh)
141 #1 Yianni Diakomihalis (Cornell)
149 #13 Kizhan Clarke (American)
157 #5 Josh Humphreys (Lehigh)
165 #9 Tanner Skidgel (Navy)
174 #16 Chris Foca (Cornell)
184 #1 Max Dean (Cornell)
197 #2 Ben Darmstadt (Cornell)
285 #6 Jordan Wood (Lehigh)
Average Ranking: 7.8
Total # Of Ranked Wrestlers: 43
Deepest Weight: 125/197 with 6 ranked wrestlers
As mentioned above, the EIWA has 10 more ranked wrestlers than the ACC, this is largely due in part to the fact that EIWA has almost three times as many teams, 17, as the ACC, six. While the EIWA has 17 teams, only five are represented on this all-conference team. Cornell leads with four and Lehigh in second with three. This is not surprising considering one of those two teams have won every EIWA title since 2001.
Watch Yianni Diakomihalis defeat Joey McKenna for his 2nd NCAA title below.
125 #20 Luke Werner (Lock Haven)
133 #14 Matt Schmitt (Missouri)
141 #11 Dresden Simon (Central Michigan)
149 #3 Brock Mauller (Missouri)
157 #4 Jesse Dellavecchia (Rider)
165 #18 Izzak Olejnik (Northern Illinois)
174 #14 Andrew McNally (Kent State)
184 #23 Brit Wilson (Northern Illinois)
197 #9 Greg Bulsak (Clarion)
285 #2 Matt Stencel (Central Michigan)
Average Ranking: 11.8
Total # Of Ranked Wrestlers: 27
Deepest Weight: 133/197 with 4
With seven different teams represented on this all-conference team, the MAC is arguably the most diverse team. Three wrestlers in the top five all from different schools. Although the average ranking of each wrestler is 11.8, which is about three spots lower than the Pac-12, the MAC has a wrestler ranked at every single weight class. Something the Pac-12 cannot say.
Watch Matt Stencel defeat Trent Hillger in the Midlands semifinals below.
125 #8 Brandon Courtney (Arizona State)
133 #13 Devan Turner (Oregon State)
141 #8 Real Woods (Stanford)
149 #15 Jaden Abas (Stanford)
157 #11 Jacori Teemer (Arizona State)
165 #3 Shane Griffith (Stanford)
174 #5 Anthony Valencia (Arizona State)
197 #8 Kordell Norfleet (Arizona State)
Average Ranking: 8.875
Total # Of Ranked Wrestlers: 13
Deepest Weight: 133/141/157/165/197 with 2 ranked wrestlers
With the smallest number of wrestling teams of any conference (six) it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Pac-12 has the second-lowest number of total ranked wrestlers and has an average of just 1.3 per weight class. The PAC-12 will also be taking a hit with its best wrestler from this past season, Zahid Valencia, finishing up his college career. The bright spot for the Pac-12 is undefeated redshirt sophomore Shane Griffith. Griffith went 28-0 last season and earned the #3 seed at the NCAA Championships.
Watch Shane Griffith win the 2020 Southern Scuffle below.
125 #20, Fabian Gutierrez (Chattanooga)
141 #9 Joshua Heil (Campbell)
149 #20 Jonathan Millner (App State)
174 #22 Thomas Flitz (App State)
184 #13 Matthew Waddell (Chattanooga)
Average Ranking: 16.8
Total # Of Ranked Wrestlers: 7
Deepest Weight: 149/174 with 2
The Southern Conference has historically been at the bottom of wrestling conferences when it comes to competitiveness, and unless things change, this season will be no different. The SoCon has just seven total ranked wrestlers with Joshua Heil of Campbell being the only ranked wrestler in the top 10.
Watch Matthew Waddell defeat Anthony Montalvo at the 2020 Southern Scuffle below.