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Since 2009, Virginia Tech has finished in the top 10 at the NCAA Championships six times and only one time, 2011, finished lower than 11th. As you'll see from the depth chart below, the Hokies are set up to have the same amount of success not only next year but for the foreseeable future.
|125||1||Sam Latona||Redshirt Freshman|
|125||2||Joey Prata||Redshirt Senior|
This Season: Joey Pata heads into his senior season after qualifying for the NCAA Championships for the first time a year ago, and Sam Latona is coming off an outstanding redshirt year. On his way to a 20-2 record, Latona knocked off All-American Jakob Camacho and NCAA qualifiers Fabian Gutierrez, Gage Curry, and Trey Chalifoux. Prata will be up for the challenge of defending his spot, but I think Latona will be the man for the Hokies. The Alabama native debuted in our preseason rankings at #12.
Long-Term Outlook: I don't think Latona is a career 125, maybe a season or two at the most. After bumping to 133, that would clear the way for New Jersey standout and the #68 recruit in the class of 2020, Eddie Ventresca.
|133||1||Korbin Myers||Redshirt Senior|
|133||2||Brandon Wittenberg||Redshirt Freshman|
This Season: Virginia Tech announced on June 12 that three-time NCAA qualifier Korbin Myers received a sixth year of eligibility after missing all of last season with a neck injury. While Myers didn't wrestle a match last year, he was 2-2 in the loaded 2019 133-pound NCAA Championship bracket and had a win over Micky Phillippi. Collin Gerardi qualified for the NCAA Championships last season, but with the return of Myers, I would expect Gerardi to move up to look to get in the lineup at 141.
Long-Term Outlook: As I mentioned above, I think we see Latona move up to 133 eventually and potentially hold down the spot for two to three years. If Latona does not move up after next season, I could see Gerardi coming back down to the weight he qualified for the NCAA Championships at and would still have two years of eligibility remaining.
|141||1||Collin Gerardi||Redshirt Sophomore|
|141||2||Josh Baier||Redshirt Junior|
|141||3||Jack Darling||Redshirt Freshman|
This Season: Two-time NCAA qualifier Mitch Moore transferred to Oklahoma in the offseason and leaves the Hokies with a need here. As mentioned above, I think Gerardi packs on some size and takes over.
Long-Term Outlook: I would imagine the Hokie staff would love if two-time Pennsylvania state champion Sam Hillegas could hold down 141 for at least a couple years. If he's unable to, Gerardi would have two years of eligibility remaining after this upcoming season if he wanted to stay up at 141 and not return to 133 after Myer's eligibility runs out.
|149||2||Caden Darber||Redshirt Junior|
This Season: After an injury to Brent Moore, Bryce Andonian had his redshirt pulled and the true freshman didn't disappoint. Andonian went 18-6, earned the 20th seed at the NCAA Championships, and begins the season ranked #21 in our preseason rankings.
Long-Term Outlook: Andonian still has three years of eligibility remaining and if he were to ever outgrow 149, Sam Hillegas could come up from 141.
|157||1||Connor Brady||Redshirt Freshman|
|157||2||Jake Hart||Redshirt Sophomore|
This Season: Connor Brady makes it back to back Ohio hammers in the lineup for the Hokies. Brady is coming off a solid redshirt season where he went 9-2. However, he didn't have a win over an NCAA qualifier.
Long-Term Outlook: Brady is the future here for the Hokies with four seasons still to be wrestled. I do think there is the possibility that at some point in his career that Andonian outgrows 149 and comes up to 157 to either challenge Brady or the two could possibly swap weights if Hillegas finds a home at 141. Jake Hart wrestled 149 a year ago, but he wrestled 157 the year prior and there are no other 157-pounders currently on the Hokie roster.
|165||1||Mekhi Lewis||Redshirt Sophomore|
|165||2||Kristian Scott||Redshirt Sophomore|
|165||3||Jordan Florence||Redshirt Sophomore|
This Season: Freshman NCAA champion Mekhi Lewis is back after his Olympic redshirt for the Hokies and will begin the season as the nation's top-ranked wrestler.
Long-Term Outlook: Lewis will still have two years of eligibility remaining after this season. Upon Lewis' graduation or a possible move up to 174 at some point in his career, Cadet world team member, Clayton Ulrey, will be there to fill in nicely.
|174||1||Cody Howard||Redshirt Sophomore|
|174||2||Kolton Clark||Redshirt Freshman|
This Season: Cody Howard may be listed as a 197-pounder on the official Virginia Tech website, but at the end of the year last season he wrestled 184 for five matches and plans to try to cut to 174 this upcoming season to get in the lineup.
Long-Term Outlook: Howard would still have two years of eligibility remaining after this season, Mekhi Lewis could always come up, and the Hokies recently received a commitment from Pennsylvania state champion and top-25 prospect in the class of 2021, Trey Kibe.
|184||1||Hunter Bolen||Redshirt Junior|
This Season: After redshirting two years ago, Bolen began the season ranked in the top 10, but after just a month of the season Bolen was ranked in the top three and that's where he stayed the rest of the year and where he'll begin the 2020-21 season.
Long-Term Outlook: Bolen will have one year left after the upcoming season and a trio of Virginia natives will be waiting in the wings to replace him.
|197||1||Stan Smeltzer||Redshirt Junior|
This Season: After two seasons at 184, Stan Smeltzer bumped to 197 where he was 13-15 last year. With this being his second year at the weight, Smeltzer will be trying to punch his ticket to his first NCAA Championship.
Long-Term Outlook: Smeltzer will only have one year of eligibility remaining after this season and I believe the future year for the Hokies will come from the class of 2021 or 2022.
|285||1||John Borst||Redshirt Junior|
|285||3||Jarrett Tronge||Redshirt Freshman|
This Season: In his first full year as the starter, Borst grew into heavyweight and put together a nice 21-9 season and earned the 18 seed at the NCAA Championships. The Hokie sits at #22 in our preseason rankings.
Long-Term Outlook: Two-time Pennsylvania state champion and top-10 prospect in the class of 2020, Hunter Catka, will be the long-term answer in Blacksburg. He will overlap with Borst for a season, but either wrestler will be a great option for the Hokies.
Keep it locked on FloWrestling all month as we continue to roll out depth chart breakdowns for the nation's top D1 programs and also take a look at the high school wrestlers they are targeting