2021 NCAA Wrestling Championship Watch Party

NCAA 157-Pound Preview + Predictions: The Big Three On Top

NCAA 157-Pound Preview + Predictions: The Big Three On Top

We missed out on it last year, but now we finally get to see who comes out on top between Ryank Deakin, Hayden Hidlay, and David Carr when it matters most.

Mar 17, 2021 by JD Rader
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We’ve been deprived of some great folkstyle matches at 157 lbs with the cancellations of the 2020 NCAA Championships and the 2020 CKLV. Alas, we wait no more. We get to find out who comes out on top between Ryank Deakin, Hayden Hidlay, and David Carr when it matters most.

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We’ve been deprived of some great folkstyle matches at 157 lbs with the cancellations of the 2020 NCAA Championships and the 2020 CKLV. Alas, we wait no more. We get to find out who comes out on top between Ryank Deakin, Hayden Hidlay, and David Carr when it matters most.

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Don’t let the top three at this weight class distract you from the phenomenal matches that will occur in the early rounds and backside as well. I break it all down below.

Title Contenders

#1 Ryan Deakin, Northwestern

#2 Hayden Hidlay, NC State

#3 David Carr, Iowa State

We got a mini-preview of this weight at the 2019 CKLV. Deakin came out on top with a 9-3 decision over Carr in the semis and 6-2 decision over Hidlay in the finals. Now, the question is how much has changed since then. That was almost sixteen months ago. Deakin was dominant then, can he repeat? 

Don’t count Hidlay or Carr out just because of that tournament. After all, Hidlay has beat Deakin twice in the past including 8-2 at the 2019 NCAA Championships. Carr has looked great this year and beat Deakin and split with Deakin at 2020 Senior Nationals. The Cyclone is 15-0 with a 73% bonus rate. That’s good enough for #5 in the current Dan Hodge Trophy rankings.

Watch Ryan Deakin and Hayden Hidlay’s 2019 CKLV final below.

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All-American Threats

#4 Jesse Dellavecchia, Rider

#5 Kaleb Young, Iowa

#6 Brayton Lee, Minnesota

#7 Jarrett Jacques, Mizzouri

#8 Jared Franek, NDSU

#9 Kendall Coleman, Purdue

#10 Justin Thomas, Oklahoma

#11 Jacori Teemer, Arizona State

Deakin, Hidlay, and Carr are on a tier of their own, but this weight is still deep and we’re going to get some great matches on the backside. Jesse Dellavecchia is the top seed in tier two, but Kaleb Young is actually 1-0 against Dellavecchia. Take that result with a grain of salt as it occurred in 2017.

Brayton Lee is up from 149 a year ago and looking solid. He took third at Big Tens and his only losses on the season are to Deakin and Young. Jarrett Jacques has also only lost to two people this season: Dellavecchia and Carr. The Dellavecchia match came down to one point in the MAC finals.

Jacques, Franek, Coleman, Thomas, and Teemer are all about on the same tier. The five are all now multiple-time national qualifiers but have yet to earn AA honors. They won’t all be able to finish on the podium, but if one of them gets hot, watch out.

Watch Jarrett Jacques and Jared Franek square off in their dual earlier this season below.

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Sleepers And Landmines

#15 Chase Saldate, Michigan State

#16 Justin McCoy, Virginia

#21 Andrew Cerniglia, Navy

Chase Saldate is an example of one of the pros of this shortened and weird season - we get to see some extra true freshmen that might have redshirted if this wasn’t a free year of eligibility. Andrew Cerniglia is also a true freshman, but as a Midshipman, we probably would have seen him anyway. These two have a lot of upside. They were #9 and #20 on the Class of 2020 Big Board. Saldate is just 8-5 on the season, but all of those losses have come to top-10 guys and he ended his season on a high note reversing the result of two of those matches at Big Tens with wins over Coleman and Lewan. Cerniglia took a bad loss in the first round at EIWAs but battled back for 3rd.

Justin McCoy was a national qualifier last year and has only lost to Hidlay this season.

Watch Justin McCoy and Chase Saldate’s 22-point from UWW Juniors below.

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Anticipated Early Matchups

#6 Brayton Lee vs #11 Jacori Teemer

A fun little rivalry here that dates back to high school when the two squared off at the 2018 Cliff Keen Dream Team Classic. Lee won that in OT, then Teemer won at Midlands their redshirt year 9-7. Finally, at UWW Juniors 2019, Brayton won on criteria 9-9. I expect another wild one this time around.

#9 Kendall Coleman vs #8 Jared Franek

This is a toss-up match imo. Coleman won it in the dual last season, but it came down to sudden victory. The winner of this match gets one seed Ryan Deakin, but it could still be crucial for position on the backside and making it to the podium.

#7 Jarrett Jacques vs #10 Justin Thomas

A second-round match that could set the tournament’s tone for either guy. This will be the first meeting between these two.

Predictions

1) Hayden Hidlay, NC State

2) Ryan Deakin, Northwestern

3) David Carr, Iowa State

4) Kaleb Young, Iowa

5) Brayton Lee, Minnesota

6) Jesse Dellavecchia, Rider

7) Jacori Teemer, Arizona State

8) Jarrett Jacques, Missouri

R12) Chase Saldate, Michigan State

R12) Kendall Coleman, Purdue

R12) Jared Franek, NDSU

R12) Hunter Willits, Oregon State