Way Too Early Lineup Look: 2022-2023 Arizona State Sun Devils
Way Too Early Lineup Look: 2022-2023 Arizona State Sun Devils
A breakdown of what Arizona State's team trophy lineup could look like next season.
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Arizona State has gone from finishing 58th at the 2013 NCAA Championships to back-to-back team trophies. What Zeke Jones has done in Tempe since being hired in 2014 is remarkable, and they’re not stopping. The Sun Devils are poised to make it back-to-back-to-back NCAA trophies by bringing back 90% of their starting lineup from this past season.
2022-23 Arizona State Projected Lineup
125: Brandon Courtney
133: Michael McGee
141: Jesse Vasquez
149: Kyle Parco
157: Jacori Teemer
165: Kendall Norfleet
174: Cael Valencia
184: Josh Nummer
197: Kordell Norfleet
285: Cohlton Schultz
125: Brandon Courtney, SR
It’s not often the #1 overall recruit coming out of high school is forced to sit on the bench after redshirting, but I think this is going to be one of those scenarios. One year after goin 15-1 with the only loss coming to Spencer Lee in the NCAA finals, Courtney back up that performance by taking 6th place in a field that included the Ivy League.
The aforementioned recruit, Richard Figueroa, went 2-0 this year with two falls, but didn’t face a D1 starter. Figueroa still has to prove himself at the Division I level. Where as ASU knows they have a finalist threat in Courtney.
Watch Courtney make the NCAA semis over Killian Cardinale below.
133: Michael McGee, SR
Another potential spot for Figueroa would be if Michael McGee decides to withgo his last year of eligibility. Figueroa has always been small, so he might have trouble filling out 133, however. McGee will be a sixth-year senior. He spent the first three years of his career at Old Dominion where he was a 2X national qualifier and redshirted before the school cut the wrestling program. In his two years in Tempe, he’s finished 6th and 4th at the NCAA Championships. After dropping a match to Job Greenwood at the Cowboy Open, McGee only lost to Roman Bravo-Young, Daton Fix, and Austin Desanto for the rest of the season. Desanto and possibly RBY will not be returning next year, making McGee another finalists threat for the Sun Devils.
Watch McGee beat Dylan Ragusin in the NCAA quarterfinals below.
141: Jesse Vasquez, SO
Jesse Vasquez had a solid opening to this past season, only losing to Nick Lee, before suffering a season-ending injury in late December/early January.
A 4X California state champion, Vasquez was #21 on the class of 2020 big board.
Mykey Ramos stepped up when Vasquez went down, but went 0-4 in duals and failed to qualify for the NCAA tournament.
149: Kyle Parco, JR
Another pickup from a cut program, Kyle Parco left Fresno State after the 2021 season. That season he spent most of the year at 141 lbs before moving up to 149 lbs for the Big 12 tournament and found his way onto the podium at NCAAs. Parco proved that wasn’t a fluke making the podium again this year at 149 lbs but as a Sun Devil. Parco was a rock for the Sun Devils this year only losing one match prior to the national tournament.
157: Jacori Teemer, SR
If Parco was a rock for the Sun Devils, Jacori Teemer was a boulder because it took until the NCAA semifinals for this man to lose this season. Since arriving on campus from Long Beach, NY, Teemer has shown what he is capable of. After losing five times in 2019/2020, Teemer has lost just three matches each of the past two seasons. Known for his powerful double leg, there are few people in the weight class Teemer can’t run through.
Watch Jacori Teemer and Jared Franek’s NCAA quarterfinal below.
165: Kendall Norfleet, FR
The only starter from this past season who is completely out of eligibility is Anthony Valencia, leaving 165 to be one of the few potential holes in the Sun Devils’ lineup next year. Assuming current commit Michael Kilic doesn’t put on some serious mass (he’s finishing his high school career at 152 lbs), I think the starter will be redshirt freshman Kendall Norfleet.
The younger brother of Kordell, Kendall has potential. He was an Illinois state champion as a senior in 2021. As a redshirt this season, he went 10-3 with his best win coming over Iowa State’s Austin Kraisser.
174: Cael Valencia, FR
One Valencia leaves, but another one arrives. The younger brother of Anthony and Zahid, Cael Valencia should allow Sun Devil fans four more years of enjoying a Valencia in the lineup. A Super 32 and Doc B champion, Valencia was the #3 overall recruit in 2021. Valencia got off to a hot start this year as a redshirt, winning both the Mountaineer and Cowboy Open, but fizzled down the stretch a little bit going just 4-4 in his last two opens.
Similar to his brothers, Cael loves to shoot frequently in matches, especially from the outside. This sometimes works in his favor and sometimes gets him in trouble. I think the year of college wrestling under his belt will do wonders and he’s solidly in the top-20 mix nest year.
Watch Cael Valencia bet 4X national qualifier Hayden Hastings below.
184: Josh Nummer, JR
When Trey Munoz transferred to Oregon State he left a bit of a hole at 184 lbs for Zeke Jones. Josh Nummer stepped up and earned the starting spot, but went just 1-8 in duals and failed to qualify for NCAAs. Assuming he wasn’t injured, it’s hard to see a scenario where a guy changes course drastically in his fourth year on campus.
ASU will have freshmen like Jacob Meissner, Diego Chavez, and Damion Schunke who could potentially be 184s, but I don’t see any of them being suitable options out of the gate. Don’t be surprised if Zeke goes to the portal here.
197: Kordell Norfleet, SR
This is assuming Kordell Norfleet uses his extra year of eligibility. He’ll be a sixth-year senior and 4X NCAA qualifier, but hasn’t quite been able to get on the podium yet. Making the bloodround in 2021 and round-of-16 this year, he’s right there. Norfleet was ranked between #8 and #12 all year this year. If he does come back, I’ll be rooting for the Chicago native.
Watch Kordell Norfleet beat Stephen Buchanan below.
285: Cohlton Schultz, JR
Cohlton Schultz attracts some haters and doubters with his old-school heavyweight style of wrestling. However, he shut those haters up at this year’s NCAA Championships when he made the finals opposite Gable Steveson.
I’m not sure if Schultz took one shot all season, but he didn’t need to. With his size, he can push darn near anyone around the mat. With Gable gone next season, Cohlton will go into the season ranked #1 and will be ASU’s best shot at a national champion.
And just to remind you that Schultz is capable of more than just pushing people around the mat.
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