2022-23 NCAA 157-Pound Preseason Preview: A Weight Up For Grabs

2022-23 NCAA 157-Pound Preseason Preview: A Weight Up For Grabs

Get ready for wrestling season with an early preview of the 2022-23 157-pound field.

Aug 3, 2022 by JD Rader
821. Tiers For Fears, NCAA 157 & 174 Preview

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With the 2021 champ moving up to 165 and the 2022 champ moving on to coaching, 157 has become a weight very much up for grabs. There will be some key guys hopefully healed up, moving up, and coming in. Let’s dig in!

Other preseason weight class previews: 125 | 133 | 141 | 174

Departed

2021-22 157-pound starters not returning

Ryan Deakin, Northwestern

Hunter Willits, Oregon State

Kaleb Young, Iowa

Brady Berge, Penn State

For first the time in five years we’ll be watching a 157 lbs weight class without Ryan Deakin. He was a 5X national qualifier, 3X All-American, and national champion. Hopefully, he still continues to compete while fulfilling his coaching duties. 

Hunter Willits is one of the unusual cases of a really good guy still not using his extra year of eligibility granted by the NCAA. He goes out as an All-American with a 7th place finish. 

Returning 2022 All-Americans

157 lbs podium finishers from last season

Peyton Robb, Nebraska (4th)

Will Lewan, Michigan (5th)

Jacori Teemer, Arizona State (6th)

Austin O’Connor, North Carolina (8th)

These guys are going to be your main title threats.

Watch Jacori Teemer and Peyton Robb’s epic NCAA consi semi-final below.

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Moving Out

2021-22 157 lb starters leaving the weight

David Carr, Iowa State (to 165)

Quincy Monday, Princeton (to 165)

It’s been known since his freshman year that David Carr wants to move up. After winning a national title and 3rd place medal while holding the weight for four years, Carr is throwing his hat in a loaded 165 field. Also doing so will most likely by Quincy Monday. Princeton head coach Chris Ayers confirmed this in a recent interview with David Bray. If Monday does decide to stay, he’s a for sure AA and title contender.

Hear why Quincy Monday is deciding to move to 165 below.

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Moving In

Potential difference makers moving into 157 this season

Bryce Andonian, Virginia Tech (from 149)

Luka Wick, Cal Poly (from 149)

Isaac Judge, Iowa State (from 165)

The big mover here is obviously Bryce Andonian. The Virginia Tech Hokie took third last year at 149 lbs. Andonian’s skinny frame should allow him to put on plenty of muscle to easily make the transition up. Nicknamed AIRdonian, his throw-heavy style is always a crowd pleaser.

Isaac Judge was Iowa State’s 165 lb starter last year, but with Carr moving up, he will be competing with Cam Robinson, Jason Kraisser, and Grant Stotts for the 157 lb starting spot. Luka Wick competed at 149 lbs while in redshirt last season, but with Dom Demas coming in for the Mustangs, my prediction is he moves up and takes over the 157 lb starting spot.

Healed

The wrestlers who missed time or weren’t the same last year

Brayton Lee, Minnesota

Austin O’Connor, North Carolina

Minnesota’s Brayton Lee was unfortunately forced to undergo season-ending surgery last season after suffering an injury in the dual against Ohio State. While Austin O’Connor didn’t miss any time like Lee, he was clearly not 100% at the end of the year. The 2021 NCAA 149 lb national champion tore the anterior cruciate ligament, posterior cruciate ligament, and lateral collateral ligament in his right knee in February, but was still able to tough it out enough to wrestle to a podium finish at the NCAAs. After securing AA status, O’Connor injury defaulted to 8th place.

Coming Off Redshirt

Potential 157-pound starters that were in redshirt last season

Paddy Gallagher, Ohio State

Luka Wick, Cal Poly

Jared Hill, Oklahoma

Alejandro Herrera-Rondon, Oklahoma

Caleb Rathjen, Iowa

Bretli Reyna, Iowa

Cam Robinson, Iowa State

Vincent Zerban, Northern Colorado

Paddy Gallagher is the biggest name of the bunch above. He was the #3 overall recruit in the class of 2021. He went 17-2 during redshirt last season. Tom Ryan recently informed Christian Pyles that Gallagher was slightly injured last season and couldn’t train the way he wanted to, which could have led to the losses. One of those losses came to incoming Penn State freshman, and high school senior at the time, Levi Haines.

Watch Levi Haines beat Paddy Gallagher at the 2022 Edinboro Open below.

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True Freshmen

True Freshmen we could see make an impact right away

Levi Haines, Penn State

Hunter Garvin, Stanford

Daniel Cardenas, Stanford

Brendon Abdon, Little Rock

The win over Gallagher last year was no fluke for Haines, and with Brady Berge moving back to coaching, the Nittany Lions are in need of a 157 lb starter. It will most likely be between Haines, Terrell Barraclough, and Joe Lee for the starting spot. 

Hunter Garvin and Daniel Cardenas are two other big-time recruits from this class. They both finished up their high school careers at 152 lbs and with All-American Jaden Abas still having a couple of years of eligibility left, they will probably both be looking to move up to 157 where Charlie Darracott is the returning starter.

Brendon Abdon was lower on the big board (#76) but a big pickup for a smaller school like Little Rock. This summer he won Fargo in Greco and took 7th in freestyle.

Title Contenders

The best wrestlers in the field

Austin O’Connor, North Carolina

Jacori Teemer, Arizona State

Will Lewan, Michigan

Peyton Robb, Nebraska

Bryce Andonian, Virginia Tech

Brayton Lee, Michigan

For the previous NCAA previews, we at Flo have been doing favorites, but at 157 there is no clear one, two, or even three guys at the weight. When the best two (maybe three) guys leave the weight, this leaves for a lot of legit title contenders. 

O’Connor has been there and done that. He won the 2021 149 lb NCAA title over Sammy Sasso. If he’s 100% healthy, he’s probably the odds-on-favorite to win.

Excluding a healthy O’Connor, I think if you wrestle the NCAA tournament 10 times, you could get four or five different champs.

Watch Austin O’Connor win his 2021 NCAA title below.

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All-American Contenders

The group that will present the most potential to All-American or challenge the favorites

Ed Scott, NC State

Jared Franek, NDSU

Josh Humphreys, Lehigh

Dazjon Casto, Pitt

Jacob Wright, Wyoming

Kendall Coleman, Purdue

Jake Keating, Virginia

Johnny Lovett, Central Michigan

Ed Scott is the wildcard of the group. If he shows as much improvement as he did from his freshman year in 2021 to his sophomore year once again, he could be a title contender.

Dazjon Casto was the shining star of the Citadel program, but after four years found a new home at Pitt for his final year.

Even if you’re one of the title contenders, you don’t want to go under Josh Humphreys, one of the meanest top wrestlers currently in NCAA wrestling.

Dark Horse AA Threats

They won't come into the season ranked in the top-15, but an eye should be kept on these guys

Levi Haines, Penn State

Paddy Gallagher, Ohio State

Andrew Cerniglia, Navy

Doug Zapf, Penn

Freshmen Levi Haines and Paddy Gallagher are absolutely threats to All-American if not even possibly contend for a title. Andrew Cerniglia and Doug Zapf both have two years of starting experience under their belts and two national qualifying finishes. If they got hot and the cards fall just right, they could sneak onto the podium come March.

Predictions

1) O’Connor 2) Teemer 3) Robb 4) Lee 5) Andonian 6) Haines 7) Lewan 8) Scott