2022-2023 Early NCAA Lineup Looks

Early Lineup Look: 2022-23 North Carolina State Wolfpack

Early Lineup Look: 2022-23 North Carolina State Wolfpack

Three-time All-American Trent Hidlay leads a North Carolina State squad with has six wrestlers ranked 19th or better.

Oct 3, 2022 by Mark Spezia
Early Lineup Look: 2022-23 North Carolina State Wolfpack

Since the 2016 season, North Carolina State has established itself among the nation's elite programs.

The Wolfpack have been ranked among the top 10 in the last seven final NWCA Top 25 season polls, something only Iowa, Penn State and Oklahoma State can match. 

N.C. State is also one of 10 teams that have finished in the top 17 at the past seven NCAA Championships, joining Iowa, Penn State, Oklahoma State, Ohio State, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, Michigan and Virginia Tech. 

The Wolfpack return six starters — all NCAA qualifiers — from last season's squad which finished 13-1, captured a fourth straight ACC title and took 12th at the NCAA Championships. Their lone loss was a close decision to Iowa, 19-15.

However, Jakob Camacho, the Wolfpack's 125-pound starter the past three seasons and a two-time ACC champion, is on the shelf to start the year and his status for the season remains unclear. Camacho appeared poised to take the next step and become an All-American after a successful offseason which included finishing runner-up at the 2022 World Team Trials at 57 kilograms and placing third at the U.S. Open.

Still, N.C. State's lineup will feature six wrestlers who are among top 19 in their weight classes in the first 2022-23 Division 1 rankings. 

Departing starters, however, leave significant holes in the middle of the lineup. Gone are five-time All-American Hayden Hidley (174 pounds), four-time All-American Tariq Wilson (149) and five-time NCAA qualifier Thomas Bullard (165). 

2022-23 Projected North Carolina State Starting Lineup

125: Jarett Trombley, JR

133: Kai Orine, FR

141: Ryan Jack, SO

149: Luke Ahrberg, FR

157: Ed Scott, SO

165: Donald Cates, SO

174: Joey Milano, FR

184: Trent Hidlay, SO

197: Isaac Trumble, SO

285: Tyrie Houghton, SR

125: Jarrett Trombley, SR

Fortunately, N.C. State has a more-than-capable replacement for Camacho, a three-time NCAA qualifier, in Trombley. The two-time NCAA qualifier at 133 pounds reached the round of 16 at the 2021 NCAA Championships before Orine beat him out for the starting role at that weight last season.

Trombley still started three duals last season and finished 10-4. He was also seventh at this year's World U23 Trials at 57 kilograms. Trombley owns a 40-19 career mark and his biggest win has been a decision over All-American and three-time NCAA qualifier Louie Hayes (Virginia). He is honorable mention in the season's first rankings. 

133: Kai Orine, FR

The three-time Missouri state champion finished 18-7 with six technical falls and two major decisions. He reached the round of 16 at the NCAA Championships and took third in the ACC. 

His biggest career win thus far has been a pin of All-American and four-time NCAA qualifier Devan Turner (Oregon State). Orine also beat Trombley and two-time NCAA qualifiers Brian Courtney (Virginia) and Casey Robb (Navy) last season.

Orine's career mark is 23-8 and he is ranked #13 in the nation.

141: Ryan Jack, SO

The four-time Connecticut state champion became a full-time starter last season and finished 18-9 with three major decisions, two pins and a technical fall. Jack reached the round of 16 at the NCAA championships and was second in the ACC. 

Easily his biggest win last season was a 4-3 decision over NCAA runner-up Kizhan Clarke (North Carolina) at the ACC Championships. Jack has a 28-12 career record and is ranked No. 8 in the nation.

Jack's busy offseason included reaching the final of the U20 World Team Trials at 65 kilograms and placing fifth at the 2022 U.S. Open. 

149: Luke Ahrberg, FR

The two-time Oklahoma state champion appears the likely choice to replace Wilson after going 18-9 during his redshirt season. Ahrberg won most of his matches by pin (seven), major decision (four) or technical fall (one), including a decision over Chattanooga's Matt Williams, a three-time South Carolina state champion.

Ahrberg also went 2-2 in U20 freestyle competition at the U.S. Open, including a win over incoming Michigan State freshman Braden Stauffenberg, who later won a Greco-Roman national championship in Fargo. 

157: Ed Scott, SO

Scott earned a starting role during his true freshman season of 2020-21 and finished with a 6-6 record. 

That experience paved the way for Scott to break out in a major way last season as he finished 24-3, winning the majority of his matches by pin (seven), technical fall (seven) or major decision (three). 

Scott racked up some impressive wins, none bigger than a 3-2 decision over 2021 national champion and three-time All-American Austin O'Connor (North Carolina) in the ACC championship match. The performance clinched ACC Rookie of the Year honors for Scott.

He also knocked off NCAA runner-up and three-time NCAA qualifier Quincy Monday (Princeton) as well as two-time All-American and four-time NCAA qualifier Kaleb Young (Iowa). Scott also dispatched four-time NCAA qualifiers Justin Thomas (Oklahoma) and Jarrett Jacques (Missouri).

The noteworthy victories continued at the U.S. Open where Scott went 3-2, including a win over All-American and three-time NCAA qualifier Yahya Thomas (Northwestern). Scott also finished eighth at the U23 U.S. World Team Trials at 70 kg.

He is #7 in the current rankings. 

165: Donald Cates, SO

The two-time North Carolina state champion will most likely to take over this spot in the lineup. 

After going 2-4 his first season, Cates improved to 15-6 last season with a pin, a major decision and three technical falls. 

He has beaten two-time NCAA qualifiers Rodrick Mosley (Gardner-Webb) and Drew Nichols (Virginia Tech). 

174: Joey Milano, FR

Milano is probably the best candidate to fill the biggest hole in the lineup created by Hayden Hidley, who remains with the program as student-athlete development coordinator. 

A Pennsylvania state champion, Milano was named FloWrestling’s top 184-pound redshirt and N.C. State’s Freshman of the Year last season after going 25-6 in open competition.

All but seven of Milano's victories came via technical fall (eight), pin (five) or major decision (five). His best win was a decision over NCAA qualifier Deandre Nassar (Cleveland State). 

MIlano was eighth at this year's U.S. Open at 86 kg in U20 Freestyle. Among those he beat were Illinois state champion Adrien Cramer and Arizona state champion Fernando Villaescusa. Both are also Fargo All-Americans.

184: Trent Hidlay, SO

One of the nation's top wrestlers to watch this season regardless of weight class, Hidlay placed fifth at last season's NCAA Championships, becoming an All-American for the third time. He finished 21-2, including 16 bonus-point wins on the strength of nine major decisions, four pins and three technical falls.

Hidlay won his first 20 matches of last season before back-to-back losses to two-time NCAA champion Aaron Brooks (Penn State) and two-time All-American Parker Keckeisen by a combined four points.

Hidlay is ranked #16 pound-for-pound and #3 at 184 behind Brooks and Keckeisen. 

Hidlay, a 2021 NCAA runner-up, rebounded with a decision over All-American Kaleb Romero (Ohio State) in the fifth-place match. He also won a second straight ACC title. 

Hidlay has beaten eight All-Americans during his career, including Romero, 2021 NCAA runner-up Nino Bonaccorsi (Pittsburgh), John Pozanski (Rutgers), Brit Wilson (Northern Illinois), Hunter Bolen (Virginia Tech), Clay Lautt (North Carolina), Ben Darmstadt (Cornell) and Brandon Womack (Cornell). 

Before college wrestling commences, Hidlay will be representing Team USA at the U23 World Championships in Pontevedra, Spain after winning the 86kg World Team Trials. He was also a Junior World Bronze Medalist at 86 kg in 2019. 

Hidlay boasts a 54-8 career record. 

197: Isaac Trumble, SO

In his first full season as a starter, Trumble went 18-6 with four major decisions, three pins and two technical falls. He finished second in the ACC before going 1-2 at the NCAA Championships. 

Trumble has some notable wins on his resume, including over 2021 NCAA runner-up and four-time NCAA qualifier Nino Bonaccorsi (Pittsburgh) and two-time All-American Rocky Elam (Missouri). He has also knocked off four-time NCAA qualifier Jay Aiello (Virginia) and three-time qualifier Jack Brown (Army).

During an active offseason, Trumble was second at 92kg at both the World Team Trials and U.S. Open. At WTT, he took out former Iowa State All-American Pat Downey and four-time NCAA qualifier Cameron Caffey (Michigan State). 

Trumble owns a 24-7 career mark and is #19 in the current rankings. 

285: Tyrie Houghton, SR

Last season was a breakout year for Houghton as he finished 20-10 and competed in the NCAA Championships for the first time. He also finished second in the ACC and recorded three pins, three technical falls and two major decisions. 

His best collegiate wins have been against three-time NCAA qualifiers Quinn Miller (Virginia) and AJ Nevills (South Dakota State) and two-time qualifier Michael McAleavey (Citadel). 

Houghton also took third at 125kg at this year's U23 U.S. World Team Trials, beating All-American and three-time NCAA qualifier Lucas Davison (Northwestern) in the process. 

Houghton has a 53-32 career record and is ranked #19 in the nation.