2020-21 NCAA DI Rankings

285 Pounds

Every weight class explanation will include the following preseason caveats. Chiefly, that it is far too early to know the weight classes in which every wrestler in the NCAA will be going. A great many wrestlers themselves probably do not know that with any amount of certainty. Furthermore, Covid-19 and the postponed 2020 Olympics through yet more uncertainty into the mix. 

As more information about if and where wrestlers will be competing becomes publically available, we will update the rankings accordingly. For the most part, we will be assuming that no redshirt years will be taken, neither will any weight classes be changed. However, as noted, all that will very likely change in the ensuing months, as will the rankings. 


None of the top five heavyweights and only three of the top ten from 2020 graduate, which means 285 will be one of the more experienced weight classes in the NCAA. Adding to that depth is Zach Elam, who returns from a solid redshirt season after qualifying for Nationals as a true freshman for the Missouri Tigers. 

Christian Lance will take over for the graduated David Jensen in Lincoln, Nebraska. A win over Yaralsau Slavikousi but loss to Seth Nevills puts Lance at #15, though he has the potential to move up. 

Also returning from a year of deferred eligibility is AJ Nevills, who took a season off while All-American Josh Hokit bumped up last season. The Fresno State Bulldog is joined in the rankings by Greg Kerkvliet of Penn State and Lewis Fernandes of Cornell. Fernandes took a customary Ivy League greyshirt, deferring enrollment at Cornell for a year and competing unattached, while Kerkvliet transferred from Ohio State to Penn State midseason, causing him to lose one year of eligibility. They all have a higher ceiling than where they are currently ranked.

Purdue's Thomas Penola will be competing at 197, so he has been taken out of the 285-pound rankings and moved to the bubble of the 197-pound rankings. 

A quintet of names that are new to the 2021 rankings round out a very competitive heavyweight division. 

Questions or comments for the rankers? We welcome and encourage your feedback. Hit up Andrew Spey (email: Andrew.Spey@flosports.tv; Twitter: @SpeyWrestle) and David Bray (email: David.Bray@flosports.tv; Twitter: @_DavidBray).

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