2021-22 NCAA DI Rankings
Leep of Faith
Lee looks to cement his legacy in Hawkeye lore by becoming their first-ever four-time NCAA champ. He'll have more competition this year, as the weight class gets a shot in the arm via the return of Vito Arujau and Pat Glory.
Glory has the last head-to-head win in his folkstyle series with Arujau, however, Arujau slips in ahead of Glory on the strength of his 2019 NCAA tournament finish (Vito's fourth to Pat's sixth).
Brandon Courtney has finished higher at the NCAAs (second) than either Glory or Arujau, but when considering records from the last time either Glory or Arujau competed collegiately, the two Ivy League wrestlers' resumes compare more favorably.
One name you won't see on the list is Central Michigan's Drew Hildebrandt, who announced he has finished his collegiate career. It also sounds like Robbie Howard will not be in Penn State's lineup for the foreseeable future due to injury.
We're assuming Medley is going to be the guy for Michigan at 125 and that Dylan Ragusin takes a redshirt now that Micic is back in the mix, but that could always change. There's also two-time cadet world champ Kurt McHenry to be reckoned with.
Illinois' Justin Cardani had the misfortune of trying to qualify for the NCAAs in a loaded Big Ten conference, wrestling only other Big Ten opponents, and ended up on the outside of the tourney looking in with a losing record. Expect things to be different after another year of development and the opportunity to wrack up out-of-conference wins.
We stopped enumerating at 24 this year, which is also the number of wrestlers that score team points in each weight class at the NCAA championships. We also added nine honorable mentions to bring the total number of ranked wrestlers per week to 33. It's not a coincidence that 33 wrestlers qualify for the NCAA Tournament in each weight class.
It should also go without saying that weight classes are all provisional, as we are bound to see some changes as the season commences, but we're saying it anyway. And so we did.
Update - November 1, 2021
Brock Hudkins returns to the mat after an extended hiatus due to injuries. He was putting together a very solid season before an injury at the Midlands tournament stopped him in his tracks.
In relevant wrestle-offs, Anthony Noto defeated HM Luke Werner, Anthony Molton defeated #23 Zurich Storm, Colton Camacho defeated HM Gage Curry, and Sheldon Seymour of Lehigh defeated #17 Jaret Lane. All the victories found their way onto the honorable mention rolls, except Seymour, who is right on the bubble.
Do you have questions or comments for the rankers? We welcome and encourage your feedback. Hit up Andrew Spey (email: Andrew.Spey@flosports.tv; Twitter: @SpeyWrestle) and JD Rader (email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @rader_jd)
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