2021-22 NCAA DI Rankings
Carter Staroccisecake Factory
By avenging his loss to Kemerer at Big Tens, Starocci not only earned an NCAA title, but secured the #1 preseason ranking as well (not that he was at all concerned about the latter).
Kemerer, however, thanks to his tremendous body of work --three top-four placements, two losses in the last two seasons to NCAA champs only-- stays in the number two spot.
2019 NCAA champ, Mekhi Lewis, is bumping up a weight. The Hokie by way of New Jersey skipped 2019-20 on an Olympic redshirt and missed a lot of matches late last season due to injuries. Right there with him is Hayden Hidlay, who is bulking up two whole weights. A loss to Jacori Teemer in the wrestlebacks of the 2021 NCAA tournament keeps Hidlay from ranking higher than fourth, which goes to show just how insanely deep this division projects to be.
Also joining the 174-pound fun is Matt Finesilver, the two-time national qualifier who returns to the mat after missing 2020 while taking an Olympic redshirt and 2021 due to injury. Additionally, All-American Ethan Smith is moving up and displacing his teammate and fellow All-American Kaleb Romero (we are assuming, provisionally).
An Ivy Leaguer who looks to make a big impression in his first varsity season is Cornell's Chris Foca. He had a stellar season in 2019-20 competing for the Finger Lakes RTC (now Spartan Combat RTC), which includes a win over 2021 bloodrounder Austin Murphy, thus Foca's ranking in the top 20.
Additionally, like Hidlay, South Dakota State's Cade DeVos is also bumping up two weights, from 157 to 174.
Update - November 1, 2021
UNI's Austin Yant moves up a weight and takes the place of teammate Lance Runyon in the rankings. Elsewhere, Gavin Kane defeated #15 Clay Lautt, and though the young Kane does not have a strong enough resume to take a spot in the rankings just yet, with a victory like that its a good bet he will be in there sooner than later.
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: email@example.com; Twitter: @rader_jd)
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