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Rutgers Wrestling: the [fr]enemy inside the gates?

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Could 4-time state champ Nick Suriano be heading to RU?

NCAA Wrestling: Division I Wrestling Championship Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

As a scholastic wrestler at Bergen Catholic, Nick Suriano was 159-0 and won four state championships. After high school he opted to go to Penn State to wrestle for the legendary Cael Sanderson. As a freshman last season, Suriano went 16-3, but did not wrestle in the NCAA tournament after being injured in he first round of the Big Ten tournament.

And according to reports, he’s been working out this summer with the Scarlet Knights Wrestling Club....in New Brunswick...in the Rutgers wrestling room.

Flowrestling, on its FRL podcast, has been talking about the fact that Suriano has not been on campus in Happy Valley, has not been taking any summer classes, and that, in fact, Sanderson has been in New Jersey re-recruiting, if you will, his star 125-pounder.

There are a lot of moving parts here. For one, Suriano is still a Penn State athlete. He is on scholarsahip at PSU; the podcast made reference, in fact, to a very “generous” scholarship. The implication is that Suriano may be receiving more support than some other wrestlers, something that is allowed since wrestling is an “equivalency sport” that allows splitting up of the scholarship allocation.

Suriano has three years of eligibility remaining. However, if he transfers to Rutgers, Big Ten rules state he would lose a year of eligibility by transferring intra-conference. The FRL podcast, though, stated that from their research, the rule hasn’t always been enforced or, at the very least, has been enforced inconsistently.

The conversation continues over Suriano’s weight. He’s at 125, but there has been discussion of him moving to 133. He was on a team - though not participating - that won the NCAA title (again) and saw five teammates win national titles. Do you walk away from the opportunity to be with that group as they shoot for more?

The story was also explored on the PSU blog Roar Lions Roar. That source indicated that for Suriano to compete immediately, both Penn State and Rutgers would have to agree to that. Why Penn State would agree to such a deal is beyond me; allow a potential national champion to transfer to a conference opponent with no restrictions seems a stretch. They hold all the cards.

For Rutgers, such a move would be immensely significant. Getting a four-time state champ in the room and then in your lineup cannot be overstated as a major win. Having a kid go from Penn State to Rutgers is a sign of positive moves for the Knights. And even if it is for only two years, what an opportunity for the Knights.