We’re still two months out from the start of the NCAA Wrestling Championships in Cleveland from March 15-17. But the NCAA has released its first coaches’ panel ranking wrestlers in each weight class. It is a preliminary look at where wrestlers stack up in their weight.
Rutgers has seven wrestlers among the 330 wrestlers in the ten weight classes. To make it simpler to understand, ignoring automatic qualifiers from conference tournaments, if the NCAA tournament began today, those 330 wrestlers - including the seven from RU - would be there to wrestle.
First @NCAA D1 wrestling coaches panel rankings have been released.— Rutgers Wrestling (@RUWrestling) January 18, 2018
No. 2 Suriano (125)
No. 11 Lewis (165)
No. 12 DeLuca (149)
No. 13 John Van Brill (157)
No. 15 Gravina (184)
No. 16 DelVecchio (133)
No. 32 Mulligan (197)#RUWR | #RelentlessPursuit pic.twitter.com/VmuRZBPcyf
For ranking purposes, coaches may only consider a wrestler that has been designated as a starter at a respective weight class. To be eligible for the rankings, wrestlers must have participated in at least five matches against Division I opponents in the weight class and have wrestled within the last 30 days.
The Big Ten has 88 spots among the 330; that’s 27% and another reason why the conference claims to be the toughest wrestling conference in the country.
At 184 pounds, the Big Ten has five of the top six wrestlers, including one and two. At heavyweight, it has the top three.
Below are the top ranked wrestlers in each weight and the number of Big Ten wrestlers in that weight.
For those wondering why Ohio State’s Nathan Tomasello isn’t ranked at 125 despite being No. 1 in most weekly rankings, he hasn’t met the criteria yet. He only begain wrestling again on January 5 after an early season injury.
The complete list of all 330 wrestlers - from The Open Mat - can be found here.