Since the school year at Rutgers has begun, that means wrestling season is coming fast. The team has since started practice and are looking to improve upon 2017-18 where they finished 11th at the NCAA Tournament (best in team history) and had their first ever National Finalist in Nick Suriano.
Speaking of Suriano, he’s been talked about all off-season as a wrestler to watch this season. He certainly has a chance to win a National Title at 125 pounds or 133 pounds should he bump up. For now, we are going under the assumption that Suriano will wrestle at 125, where he was pegged No. 2 in the country by Flo Wrestling. In case of a bump to 133, Suriano would likely be ranked No. 3 or No. 4 behind Seth Gross of South Dakota and Stevan Micic of Michigan. Right now, it’s probably a toss up between Suriano and Tariq Wilson of NC State.
We took a look at potential lineups earlier in the summer should Suriano move around.
In Anthony Ashnault’s case, he is confirmed to bump up to 149 pounds and was ranked No. 3 by Flo Wrestling’s preseason rankings. Ashnault missed the entire season in 2017-18 while recovering from surgeries on his shoulder and knee but is geared up and ready to go for his final season on the banks.
Ashnault, a three time All-American, will see some familiar faces at 149 pounds as many wrestlers have changed weights this offseason. Matt Kolodzik of Princeton, finished 3rd at the 2018 NCAA Championships at 149 pounds and has some history with Ashnault.
Back in the 2016-17 season, Kolodzik knocked off Ashnault early in the season at “The Battle of the Birthplace” inside the Rutgers Football stadium. But, Ashnault got the last laugh at the NCAA Championship quarterfinals when he came away with a win to clinch All-American status for the third time.
Have to say, Flo Wrestling is really embracing the Jersey factor with Rutgers as of late. Take a look at this:
Rutgers will open up the season on November 3rd when they host a quad meet at the RAC that includes Fresno State. Once the arena gets rocking, we can have more moments like these: