Nick Suriano last wrestled in a Rutgers singlet to win a national title in dramatic fashion in 2019. More than years later, the definitive moment of his career is now also officially his last in Scarlet. The Wrestling Room’s Pat Mineo first reported on Wednesday that Suriano has entered the transfer portal.
He reportedly had not been involved with the program for some time and Rutgers didn’t expect him to return. However, it was unknown as to whether Suriano would ultimately use his last remaining year of eligibility. It now appears likely that he will.
Suriano took an Olympic redshirt during the 2019-2020 season to pursue his Olympic dreams. He qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials at the 57 kg division but it was postponed until this year due to COVID-19. Suriano then re-enrolled at Rutgers last August, but never actually competed for head coach Scott Goodale last season. He continued to train for the Olympic Trials, but unfortunately he tested positive for COVID-19 at the start of the event this past March. His frustrating journey was chronicled by the New York Times in May here.
The Paramus, New Jersey native finishes his Rutgers career with a 54-4 record. After finishing as national runner-up at 125 pounds in the 2017-2018 season, he then won the 2019 national title at 133 pounds over Oklahoma State’s Daton Fix. He became the first national champion in program history while teammate and now assistant coach Anthony Ashnault joined him in that company soon after with his own title at 149 pounds.
After beginning his collegiate career at Penn State, Suriano is now likely headed to a third school. He lived and trained in Arizona for the Olympic Trials, so one potential destination is likely Arizona State.
While Suriano’s time with Rutgers wrestling was shorter than anyone had hoped for, his impact was still immense. He was a deeply intense and dedicated student-athlete that helped elevate the program on the national stage. At the end of the day, Suriano was a great competitor and his lasting legacy at Rutgers is as a champion.
To listen to Suriano talk about his journey in becoming a national champion along with Ashnault on episode no. 35 of the On The Banks podcast, click here.