Thus far at JT#1 we've taken a look at both wrestlers whose seasons unfortunately came to an end because of injury & we've taken a look at the best backups in the country as in wrestlers who tried out for a varsity spot & were unable to win it. Now it's time to look at our best redshirts this season.
I'll admit, I know for a fact that I'll miss some here. While I pay attention to redshirts at various opens & tournaments throughout the season, they are not my expertise. So, fair warning, I imagine you'll look through these & say, "Why isn't so & so here?" Didn't mean to overlook anyone, but as said, when it comes to DI wrestling, redshirts are not what I know best.
|Eddie Ventresca & Cooper Flynn |
Most likely the Hokie's starter next season will again be Sam Latona, but both Eddie Ventresca & Cooper Flynn will more than push him in the room. Flynn went 15-3 this season as a redshirt with impressive wins over Korbin Meink & Zurich Storm of Campbell as well as Spencer Moore of North Carolina, Jared Van Vleet of Air Force & Jacob Allen of Navy. Two of Flynn's three losses? Teammate Ventresca.
|James Joplin |
North Carolina State?
I put the ? because I'm not 100% positive if Joplin is still at NC State or not. I recently checked the current roster & he wasn't on it. Nevertheless, regardless of where he ends up next season, he'll either be a starter or one of the best backups in the country. This season victories over Presbyterian's Benny Gomez & Campbell's Anthony Molton.
Maryland gets a lot of flack & criticism from wrestling fans and I don't think that those who are critical of Maryland realize all of the positive things that are happening there as of late. The Terrapins have quietly been recruiting some real talent & Braxton Brown is one of them. This season wins over Jacob Allen of Navy, Luke Werner of Lock Haven, Jace Koelzer of Northern Colorado & Caleb Smith of Appalachian State. I am anxious to see him next season in his first varsity start.
|Dylan Ryder |
Truth to be known, Dylan Ryder is probably the best wrestler in NCAA wrestling who has yet to make the NCAA tournament. Three seasons running he has made my "Best to Not Qualify" list. He took the 2021-2022 season off to redshirt & he'll be back for his final season next year. As far as I'm concerned he's good enough to get 3rd at the EIWA's. He's not beating Glory or Arujau, but other than that, fair game.
As good as Malyke Hines is, I wouldn't count on him necessarily being the starter for Mountain Hawks next season. Carter Bailey is one tough hombre. He'll give Hines one hell of a match, if he doesn't upend him for the starting position. Bailey defeated an assortment of talent this year at both 125 & 133 including Jacob Allen of Navy, Joey Fischer of Clarion, Gage Curry of Pittsburgh, Brock Bergelin of Central Michigan, Sammy Alvarez of Rutgers, Julian Farber of Northern Iowa & Kyle Burwick of Wisconsin.
The Gophers are never hurting for talent are they? They already have Jake Gliva & Aaron Nagao at 133 lbs as it is & next season they'll have Vance VomBaur fighting for the varsity spot too! He has wins over Kyle Biscoglia, Julian Farber, Jack Wager & Jack Sudlarczyk all of Northern Iowa. I'm anxious to see who wins this fatal three way between three very talented Golden Gophers.
|Boo Dryden |
Just to think, Boo Dryden was once at Minnesota too! Now he's at Nebraska & he'll most likely start for the Huskers next season, giving Coach Manning an NCAA qualifier at 133 lbs. An NCAA qualifier in 2021, this season he defeated Kyle Burwick of Wisconsin, Jack Medley of Michigan & Darren Miller of Bucknell.
|Lachlan McNeil |
Of all freshmen in 2023, this is the guy I am most excited about. I think he'll immediately challenge for both an ACC title & All American honors. He defeated Ryan Jack of North Carolina State earlier this year.
I'm not off the Maryland train quite yet. Another top notch recruit the Terrapins picked up is Ethen Miller who gave Real Woods of Stanford a good scare in a 3-1 loss at the Southern Scuffle earlier this year. 2021-2022 was not a good year for Maryland at the lower weights but between Brown & Miller, I think 22'-23' will be a complete turnaround.
|Wyatt Henson |
One of the issues that Iowa has faced in regards to keeping up with Penn State over the years has been reloading. Yet as I pointed out in my "Best Backups of 2022" article, as of late the Hawkeyes have done a great job in making sure that their sensational seniors are well replaced once their eligibility is said and done. Wyatt Henson will fill in for Jaydin Eierman next season & he's already shown us he's capable of big things. Wins over MAC champion Quinn Kinner of Rider as well as Angelo Martinoni of CSU-Bakersfield.
After Qualifying for the NCAA's as a freshman in 2021, Bell took the 21'-22' season off to redshirt. He placed 6th at the inaugural Mat Men Open.
Dan Mancini did a respectable job of filling in for the Panthers this season, but I think the job at 149 lbs next season will end up in the hands of Brock McMillen. Nothing is for sure yet, but in a 6-1 redshirt season, McMillen picked up an impressive win over Kanen Storr of Michigan.
With all of the seniors that will be wrestling their last matches at the NCAA championships this upcoming weekend, I'm not 100% positive what weight Lamer will be at next season. There very well could be a lot of shifting of the weights. What I do know is he had himself one heck of a good redshirt season with wins over Lawrence Saenz of Cal Poly, Marcus Robinson of Cleveland State & Graham Rooks of Indiana.
|Anthony White |
I'm gonna miss seeing the fire that was MVB (Mike Van Brill) after he graduates this year, but I am excited to see what Anthony White can do for the Scarlet Knights. Placing 4th at the Mat Men Open he also picked up wins this season over Brent Moore of Clarion, Max Brignola of Lehigh & Marshall Keller of Princeton. With all this noted though, he still has to over come Gerard Angelo for the starting spot. That may be harder to do on the mat, than what it'll be on paper.
12-0 on the redshirt season, Wick picked up 8 falls and one tech. If older brother Evan sticks around to help out, all I have to think is, "WATCH OUT" Pac-12 149 lbs!!
The spot could still very well be Kaden Gfeller's by the time it is all said and done next season. However, I do think that Victor Voinovich will give him a run for his money. I anticipate it to be one of our top wrestle-off's at the beginning of next season.
The fact that Mauller has already placed 6th & 5th at the NCAA championships speaks for itself. He'll be a contender next season. Only wrestling a handful of times this year, he was 5th at the Southern Scuffle & from what I heard, he was not 100% at the time of placement.
|Paddy Gallagher |
The fight for varsity is going to be a real battle at Ohio State next season. Bryce Hepner won the spot this season, but he'll have both Paddy Gallagher & Jashon Hubbard to contend with next season. I'm anxious to see who wins out among these three talents.
|Jared Hill |
Justin Thomas is going to be a hard guy to replace, but I think Jared Hill is going to do a great job. He defeated Michael Petite of Buffalo earlier this season.
|Mike Caliendo |
North Dakota State
Replacing Luke Weber next season will be the very talented Mike Caliendo. This year he racked up victories over Tanner Cook of South Dakota State, Austin Yant of Northern Iowa & Austin Kraisser of Iowa State.
After having a pretty good true freshman season, Kennedy took a redshirt this season & will replace four time BIG 10 champion Alex Marienelli next year. Along with a 6th place Southern Scuffle finish, this year alone Kennedy defeated Isaac Judge of Iowa State, Cael Carlson of Minnesota, Andrew Spates of Minnesota, Caleb Fish of Michigan State & SOCON champion R.J. Mosley of Gardner Webb.
|Holden Heller |
An EIWA champion in 2021, Heller took off the 21'-22' season & will be returning next year. During his redshirt he defeated both Ben Pasiuk of Army & Gerrit Nijenhuis of Purdue, along with taking 4th at the Mat Men Open.
Is Creighton Edsell keeping his spot next season? The way I hear some Nittany Lion fans speak, the answer to that question is a hard solid no. Personally I have yet to give up on Matt Lee either but there is a ton of hype for Alex Facundo. Good reason too, 12-3 this season, wins over Michael Petite of Buffalo as well as Evan Barczak of Drexel.
Thus far, older brother Kordell has been a treat to watch & next season little brother Kendall will be joining him in the lineup. Thus far he has a win over Austin Kraisser of Iowa State. Anxious to see what he can do for the Sun Devils next season.
|Jacob Null |
North Carolina State
Not positive that Null is going to stay at NC State, but it was where he redshirted at this year. Wherever he goes, I think he has a good shot at being the starter in 22'-23'. He defeated SOCON runner-up Drew Nicholson earlier this season.
Well he's a Valencia. That ought to tell you about anything you'd want to know, but if that isn't enough earlier this season he defeated both Hayden Hastings of Wyoming & PAC-12 Champion Tyler Eischens of Stanford.
|Joey Milano |
North Carolina State
Seems like I've talked a lot about North Carolina State in this article, but in my opinion the Wolfpack has a ton of talent waiting in the wings. Milano is yet another one of them. Earlier this season he defeated DeAndre Nassar of Cleveland State.
And yet another Terrapin to look forward to next season is Jaxon Smith. He'll fill in for Jaron Smith (No relation) & should do a great job of doing so. He defeated Garrett Joles earlier this season.
|Brock Delsignore |
North Carolina State
Beating out Isaac Trumble for the starting spot next season? That's an awful tall order, but nonetheless Brock Delsignore is still a very tough competitor. I'm anxious to see if maybe (might not have it on him to do so) he might try 184 instead? Not sure what will happen, but he's a talent, that's for sure. Defeated Campbell's Chris Kober, three time SOCON finalist earlier this season.
Everyone seems to be fixated on who will rule HWT once Gable Steveson of Minnesota steps down & is no longer around. Tony Cassioppi? Cohlton Schultz? Mason Parris? Greg Kerkvliet? Wyatt Hendrickson? I think a guy that we may be sleeping on here is Ethan Laird of Rider. Now maybe he won't contend with these 5 for the top spot at HWT, but I guarantee you that he will in the least contend for 6th, 7th or 8th place at the NCAA's. I promise you that. The three time NCAA qualifier was a match shy of a medal in 2021. Taking this year off to redshirt he defeated Tyrie Houghton of North Carolina State as well as Luke Luffman of Illinois. He took runner-up honors at The Mat Men Open.
|Nathan Taylor |
You don't easily replace a guy like Jordan Wood. Winning 5 EIWA titles isn't something that's done every day. In fact, if Wood ends up being the only five time EIWA champion in the entire history of the EIWA it wouldn't surprise me any. Nevertheless I think Taylor will do his best. Wins this season over Ben Goldin of Pennsylvania, Jacob Slinger of Pittsburgh & Brandon Whitman of North Carolina.
|Jon Spaulding |
A two time NCAA qualifier, Spaulding took off the 21'-22' season to redshirt.
Well ACC HWT's I got some good news & I got some bad news. Good news is, ACC champion Nathan Traxler's eligibility is up. Bad news is, he's being replaced by Hunter Catka, 2021 NCAA qualifier. Catka already owns a victory over ACC Runner-up Tyrie Houghton as well as Owen Trephan of North Carolina State & Seth Nevills of Penn State.
|Ryan Vasbinder |
After winning a NCAA Division II title for McKendree, Vasbinder transferred to Michigan State where he redshirted this season. A bit of a struggle for him, but I think that's for two reasons. A - he moved up to HWT. 197 to HWT is one Hell of a jump. It's also quite the adjustment to go from DII wrestling to DI wrestling. Now that he's had a year to do so, I'm anxious to see what he can do on the mat in 22'-23'.
There you have it. These are all redshirts that I'm looking very forward to next season! I know I missed some. Tell me who they are & why I should be on the outlook for them.