Friday, March 25, 2022

Find Me A New Home: A look at Those in The Transfer Portal & Where They Might End Up.

 ***This is strictly an opinion piece. I have no inside information or leads to anything. I simply take a look at some of the names that I know are currently in the transfer portal who have yet to announce their new home. I take this information, combine it with programs that could use someone at the weight they compete at, I speculate and I guess.  This is an offseason for fun article to bide the time. Please do not take this a verbatim information. "Hey, what's up with telling everyone I'm going to ' ' ." Rather not deal with that thank you.*** 

Anyway, those still in the transfer....

Drew West 
125 lbs
Former School: Northern Illinois
Where I think he might end up: Purdue 

Here's why I'm thinking we might see Drew West end up at Purdue.  The Iowa native originally began his career at Northern Illinois so that he could compete alongside his brother Bryce.  Yet with both competing for the 125 lbs spot on the Husky team, it means one will be the starter & the other will sit on the bench. I think Purdue is a good fit for him because essentially you can make it to Dekalb from West Lafayette in about 2 1/2 hours, making him still relatively close to his brother.  With the graduation of Devin Schroder, the Boilermakers could use a solid replacement. 

Blair Orr 
125 lbs
Former School: Pennsylvania 
Where I'd Like to See him end up: Chattanooga or Oklahoma 

This is 115% wishful thinking. Truth is, I was kind of sad to see Orr's name in the transfer portal. Quaker wrestling is on the rise & I think Orr has been a part of that success. Yet with Ryan Miller only a freshman in the spot, I don't blame Orr one bit for trying to find a new home for his final season of competition. I don't rightly have the slightest clue where he'll end up, but I sure would like to see him at Chattanooga. The Mocs have had quite a bit of success at 125 lbs throughout the years. It's been a weight class that they have always been competitive at.  Matt Pitts, Nick Soto, Alonzo Allen, Fabian Gutierrez, the list goes on.  125 has been a weight you usually see UTC rockin' in the SOCON tournament finals. If not at Chattanooga, I'd also like to see Orr maybe end up at Oklahoma.  With the graduation of Joey Prata, the Sooners could use a good 125'er. 

Jake Rundell 
133 lbs
Former School: Purdue
Where I think He Might End up: Indiana 

I'm anxious to see where 2021 NCAA qualifier Jake Rundell ends up.  To me, Indiana makes sense. This would give him an opportunity to stay in the BIG 10 & be relatively close to home in the four hour drive to Oak Park, Illinois. Brock Hudkins career now over, he'd easily slip into the Hoosier lineup. 

Tye Varndell
133 lbs
Former School: Edinboro
Where I think He Might End Up: Buffalo 

Now I'm not under the impression that every wrestler wants to compete close to home, nor am I under the impression that every wrestler wants to remain in the same conference. I know sometimes wrestlers want to get as far away from home as possible & they'd rather compete in different conferences. I get that, but I do think Varndell is one of those people, who does enjoy going to school close to home.  Buffalo is a little less than two hours from where he grew up. Granted it's further than the 10 minute drive to Edinboro, but still pretty darn close. He has yet to qualify for the NCAA tournament, so he's not going to a hot commodity at this point for one of the bigger wrestling schools, say Virginia Tech, so I think Buffalo might be a good fit for him. Honestly, I don't think the plan was to ever leave Edinboro, but he's got Gabe Willochell at the weight with him & he wants to be varsity. 

Dom Demas 
141/149 lbs 
Former School: Oklahoma
Where I think He Might End up: Penn State, Michigan, Rutgers or Iowa State 

Rumor, speculation and innuendo, whatever the reason is, Dom Demas is no longer at Oklahoma. The 2019 All American in my opinion will be a sought after open agent.  Can he make 141 again? That's a good question. If he can, he'd be a valued asset at a number of schools.  As dominant as they already are, can you imagine Penn State picking him up? Michigan wanting to stay in the game, I would think would be thrilled to have him.  Both Rutgers & Iowa State, as they continue to build in their own right I would think would gun hard for someone like Demas.  

Kevon Davenport 
149 lbs
Former School: Nebraska
Where I think He Might End up: Rutgers, North Carolina State or Iowa State 

When I first started thinking about where Kevon Davenport might end up, Michigan entered my mind. He attended high school in nearby Detroit & it kept him in the BIG 10 conference. Then I considered the fact that the Wolverines already have redshirt Chance Lamer ready to fill that spot this upcoming season & if Davenport were to go there, he could very well end up stuck in the same position he was at in Nebraska. Where does that leave him then?  With the graduations of Mike Van Brill, Tariq Wilson & Jarrett Degen, Rutgers, NC State & Iowa State could all use a good 149'er.  I can't see Davenport going small school, that just doesn't seem like him, so I think he'll go big school.   

Zach Price
149 lbs
Former School: South Dakota State
Where I'd Like To See Him End Up: George Mason or Clarion 

Now Zach Price is a guy that I CAN see competing for one of the smaller schools. It might be wishful thinking to think he'd go that far out east to compete for George Mason or for Clarion, but I'd like to see it. The 2021 NCAA R12 finisher was 3-4-3-3 at the Iowa high school state championships during high school. That means that if he makes All American status in his two remaining years of eligibility he'll be an All American who never won a state title. That's a list I personally LOVE seeing grow.  Why George Mason or Clarion?  Well, Clarion for one is on a mission to return to their glory days & I'd like to see something like this to help them out in their efforts. George Mason has made a commitment to wrestling & I know first hand that Coach Beasley is doing all in his power to make the most of Patriot wrestling. Something like this would be a boost for the program in my opinion.  

Jaden Enriquez 
149 lbs
Former School: Michigan State
Where I'd Like to See Him End up: Campbell 

Now I'm really going out on a limb here. I have no other reason other than I'd simply like to see him at Campbell to think that Jaden Enriquez might end up down south. Despite having yet to make an NCAA tournament, he's had half a dozen impressive victories during his career. He's beaten Park Filius of Purdue, Kody Komara of Kent State, Christian Kanzler of Illinois, Jake Butler of Oklahoma, Cayden Rooks of Indiana & most impressive, Yahya Thomas of Northwestern. Forgive me for saying this, but I think what it might come down to Enriquez is the grind of the BIG 10 schedule. This might make some angry, but let's be honest with ourselves, while still very competitive wrestling a SOCON schedule Vs wrestling a BIG 10 schedule...we can all spot the differences right?  I can see Enriquez having success down south and finding himself opposite Appalachian State's Jonathan Millner in next year's SOCON finals.  

Luke Gardner 
157 lbs 
Former School: Penn State
Where I think He'll End Up: Lock Haven 

There are only 10 varsity spots on the Nittany Lion Wrestling team & as good as Luke Gardner is, he wasn't making one of them. Now personally, I think that Lock Haven would be the perfect fit for him. He's still only two hours from home, simply in a different direction. I would hope that Scott Moore would be thrilled to have someone like Gardner. He'd be an excellent replacement for graduated Ben Barton. Maybe to no one else it does, but to me this just makes sense. 

Kennedy Monday
157 lbs or 165 lbs
Former School: North Carolina
Where I'd Like to See Him End Up: Iowa or Cal Poly 

Now some have already speculated that Monday might end up at Princeton to compete alongside brother Quincy.  I don't see that happening myself. If it were that important to compete with or near Quincy, then why did one go to Princeton & the other go far away to North Carolina? If I'm wrong, I'm wrong, but I think Monday ends up being the "bring in the heavy artillery" a team needs to compete.  Let's face it, Iowa could use him. Kaleb Young now out of the picture, he'd be an excellent 157 lbs'er for Iowa (if he can still make that cut).  Iowa's got a few ? marks & if they want to compete with Penn State next season they need answers.  Monday would provide them with one. 

I'd also love to see Monday go out to Cal Poly. I cannot tell you how happy it makes me to see the Mustang Wrestling program putting forth such a gallant effort. The school's commitment to its wrestling program is such a positive in an area that has seen so much negative. If you're not aware, California has been hit hard when it comes to collegiate wrestling. No state has suffered the devastation when it comes to dropped wrestling teams than California. You take that into consideration & combine it with A.D.'s like Bernard Muir of Stanford who tried everything in his power to be rid wrestling, it really makes you appreciate what's happening at Cal Poly.  For that alone, I'd like to see them go from one All American (Evan Wick 3rd this season) to another at 165.  Monday would provide them with that opportunity. 


Well there you have it.  10 of the best wrestlers currently in the transfer portal & me making 10 guesses as to where they might end up.  There's a strong possibility that I could go 0/10 on my guesses. Matter of fact let me make an 11th guess & say I guess that I do go 0/10 on my guesses. I simply wrote this as a way to discuss what is relatively a new topic to the collegiate wrestling scene. The "Free Agent" era. I've heard my cousins go back & forth about this kind of stuff with pro football, pro basketball & pro baseball. I figure since transferring is more or less a breeze these days & so many wrestlers are in the transfer portal, it might as well be something we discuss as wrestling fans. 

No comments:

Post a Comment