Saturday, September 24, 2022

2023 NCAA DI The Season: Michigan State


*NOTE* - I want to make it clear what this is and what this is not.  What this is NOT is an overview of the entire team. What this is, is a who’s who preview of THIS season 2022-2023. Meaning that I am going to talk about the starters who I feel will have an impact THIS year. Those who will win big matches in duals. Those who will earn placings in major tournaments like CKLV, RENO, MIDLANDS, MATMEN INVITE, SOUTHERN SCUFFLE, CONFERENCES & NCAA’s.  In some cases a weight class will have multiple talented wrestlers. I will note that & I will also be making posts later on about the best wrestle-offs to look forward to this season.  Then after that is determined I will make post later into the season of who our best backups are in the nation.

This post will NOT include redshirts. Those who are redshirting this season will be included in a separate post entitled “22’-23’ Best Redshirts.”  

When it comes to being negative in the sport of wrestling, you're never short a volunteer. When Michigan State was struggling it seemed you could go just about anywhere & comments like, "BIG 10 basement dweller" & "Will they even qualify anyone to the NCAA's?" were not hard to find. Yet now that the Spartans are starting to turn things around, the credit & recognition for improvement is in a Where's Waldo book absent of Waldo.  I'll give the Spartans the recognition.  Not saying necessarily that they will, but talent and potential wise? 2022-2023 could see all 10 varsity wrestlers make the NCAA tournament. Two with a very good shot at being All Americans.  Graduated is Jacob Tucker, a two time NCAA qualifier who never found his potential due to the unfortunateness of injuries. Let's keep in mind as we remember his career, he's one of the few to hand NCAA champ Ryan Deakin of Northwestern more than one loss. 

125 lbs
Tristan Lujan OR Benny Gomez 

I think either one of these guys has a shot at NCAA qualification depending on who wins this wrestle-off. Sophomore Tristan Lujan was 13-13 on the season last year, finishing one match shy of placement at the Southern Scuffle. Benny Gomez, a transfer of Presbyterian was one of the Blue Hose's best wrestlers & will give Lujan a run for his money for the varsity spot. 

133 lbs
RayVon Foley 

A four time NCAA qualifier, RayVon Foley has already collected 103 varsity victories. A Reno runner-up in 2019 as well as 7th in the nation, he was a Southern Scuffle champion last year. 

141 lbs
Jordan Hamdan

An NCAA qualifier in 2021, Jordan Hamdan finished one match shy of a top eight finish at the Southern Scuffle. 

149 lbs
Peyton Omania OR Eddie Homrock

After having a pretty good 20'-21' season qualifying for the NCAA championships, I was surprised how much of a slump Peyton Omania was in last season. Hopefully he's out of it & we'll see some good things from him this season. With that said, he'll be challenged for the spot by Eddie Homrock, 10-5 on the season, with a R12 finish at the Southern Scuffle. 

157 lbs
Chase Saldate 

26 victories for the Satellite last season as he earned his second NCAA qualification & runner-up honors at the Southern Scuffle. 

165 lbs
Caleb Fish 

Anxious to see the overall improvements of sophomore Caleb Fish this season. 22-14 on the season last year, he looked very tough throughout different times in the season. One match shy of a top 8 finish at the Southern Scuffle, he had a very impressive win over All American Zach Hartman of Bucknell. 

174 lbs
D.J. Shannon 

Former Illinois Illini D.J. Shannon has decided to continue his career as a Spartan. Among his notable victories a 4:55 fall over Andrew McNally of Wisconsin & a 7-6 victory over Adam Kemp of Cal Poly. 

184 lbs
Layne Malczewski 

Heading into his junior season, Layne Malczewski is already a three time NCAA qualifier. An impressive 2:21 fall over All American John Poznanski of Rutgers, he was 5th in the Southern Scuffle this past season. 

197 lbs
Cam Caffey 

Ma Gawd there is a lot of talent heading into their final seasons of collegiate eligibility yet to earn an All American honor.  Cam Caffey is definitely one of the best. A four time NCAA qualifier, he has earned BIG 10 runner-up as well as Southern Scuffle bronze during his career. Among his victories he owns a 3-2 victory over NCAA champ Max Dean of Penn State, a 12-4 major decision of All American Greg Bulsack of Rutgers, a 7-2 victory of Rocky Jordan of Ohio State, an 8-6 victory over Tanner Sloan of South Dakota State & he's defeated Thomas Penola of Purdue twice. Due time to AA & slots 1 through 8 are ALL available. 

Ryan Vasbinder 

An NCAA DII champion for McKendree in 2021, Ryan Vasbinder had a pretty respectable 15-7 record. He will contend for NCAA qualification this season. 

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