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⚔️ Will Rutgers Shock the Big Ten?

published2 months ago
2 min read

Recently, there has been a lot of chatter about AJ Ferrari transferring to Rutgers. . .

Though I'm not sure that will happen, I figured we should at least look at whether or not their 2023 returning lineup could shock fans.

But, before we do, I wanted to let you know we interviewed former Rutgers wrestler Richie Lewis on More Than the Mat this week (listen to the podcast). Now onto the preview. . .


Who's Returning & Leaving?

Who's back? Four NCAA qualifiers are returning: Dylan Shawver (125), Joe Olivieri (133), Connor O'Neill (174), and John Poznanski (184). Also back are Rob Kanniard (157) and Boone McDermott (285).

Who's gone? Unfortunately, 4x NCAA placer Sebastian Rivera (141), 3x qualifier Mike van Brill (149), and 8th place finisher Greg Bulsak (197) are all leaving Rutgers.

But there are a few returners I left out. . .


Don't Forget About these Guys

Rutgers fans haven't seen Sammy Alvarez (141), Jackson Turley (174), or Billy Janzer (197) compete in for a few years.

All-American Turley suffered a shoulder injury and Alvarez a leg injury last season. Meanwhile, Janzer sat out last season due to Greg Bulsak wrestling 197. All three have experience under the lights, so get ready for them to shine.

Also note, the "tale of the 3 Joes." Joe Heilmann transferred from UNC, and Joey Silva transferred from Michigan. They'll compete for a starting spot at 133 lbs while Joe Olivieri likely redshirts.


Top Starting Recruits

Rutgers snagged three top-100 recruits in 2021 and four in 2022. This includes #12 overall Brian Soldano (184), a 3x NJSIAA state champ from High Point. With Poznanski at 184, I don't expect Brian to start. But here's who I think could start. . .

Expect to see Super 32-placer Tony White fill a space at 149 lbs. #24 recruit of 2021 Kyonte Hamilton (285) and #60 recruit Luke Gayer (165) could contend for starting spots, but I think they redshirt a year instead.


2023 Lineup Preview

Here's how I expect the team to look in 2023:

  • 125. Dylan Shawver
  • 133. Joe Heilmann / Joey Silva
  • 141. Sammy Alvarez
  • 149. Tony White
  • 157. Robert Kanniard
  • 165. Connor O'Neill
  • 174. Jackson Turley
  • 184. John Poznanski
  • 197. Billy Janzer
  • 285. Boone McDermott

What to Expect

Right now, FloWrestling has Rutgers ranked #43 in the team race. I don't necessarily expect them to make a big impact in the team race, but I think they can have a solid dual meet season with a couple of new All-Americans who could shock the Big Ten.

How many All-Americans do you think Rutgers will produce in 2023?

Josiah Hritsko

Wrestling Fan & Founder of Fanco Wrestling

P.S. Thanks to Lucas, Gary Poole, Bac Vu, Jordan Rubin, Coach Marvin, and Garv Sen for requesting this preview.

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