Dual Rank: 19
Ranked Wrestlers: 8
125 No. 25 Justin Cardani
133 No. 9 Lucas Byrd
141 No. 5 Dylan Duncan
149 No. 7 Mike Carr
165 No. 24 Danny Braunagel
184 No. 15 Zac Braunagel
197 No. 25 Matt Wroblewski
285 No. 19 Luke Luffman
The Fighting Illini got the season rolling by participating in the 2021 Michigan State Open. And they did not disappoint in any way.
Illinois had seven wrestlers place in the open division which included two 4th place finishes and four 3rd place finishes. They also added two runner up finishes at 184 and 197 in the Freshman/Sophomore division.
The Illinois team was next slated to travel to Boone, NC to participate in the Mountaineer Invitational, however they had to withdrawal last minute due some COVID-19 issues within the program.
Next up was the Lindenwood Open on November 20th where the Fighting Illinois once again had a strong showing in a tournament. They had six grapplers place even though the team was still short handed stemming from their COVID-19 issues.
Mike Bosco lead the win in winning the 285 title in the Freshman/Sophomore division and Danny Pucino (141) and Joe Roberts (157) each finished 4th in the open division.
And here’s why I moved Illinois up a spot. They currently sport eight wrestlers ranked in the top 25 with several possible Big Ten contenders in their respective weight classes. I know the difference between Purdue and Illinois is close, but the Fighting Illini simply match up better than the Boilermakers. And I wouldn’t be surprised to see Illinois climb additional spots before the season is over.