Big Ten Wrestling Power Rankings: Is it Penn State Wrestling and everyone else?

Penn State's Carter Starocci, right, wrestles Virginia Tech's Mekhi Lewis at 174 pounds in the finals during the sixth session of the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, Saturday, March 19, 2022, at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Mich.220319 Ncaa Session 6 Wr 056 Jpg
Penn State's Carter Starocci, right, wrestles Virginia Tech's Mekhi Lewis at 174 pounds in the finals during the sixth session of the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, Saturday, March 19, 2022, at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Mich.220319 Ncaa Session 6 Wr 056 Jpg /
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Mike VanBrill (right), of Rutgers, wrestles with Sammy Sasso, of Ohio State. Sasso went on to win the149 pound match. Sunday, February 6, 2022Rutgers V Ohio State Wrestling
Mike VanBrill (right), of Rutgers, wrestles with Sammy Sasso, of Ohio State. Sasso went on to win the149 pound match. Sunday, February 6, 2022Rutgers V Ohio State Wrestling /

883. . . . Scarlet Knights . 11. team

Dual Rank: NR
Record: 0-0
Ranked Wrestlers: 5
125 No. 20 Dylan Shawver
133 No. 16 Joe Heilmann
141 No. 12 Sammy Alvarez
174 No. 24 Jackson Turley
184 No. 8 John Poznanski

Last season, the Scarlet Knights had perhaps their most talented team in quite some time. Possibly ever.

But it was all derailed by an early season injury to Jackson Turley and a late season injury to standout Sebastian Rivera. Rutgers sputtered to a 16-5 dual record, a disappointing ninth place finish in the 2022 Big Ten Wrestling Championships, and a disastrous finish outside of the top 15 in the 2022 NCAA Wrestling Championships.

So, can this year’s Rutgers team dust themselves off from last season’s mess and have a better finish? Maybe.

A lot of this will hinge on the trio of Dylan Shawver, Joe Heilman, and Sammy Alvarez. All three have shown they can be competitive in not only the Big Ten but also the nation. And they will all need to step up their game this year.

Namely because the aforementioned Turley is coming back from an injury and subsequent surgery. It’s entirely possible he may need the entire season just to get back into playing shape as he feels out his surgically repaired shoulder.

And while John Poznanski is a top 10 wrestler at 184, he is nowhere near the level of Aaron Brooks, Kaleb Romero, Parker Keckeisen, and Trent Hidlay.

It’s going to be an uphill climb for the Scarlet Knights, and that starts November 11th as they host Clarion for their first action of the season.