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  • Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Photo: Tony Rotundo

    2023 NCAA champion Andrew Alirez Enters the Transfer Portal

    It’s been a bit quiet on the transfer portal front lately - that was until Wednesday morning. That’s when the name of 2023 NCAA champion Andrew Alirez appeared in the portal. Alirez was one the number three overall recruit in the high school Class of 2019 and chose to stay at home and compete for the local Bears of Northern Colorado. 

    While wrestling in Greeley, Alirez amassed a 78-10 record across four seasons and captured a pair of Big 12 titles. His 2022 conference title was the first of the Big 12 era for the Bears and his NCAA championship was the first for Northern Colorado since 1962. 

    As a true freshman, Alirez was named an honorable mention All-American by the NWCA After the 2020 NCAA Tournament was canceled. A year later, he earned an at-large berth but was unable to compete due to an injury. After winning his first Big 12 title, in 2022, Alirez was named the fifth seed at 141 lbs and came up a match shy of the NCAA podium. It all came together in 2022-23, as Alirez completed a perfect 28-0 season and downed Real Woods (Iowa), 6-4, in the NCAA finals. 

    Alirez redshirting the 2023-24 season in an attempt to make the 2024 Olympic Team at 65 kg. Over the summer, he competed in/and won, the Poland Open and notched a win over three-time world champion Haji Aliyev of Azerbaijan. At the Olympic Trials, Alirez went 1-1, defeating Penn State star Beau Bartlett, before losing to former PSU two-time champion, Nick Lee, in an 11-9 shootout in the semifinals of the challenge tournament. 

    With Alirez’s talents and possible NCAA point-scoring ability, he should draw interest from most of the blue-blood programs and NCAA team trophy contenders. He, along with Wyatt Hendrickson and Kyle Parco, are the highest profile names left in the portal. 

    Obviously, we’ll have more on his potential transfer destinations as this story develops.

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