New Iowa Hawkeye Real Woods (photo courtesy of Tony Rotundo; WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
The transfer portal. It's the mysterious new development in college athletics that signals the downfall of civilization if you're an old-school college football fan. While having the access to transfer rather freely can have its downsides, there are plenty of positives associated with the portal, which respect to wrestling. With only one wrestler being able to compete at the NCAA tournament per weight, that can sometimes be an issue. Others on this list have graduated from their original institute and are looking for a graduate program not offered at their school. Some are going closer to home, while others are making a jump from a smaller, non-contending program to a powerhouse.
Whatever the reason, there was plenty of movement in the offseason and if you can get past the stigma of the portal, it can add some fun to an otherwise slow period in college wrestling. We've picked through the transfers and narrowed them down to the top 15 wrestlers who went through the portal within the last year. Rankings are based on their potential impact on their new team and individually in pursuit of a national title and/or All-American honors.
1. Real Woods (Iowa) - Stanford transfer
The Iowa Hawkeyes were hit hard by graduation this offseason losing five past All-Americans. That blow was lessened by the transfer of Real Woods from Stanford. Woods will slot in perfectly at 141 lbs for the departed 2021 NCAA runner-up, Jaydin Eierman. He comes in at number one on this list based on his likelihood to win an NCAA title.
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