Iowa's NCAA finalist Real Woods at the 2023 NCAA semifinals (photo courtesy of Tony Rotundo; WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
The biggest topic of the college wrestling offseason has been transfer portal-related news. We've seen programs like Penn State and Michigan add multiple All-Americans to what were already strong lineups. There have been plenty of transfers to other schools as well. As of publishing, there are plenty of talented wrestlers still in the portal looking for a new home.
Today, we're looking at the impact of transfers on the 2023 NCAA Championships. To do so, we've looked at the top-20 teams from Tulsa and how many points they gained from wrestlers that transferred at one point during their collegiate careers.
Much has been made about Penn State's transfers and "the rich getting richer," however, Penn State still would have outdistanced itself from second-place Iowa without any prior transfers. Speaking of Iowa, the Hawkeyes received a huge boost from NCAA runner-up Real Woods, a Stanford transfer. Without Woods, Iowa is clawing for that fourth-place position.
The other top-ten team that was positively impacted by transfers was Arizona State. The Sun Devils story is different as both of their notable transfers previously wrestled at schools that eliminated their wrestling programs.
With so much talk about transfers, seven programs finished in the top-20 that received zero NCAA points from transfers. Two were Ivy League teams (Cornell/Princeton), another was a service Academy (Air Force), while the traditional schools that fit the bill were (Missouri, Virginia Tech, NC State, and Oklahoma State). Missouri and Oklahoma State both had transfers that qualified for nationals; however, they did not score any points.
As the transfer process continues to evolve and NIL opportunities become more readily available, it will be interesting to track its impact on the 2023-24 team race and beyond.
Below are the top-20 teams from the 2023 NCAA Championships, along with any transfers they had qualify for nationals and the point totals they amassed. We've also looked at how much that impacted their total score.
1) Penn State
Max Dean (197) 6.5 points
Greg Kerkvliet (285) 19 points
25.5 team points = 18.5 % of score (137.5 points)
Brody Teske (133) 0.5 points
Real Woods (141) 19 points
19.5 team points = 23.6% of score (82.5 points)
4) Ohio State
Tate Ondorff (285) 1.5 points
1.5 team points = 2.1% of score (70.5 points)
Connor Brown (133) 0 points
Matt Finesilver (184) 1.5 points
1.5 team points = 2.6% of score (58.5 points)
7) Arizona State
Michael McGee (133) 14.5 points
Kyle Parco (149) 13.5 points
28 team points = 51% of score (55 points)
Liam Cronin (125) 12 points
12 team points = 22.2% (54 points)
9) Virginia Tech
10) NC State
11) Iowa State
Jason Kraisser (157) 3 points
Sam Schuyler (285) 2 points
5 team points = 10.6% of score (47 points)
12) North Carolina
Jack Wagner (125) 1 point
1 team point = 2.3% of score (42 points)
14) South Dakota State
Tanner Cook (165) 2.5 points
AJ Nevills (285) 1.5 points
4 team points = 10.8% of score (37 points)
Michael Blockhus (149) 5.5 points
Michial Foy (197) 0 points
5.5 team points = 18% of score (30.5 points)
16) Northern Iowa
Colin Realbuto (149) 1 point
1 team point = 3.4% of score (29 points)
Taylor LaMont (133) 0 points
Austin Gomez (149) 3.5 points
3.5 team points = 12% of score (29 points)
18) Air Force
18) Oklahoma State
Carter Young (141) 0 points
Tate Samuelson (184) 3.5 points
Michael Beard (197) 4 points
7.5 team points = 26.8% of score (28 points)
Matt Ramos (125) 18 points
18 points = 64.3% of score (28 points)