2022-23 NCAA 157-pound preseason preview: Weight up for grabs


With the 2021 champion moving up to 165 and the 2022 champion moving up to training, 157 has become a very much up for grab weight. There will be key guys hopefully healed, progressing and coming in. Let’s dig!

Other pre-season weight class previews: 125 | 133 | 141 | 174


2021-22 133-pound starters not returning

Ryan Deakin, North West

Hunter Willits, Oregon State

Kaleb Young, Iowa

Brady Berge, Pennsylvania

For the first time in five years, we’ll be watching a 157-pound weight class without Ryan Deakin. He was a 5X National Qualifier, 3X All-American and National Champion. Hopefully he continues to compete while fulfilling his coaching duties.

Hunter Willits is one of the unusual cases of a really good guy still not using up his extra year of NCAA eligibility. He comes out as an All-American with a 7th place finish.

Back from the 2022 All-Americans

157 lbs podium last season

Peyton Robb, Nebraska (4th)

Will Lewan, Michigan (5th)

Jacori Teemer, Arizona State (6th)

Austin O’Connor, NC (8th)

These guys are going to be your main title threats.

Watch Jacori Teemer and Peyton Robb’s epic NCAA consi semi-final below.

To relocate

2021-22 157 lb starters leaving weight

David Carr, Iowa State (to 165)

Quincy Monday, Princeton (until 165)

We have known since his first year that David Carr wants to progress. After winning a national title and 3rd place medal while holding weight for four years, Carr throws his hat in a loaded 165 field. This will also most likely come on Quincy Monday. Princeton head coach Chris Ayers confirmed this in a recent interview with David Bray. If Monday decides to stay, he’s definitely an AA candidate and a title contender.

Find out why Quincy Monday decides to move to 165 below.

To relocate

Potential difference makers move to 157 this season

Bryce Andonian, Virginia Tech (from 149)

Luka Wick, Cal Poly (from 149)

Isaac Judge, Iowa State (from 165)

The big actor here is obviously Bryce Andonian. The Virginia Tech Hokie took third place last year at 149 pounds. Andonian’s lean frame should allow him to put on plenty of muscle to easily transition to the top. Nicknamed AIRdonian, his heavy throwing style is always a crowd pleaser.

Isaac Judge was Iowa State’s 165-pound starter last year, but with Carr’s progress he will be competing with Cam Robinson, Jason Kraisser and Grant Stotts for the starting spot at 157 pounds. Luka Wick competed at 149 pounds while redshirted last season, but with Dom Demas arriving for the Mustangs, my prediction is he will move up and take the starting spot at 157 pounds.


The wrestlers who ran out of time or weren’t the same last year

Brayton Lee, Minnesota

Austin O’Connor, North Carolina

Minnesota’s Brayton Lee was unfortunately forced to undergo season-ending surgery last season after being injured in the game against Ohio State. While Austin O’Connor didn’t miss a moment like Lee, he clearly wasn’t 100% at the end of the year. The 2021 NCAA 149lb National Champion tore the anterior cruciate ligament, posterior cruciate ligament, and lateral collateral ligament in his right knee in February but still managed to resist enough to challenge for an NCAA podium. After earning AA status, O’Connor’s injury defaulted to 8th place.

Getting out of the red shirt

The potential 157-pound starters who were redshirts last season

Paddy Gallagher, Ohio State

Luka Wick, Cal Poly

Jared Hill, Oklahoma

Alejandro Herrera-Rondon, Oklahoma

Caleb Rathjen, Iowa

Bretli Reyna, Iowa

Cam Robinson, Iowa State

Vincent Zerban, Northern Colorado

Paddy Gallagher is the biggest name in the group above. He was the No. 3 rookie overall for the Class of 2021. He went 17-2 in the redshirt last season. Tom Ryan recently informed Christian Pyles that Gallagher suffered a minor injury last season and could not train as he wanted which could have resulted in losses. One of those losses came to Penn State freshman, and high school student at the time, Levi Haines.

Watch Levi Haines beat Paddy Gallagher at the 2022 Edinboro Open below.

Real Freshmen

The real freshmen we could see making an impact right away

Levi Haines, Pennsylvania

Hunter Garvin, Stanford

Daniel Cardenas, Stanford

Brendon Abdon, Little Rock

The win over Gallagher last year was no fluke for Haines, and with Brady Berge returning to practice, the Nittany Lions need a 157-pound starter. It will most likely be between Haines, Terrell Barraclough and Joe Lee for the starting point.

Hunter Garvin and Daniel Cardenas are two other great recruits in this class. They both finished their high school careers at 152 pounds and with All-American Jaden Abas still having a few more years of eligibility, they will likely both be looking to move up to 157 where Charlie Darracott is the returning starter.

Brendon Abdon was lower on the big board (#76) but a big pick for a small school like Little Rock. This summer he won Fargo en Greco and placed 7th in the freestyle.

Title contenders

The best wrestlers in the field

Austin O’Connor, North Carolina

Jacori Teemer, Arizona State

Will Lewan, Mich.

Peyton Robb, Nebraska

Bryce Andonian, Virginia Tech

Brayton Lee, Michigan

For previous NCAA previews, at Flo we’ve made favorites, but at 157 there’s clearly not one, two or even three guys at the weight. When the top two (maybe three) guys drop the weight, that leaves plenty of legitimate title contenders.

O’Connor was there and did it. He won the 2021 NCAA 149 lb title from Sammy Sasso. If he’s 100% healthy, he’s probably the favorite to win.

Excluding a healthy O’Connor, I think if you wrestle 10 times in the NCAA Tournament, you could get four or five different champions.

Watch Austin O’Connor win his 2021 NCAA title below.

All American Contenders

The group that will present the most potential at the All-American or challenge the favorites

Ed Scott, North Carolina State

Jared Franek, NDSU

Josh Humphreys, Lehigh

Dazjon Casto, Pitt

Jacob Wright, Wyoming

Kendall Coleman, Purdue

Jake Keating, Virginia

Johnny Lovett, Central Michigan

Ed Scott is the joker of the group. If he shows as much improvement as he did from his freshman year in 2021 to his second year, he could be a title contender.

Dazjon Casto was the shining star of the Citadel program, but after four years he found a new home in Pitt for his final year.

Even if you’re one of the title contenders, you don’t want to go under Josh Humphreys, one of the top baddest wrestlers currently in NCAA wrestling.

Dark Horse AA Threats

They won’t come into the season ranked in the top 15, but you have to keep an eye on these guys

Levi Haines, Pennsylvania

Paddy Gallagher, Ohio State

Andrew Cerniglia, Navy

Doug Zapf, Penn

Freshmen Levi Haines and Paddy Gallagher are absolutely All-American, if not title, threats. Andrew Cerniglia and Doug Zapf both have two years of starting experience under their belt and two national qualifiers. If they’re hot and the cards fall right, they could sneak onto the podium in March.


O’Connor 2) Teemer 3) Robb 4) Lee 5) Andonian 6) Haines 7) Lewan 8) Scott

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