Why All-American Sebastian Rivera should consider Ohio State
According to a report from FloWrestling, Northwestern All-American Sebastian Rivera has entered the transfer portal. Rivera wrestled in the 125-pound weight class his first two years at Northwestern and finished 6th and 3rd nationally. This past season, Rivera moved to the 133-pound weight class and won his second Big Title, defeating Penn State’s Roman Bravo-Young 7-2. After winning the Big Ten title, Rivera was seeded as the top 133-pound wrestler for the NCAA tournament that was eventually cancelled due to the Covid Virus. It is being reported that Rivera has graduated from Northwestern and will be a graduate transfer allowing him to wrestle immediately.
Many consider Rutgers the favorite to land Rivera due to him being a New Jersey native and a graduate from the Christian Brother’s Academy. In my opinion, if the move is based solely on wrestling I do not think Rutgers is the best choice. Rutgers currently has true freshman Sammy Alvarez at 133 pounds. Alvarez finished the season 26-10 earning the No. 10 seed for Nationals. Nick Suriano may also be returning from an Olympic redshirt next season. Suriano was Rutgers first National Champion winning the 133-pound title in 2018. Rutgers also has national qualifier Nic Aguilar at 125 pounds returning for his redshirt sophomore season and Sophomore JoJo Aragona in the 141-pound weight class. Aragona was the No. 1 recruit in his weight class two years ago.
Ohio State is returning a very young but talented lineup next season. Despite losing team captains Luke Pletcher and Kollin Moore, Tom Ryan and the Buckeyes are primed for another National Title run. You may ask yourself, where does Rivera fit into this talented lineup? I believe Rivera could come in and wrestle at 133 pounds for his final year of eligibility. This would allow Decatur a redshirt year to develop into an elite wrestler for his final 3 years at Ohio State.
I am not sure if Rivera has plans to wrestle after college but Ohio State provides the unique opportunity to train with Ohio RTC wrestlers. Nathan Tomasello wrestles for the Ohio RTC at 57kg, which is roughly 126 pounds. Tomasello would be an elite training partner for Rivera.
In recap, Ohio State provides Rivera the opportunity to come in and immediately wrestle at 133 pounds, the opportunity to train with world class athletes, and a good chance to compete for an individual and team championship. If you doubt Ohio State’s chances to compete next season please look at my projected lineup below.
125 pounds: Heinselman, Koontz
133 pounds: Rivera (if he transfers), Decatur
141 pounds: Echemendia
149 pounds: Sasso
157 pounds: Kinner, Cleary
165 pounds: Kharchla, Smith
174 pounds: Romero, Smith, Kharchla
184 pounds: Jordan, Romero
197 pounds: Singletary
HWT: Orndorff, Traub, Hoffman
Written by Brandon Dodson
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Photo credit given to Northwestern Wrestling