Pictured: Rutgers’ Nick Suriano defeats Joe Colon (not pictured) in a 134-pound bout during the Beat the Streets “Grapple at the Garden” on Monday, May 6, 2019, in New York. Photo: Danielle Parhizaran of NorthJersey.com.
On July 20, the wrestling world leaned the Northwestern standout Ryan Deakin would wrestle for Northwestern in 2022. Just one day later, on July 21, Nick Suriano, the 2019 133-pound NCAA National Champion, the first in Rutgers University wrestling history, placed his name in the transfer portal.
Suriano, who has earned his degree from Rutgers, listed “do not contact” with his name in the portal. This likely means (but cannot be said with complete certainty) that Suriano will transfer to Arizona State. The Paramus, New Jersey native, has spent significant time in Tempe lately while training for the 2020 (now 2021) Tokyo Olympic Games at the Arizona State University regional training center Sunkist Kinds Wrestling Club.
While Suriano hasn’t wrestled collegiately over the last two seasons while redshirting to train for the Olympic Games, he remains one of the most accomplished Division I lightweights in the country. His list of NCAA accolades includes the following: two-time national finalist (2018-19), two-time All-American (2018-19), first national champion and first finalist in program history, and a 2019 Big Ten Champion (133 Pounds).
Aside from the news of his decision to transfer, Suriano was the talk of the international wrestling world when a positive COVID-19 test kept the Olympic hopeful out of the Olympic Trials bracket in April, and ultimately the Olympic Games later this month.
Suriano’s decision to return to NCAA wrestling was likely influenced by the recent name, image, and likeness (NIL) developments that will allow collegians like Suriano to profit from these aforementioned NIL intangibles.
Whether it is the Sun Devils or another program that gets the services of the former NCAA champ, this school will be getting an instant All-American-caliber competitor and potential NCAA champ.