NCAA Preseason Scouting Report: 125 pounds

Updated: October 10, 2022

Photo: Spencer Lee’s third NCAA championship came in 2021 against Arizona State’s Brandon Courtney. The two-time Hodge winner from Iowa took a medical redshirt in 2022.

Today marks the first day that NCAA Division I wrestling programs can officially start practice for the 2022-23 season. With that in mind, WIN Magazine is breaking down its scouting reports of each of the 10 weight classes between now and October 21.

The lightest weight class returns nine past All-Americans, including Iowa’s three-time champ and two-time Hodge Trophy winner Spencer Lee, who was forced to miss last winter because of injury.

Wrestlers to Watch at 125 pounds

• On March 20, 2021, Spencer Lee became the sixth all-time Iowa wrestler to win three NCAA championships … and the native of Murrysville, Pa., accomplished that feat two weeks after tearing his ACL.

Spencer Lee

The Hawkeye spark-plug also won a second Hodge Trophy (the first came in 2019) that year. He is now shooting to become only the fifth wrestler ever to win four NCAA Division I titles, joining Pat Smith, Cael Sanderson, Logan Stieber and Kyle Dake on that elite list.

Lee gave it a shot last season and won his first three bouts before deciding to undergo surgery, sitting out the rest of the season and putting his goals on hold until 2022-23.

• Last year, the EIWA featured two of the top wrestlers in Princeton’s Pat Glory and Cornell’s Vito Arujau; two Ivy League wrestlers who were forced to sit out 2020-21 because of the pandemic but has three classic match-ups last season.

Pat Glory

Glory, a native of Randolph, N.J., won two of the three bouts, including a 13-5 major decision in last year’s NCAAs that earned the Tiger a spot in the finals where he lost 5-3 to Michigan’s now-graduated Nick Suriano. That avenged a 19-6 major decision loss to Arujau in the EIWA finals.

Vito Arujau

Arujau, from Syosset, N.Y., came back to finish third last March to claim his second All-American honor (4th in 2019) and excelled in freestyle; reaching Final X Stillwater, where he finished second to Thomas Gilman.

• The Big Ten features three other returning All-Americans in Northwestern’s Michael DeAugustino, Minnesota’s Pat McKee and Wisconsin’s Eric Barnett.

Mike DeAugustino

After redshirting in 2021, DeAugustino from Palm Coast, Fla, was a No. 10 seed at the NCAAs, where he finished fourth. Two of his victories were against fourth-seed Barnett and No. 5 McKee.

Eric Barnett

Barnett from Greenville, Wisc., finished in seventh place last March after claiming eighth place in 2021.

Pat McKee

McKee, like his brother Mitch, is also two-time Gopher All-American. The native of St. Michael, Minn., was fifth in 2022 and third in 2021, when he lost a second-round bout as a No. 15 seed, but won six straight wrestlebacks to claim the consolation final.

Brandon Courtney

• Arizona State’s Brandon Courtney has also reached the NCAA finals; losing to Iowa’s Lee in the 2021 Championships as a No. 3 seed. Last year, the native of Goodyear, Ariz., and three-time Pac-12 champ, reached the semis before losing 4-1 to Michigan’s Suriano and got sixth.

Brandon Kaylor

• Courtney’s biggest challenge within the Pac-12 appears to be Oregon State’s Brandon Kaylor, who lost 5-3 to the Sun Devil in last year’s conference final. Kaylor was seeded No. 11 at the NCAAs where the native of Bonney Lake, Wash., upset Wisconsin’s Barnett in the second round and eventually earned his first All-American (eighth place) honor. 

Killian Cardinale

• Another past All-American at this weight class is West Virginia’s Killian Cardinale, who finished seventh in 2021 but came up short in 2022; losing in the Round of 12 as a No. 5 seed. This native of Bristow, Va., actually began his college career at Old Dominion and qualified for the NCAAs in 2020 before the school dropped wrestling.

• Two other wrestlers – Lehigh’s Jaret Lane and Michigan’s Jack Medley — who qualified for the 2021 NCAAs but did not reach the national tournament in 2022, return this winter.

Lane, a native of Catawissa, Pa., became a starter in 2021, when he won an EIWA championship and split four bouts at the NCAAs. Last winter, the Mountain Hawk stood 10-6 on the season before a  February injury forced him to miss the post-season.

Medley of Chesterfield, Mich., yielded his spot to eventual national champ Suriano last winter. Before that, the Wolverine qualified for the cancelled 2020 NCAAs after he claimed fourth at the Big Tens.

2022 NCAA All-American Matches (includes seeds)

1st – 1. Nick Suriano (Michigan) dec. 3. Pat Glory (Princeton), 5-3

3rd – 2. Vito Arujau (Cornell) major dec. 10. Michael DeAugustino (Northwestern), 10-2

5th – 8. Pat McKee (Minnesota) dec. 4. Brian Courtney (Arizona State), 8-3

7th – 6. Eric Barnett (Wisconsin) pinned 11. Brandon Kaylor (Oregon State), 4:44 

Click here to view WIN’s Preseason Team Tournament Power Index

WIN’s Pre-season Individual Rankings

125 pounds
Wt Name School Year 2022 NCAA
1 Spencer Lee Iowa Sr Injured/3-time champ
2 Pat Glory Princeton Sr. 2nd
3 Vitali Arujau Cornell Jr. 3rd
4 Michael DeAugustino Northwestern Sr. 4th
5 Pat McKee Minnesota Sr. 5th
6 Brandon Courtney Arizona State Gr. 6th
7 Eric Barnett Wisconsin Sr. 7th
8 Brandon Kaylor Oregon State Jr. 8th
9 Killian Cardinale West Virginia Sr. R12
10 Noah Surtin Missouri So. R12
11 Trevor Mastrogiovanni Oklahoma State Jr. R24
12 Matt Ramos Purdue So. R12/133
13 Joey Prata Oklahoma Gr. R12
14 Malik Heinselman Ohio State Sr. R24
15 Dylan Shawver Rutgers So. R16
16 Jakob Camacho NC State Jr. R16
17 Jaret Lane Lehigh Sr. Injured
18 Anthony Noto Lock Haven So. R24
19 Jack Medley Michigan Gr. NQ in 2021
20 Kysen Terukina Iowa State Jr. R32