Three-time defending champion Penn State ranked No. 1 to start season
Three-time defending NCAA champion Penn State starts the year off at No. 1 as the Nittany Lions garnered seven of 10 possible first-place votes.
|PRESEASON NWCA TOP 25|
|• Complete poll|
Cael Sanderson's squad returns five All-Americans including NCAA champion Ed Ruth, (184) past NCAA champion David Taylor (165) and a pair of NCAA runner-ups, Nico Megaludis (125) and Matt Brown (174). The Nittany Lions also return starter Morgan McIntosh, who is coming off a redshirt year.
Minnesota, which returns eight All-Americans, came in second to start the season. The Golden Gophers won the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals last season, will start the season ranked second.
Oklahoma State, Iowa and Oklahoma round out the top five. Oklahoma State returns NCAA champion Chris Perry (184), while Iowa returns NCAA champion Derek St. John (157). Oklahoma, which went 4-6 last season, will be much improved after the return of redshirt senior and All-American Jarrod Patterson at 125 pounds and the arrival of two transfers from Wisconsin, Andrew Howe (174) and Travis Rutt (197). Both Howe and Rutt redshirted last season.
Cornell, Illinois, Virginia Tech, Edinboro and Ohio State round out the top 10.
Big Ten teams occupy five of the top 10 spots and and 10 of the top 25. Oregon State comes in at No. 11, followed by Nebraska, Missouri, Virginia and the newest member of the ACC, Pittsburgh.