OU has published an updated 2021-2022 season roster on SoonersSports.Com. I did a quick run over some of the updates and changes and thought I would share some observations here.
- Easton Hudson, Jake Stiles, Collin McCoy, Mason Naifeh, and Tommy Hoskins are no longer on the roster-Some of these we’ve been tracking for a bit. Tommy Hoskins announced a transfer to Ohio University and Jake Stiles entered the transfer portal back in May. Hudson and McCoy were both Juniors as far as their eligibility, but had used a redshirt and had been in college for four years. It’s fairly safe to assume that they’ve graduated and just moved on from the sport. Probably the most noteworthy is Mason Naifeh. He was the starter for OU at 125 last season and a redshirt senior. With the NCAA granting athletes a free year, Naifeh had the option to come back. He hadn’t publicly(at least on social media) announced his decision on whether or not he would wrestle an additional year. It looks like he’s respectfully decided to move on as he’s no longer on the roster.
- 125 now sets up for Caleb Tanner or Joey Prata with a somewhat uncertain future-With Naifeh apparently moving on and Hoskins transferring to Ohio, the Sooners will have a new look at 125 this season. They got a big time transfer this offseason with redshirt senior Joey Prata out of Virginia Tech and currently have highly touted Collinsville product and redshirt freshman Caleb Tanner listed at the weight. Prata makes a lot of sense this year, but Tanner could potentially contend with him and will be interesting to watch in the future. The talent is all there for Tanner to do well at 125, but it could be a big cut for him. He competed at 133 and even 141 last season. Maybe he stays up at 133? Jack Creamer and Jordan Roselli are both listed at 125 also, and Gabe Vidlak from Oregon State was another offseason transfer pickup for OU. Christian Forbes is not listed on the roster yet, but is another incoming freshman that projects as a 125. It will be interesting to see how the future plays out at this weight for OU. Does Tanner stay down at 125 or go 133? Will Vidlak, Creamer, Roselli, or Forbes possibly be the heir?
- Looks like Justin Thomas is officially back-Justin Thomas is still on the roster listed as a “graduate student”. Thomas actually graduated in 2020 and entered his senior year of competition(last year) while in grad school. With the NCAA ruling allowing seniors competing in the 2020-2021 season to come back for an additional year, most assumed Thomas would since he was already in grad school anyway. Now it looks as though that’s official as he is listed on the roster for this 21-22 season.
- Everyone went up a grade-This could mean absolutely nothing, but I thought it was worth noting. Last season was essentially a throw-away year for NCAA athletes across the country. They all have the option for it not to count. Ex. Justin Thomas was a senior last season, but will be back this year. Lower classmen can do the same thing. Ex. Dom Demas, who was a junior last season, could come back as a junior again this year. Everyone on the roster is listed up an additional grade from last season, with the exception of Thomas, who is just listed as a grad student. It could be that Thomas is the only one utilizing the extra year. It could be absolutely nothing and the SID just bumped everyone up even though some may still utilize the year? Maybe it means they all decided not to use it? Who really knows? But I thought it was interesting to note.
- Herrara-Rondon and Picklo now on roster-Alejandro Herrara-Rondon and Tate Picklo, two of the more highly touted recruits in the country that both signed with OU, are now listed on the roster for the Sooners. Herrara-Rondon is at 157 with Picklo at 197. With upperclassmen starters at both these weights for OU, it sets up for both to likely be the future for OU at these weight classes.