After a controversial showing at the NCAA tournament, true freshman Austin DeSanto has been granted his release from Drexel University.
DeSanto, who wrestles in the 133-pound division, will have no shortage of suitors. Penn State head coach Cael Sanderson reportedly has already met with DeSanto and Iowa, Rutgers, Nebraska and other Big Ten schools are in the mix.
While joining Penn State would give fill a void in the Nittany Lions line-up and give them another key piece at they make a run for their fourth consecutive national championship, DeSanto is best served going somewhere that has someone who will push him in the wrestling room on a regular basis, something Penn State can’t offer as well as Iowa and Rutgers could.
While Iowa offers him the ability to work with Spencer Lee, the NCAA Champion at 125-pounds, Rutgers may be the best destination for him, though it may come at the cost of his weight class.
Scott DelVecchio, who eliminated DeSanto in the NCAA tournament last month, is graduating, but early reports are that 125-pound NCAA finalist Nick Suriano could bump up to the 133-pound division for next season. Additionally, Anthony Ashnault, who will return next season after missing all of 2017-18, may also move up to 149. If both wrestlers do bump up, DeSanto could slide into the 141-pound slot, giving the Scarlet Knights a lethal trio down low and two great workout partners for DeSanto.
Additionally, one thing Rutgers can offer is location. DeSanto’s hometown, Exeter, Pa., is practically the midpoint between Rutgers and Penn State, and both cities are significantly closer than Iowa City, Iowa.
No matter which team acquires him, however, they will need to work on his maturity issues. Throughout the season, DeSanto showed he could hang with the big boys, routinely ranked in the top 10 among 133-pounders and earning the No. 7 seed in the NCAA tournament, but he also had his fill of unsportsmanlike behavior, culminating with his quarterfinal loss to national finalist Stevan Micic of Michigan, where he tried to intentionally injure the Wolverine.