skip navigation

2023-24 College Preview - Michigan State

By MI Grappler, 09/13/23, 1:30PM EDT


2022-23 Season Recap

Last season, Michigan State got off to a hot start by winning their first 7 duals. During that timeframe, the Spartans also took 2nd at the Navy Classic and won the Reno Tournament of Champions. A 20-16 win over #22 Indiana on Senior Night highlighted the Big Ten dual season for MSU, as they ultimately finished with a 10-6 record in duals on the season.

Michigan State saw three wrestlers reach the podium at the Big Ten tournament, including Chase Saldate (5th), Layne Malczewski (8th), and Cam Caffey (6th). Caleb Fish also put together a solid campaign, which allowed him to make it four NCAA qualifiers for the Spartans. At the NCAA tournament, Fish had perhaps the win of the season, taking down the #4 seed Julian Ramirez of Cornell in the first round.  Ultimately, Saldate and Fish would fall in the Round of 12, as the Spartans came away without an All American. However, three of four NCAA qualifiers from last season are back for another shot at the podium. 

Key Departures

Michigan State graduated four starters, but three of them scored points at the NCAA tournament. All American Rayvon Foley and 5x NCAA qualifier Cam Caffey both graduated after outstanding careers with the Spartans. (Note: Caffey was named an NWCA All-American in 2020 after the NCAA tournament was cancelled). Both spots are going to be tough to fill in the lineup, but MSU has some options to weigh for 133 and 197. 

Peyton Omania has also been a staple in the lineup for the Spartans at 149lbs the last few seasons after his breakout freshman season in 2020-21 where he qualified for the NCAA tournament. Ryan Vasbinder was a grad transfer for MSU after winning a D2 national championship for McKendree. After redshirting in 2021-22, Vasbinder took over the starting role at 285 for the Spartans last season, winning 17 matches for the Green and White.

Assuming Tristan Lujan stays down at 125lbs, we could see Rochester Stoney Creek grad Andrew Hampton fill in at 133lbs. Hampton was a 2x D1 runner-up in high school and has quite a bit of experience the last two seasons in open tournaments.

At 197lbs, there are a few former prep standouts in Jacob Lee (Lowell) and Remy Cotton (Davison) that could battle for the spot. Lee was a state champ in his Senior season at Lowell, while Cotton saw his Senior season cut short due to injury. However, Cotton was highly ranked nationally as a Senior and was a top-100 recruit coming out of high school. While starting as a true freshman in the Big Ten is tough, especially as a big guy, Cotton may be able to come in and compete right away.

Key Losses:
133 - Rayvon Foley (All-American)
149 - Peyton Omania (NCAA Qualifier)
197 - Cam Caffey (NCAA Qualifier)
285 - Ryan Vasbinder

Impact Newcomers

Michigan State has a full 2023 recruiting class with 8 new Spartans coming to campus. Remy Cotton (Davison HS) leads the way, as he ended his high school career ranked as the #81 recruit in the country. The Spartans picked up a few other big guys in brothers Luke and Max Vanadia, both Ohio D1 state placers this past season. 

Clayton Jones (Detroit CC) is a 2x D1 MHSAA state champ that could have an impact on the starting lineup in the near future. Caleb Weiand (Dakota) is another 2x D1 MHSAA state champ heading to East Lansing this Fall, and he should fit nicely into future lineups at 125lbs. 

Full Recruiting Class:
125 - Caleb Weiand (Dakota)
133 - Jaden Crumpler (New York)
141/149 - Clayton Jones (Detroit CC)
141/149 - Dy'Vaire Vandyke (Ohio)
149 - Evan Herriman (Davison)
184 - Luke Vanadia (Ohio)
197 - #81 Remy Cotton (Davison)
285 - Max Vanadia (Ohio)

Projected Lineup

We know where the four NCAA qualifiers will fit into the lineup, including Hamdan at 141, Saldate at 157, Fish at 165, and Malczewski at 184. Lujan is a returning starter at 125, while the Spartans will welcome DJ Shannon back to the mat at 174 after missing most of last season. 

The question marks come at 133, 149, 197, and 285. If Lujan stays down at 125, Hampton and Nick Corday (Georgia) will likely battle for the spot at 133. At 149, MSU has a few solid options. 2x state champ Eddie Homrock from Brighton has yet to crack the lineup, but he has performed well at opens in his career. He will wrestle off Braden Stauffenberg (Ohio) for the starting spot, who was a big recruit for the Spartans and had a very solid true freshman year. 

MSU has a few options at heavyweight, including Josh Terrill (Holt) who was a state champ his Senior season. Terrill had a 14-5 record in open tournaments during his true freshman campaign.

Projected Lineup:
125 - Tristan Lujan
133 - Andy Hampton
141 - Jordan Hamdan, NCAA Q
149 - Braden Stauffenberg / Eddie Homrock
157 - Chase Saldate, NCAA Q
165 - Caleb Fish, NCAA Q
174 - DJ Shannon
184 - Layne Malczewski, NCAA Q
197 - Jacob Lee / Remy Cotton
285 - Josh Terrill