Sports Media

Hodge Trophy

Don Chach’s 2019-2020 Hodge Trophy Watch List

Hodge Trophy

Don Chach’s Hodge Trophy Watch List

For those of you uncultured swines that think the Heisman Trophy is the most sought after award in college sports, well you’re wrong. You’re also a tad ignorant and you probably think that football players are the toughest athletes in college. I’ll be honest with you right now. They could not last 3 minutes in a collegiate wrestling practice, and that’s a fact. The most sought after award in college wrestling is call the Hodge Trophy, and it is given each year to the nation’s most DOMINANT wrestler. If the Heisman was distributed that way then Chase Young would be a lock to win it this year. Here is my first installment of Hodge watch 2019-2020.

Hodge Trophy
(Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports)

5. Spencer Lee 125 LBs (Iowa Jr.)

The returning 2x NCAA Champion Junior was the most coveted high school recruit in recent history. A 3x PIAA State Champion who’s only high school loss came at the hands of my former teammate and a total giant slayer Austin DeSanto in his final high school match. Lee so far this season is undefeated with all of his victories coming by bonus points. Although he has been perfect at nationals in his first two trips, he has never gone a whole season undefeated. That is the only thing that is keeping Spencer Lee at 5th on my list. If the kid can beat his arch-rival Sebastian River from Northwestern on his way to a third title he will jump high into the final vote.

Alex Marinelli
(Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

4. Alex Marinelli 165 LBs (Iowa Jr.)

Known around the wrestling community as the Bull Alex Marinelli is one of the baddest dudes in all of college wrestling. He is 2x NCAA All-American and a Big 10 champ last year in arguably the toughest weight class in college. Last year in the Big 10 Finals he upset 2x NCAA champion Vincenzo Joseph of Penn State but failed to place higher than Cenoz at nattys. If the Bull can get through the gauntlet that is the 165 LB weight class this year he will have to be a front runner for the Hodge. That will be easier said than done, however.

Vincenzo Joseph

3. Vincenzo Joseph 165 LBs (Penn State Sr.)

Cenzo is a beast. The kid from Pittsburgh, PA has had one of the most successful college wrestling careers in history compiling a resume that includes 3x NCAA finals appearances with 2x championship. As a freshman, he handed then Illinois junior Isaiah Martinez his second career loss in Joseph’s first trip to the NCAA finals. As a sophomore Vincenzo and Martinez again met in the NCAA Finals with the result being the same. Joseph handed Martinez his third career loss in the senior final season. Last year Cenzo suffered his first loss at nationals to true freshman Mekhi Lewis from Virginia Tech which was one of the best upsets in recent history. Luckily for the PSU senior, Lewis is taking an Olympic redshirt this year in hopes to compete in Tokyo this summer. I wouldn’t be surprised if the winner of the 165 LB division wins the Hodge this year. Oh, and to make Cenzo’s case stronger he is apart of the most dominant dynasty in all of college sports. Penn State wrestling has won 8 of the last 9 NCAA Team Titles with 5 Hodge Trophy winners during that time. Will Vincenzo Joseph be the 6th?

2. Austin DeSanto 133 LBs (Iowa Jr.)

The most controversial wrestler in college, and my former teammate, the 1x AA may have the most impressive wins against top tier opponents out of anyone in the country. The best word to describe Austin is electric. The kid has no off switch. He will wrestle anyone, any place, any time, and he doesn’t care what weight class you are. Being in the same practice room with him truly humbles you, and makes you appreciate how much the human body can endure if you can persevere through the hardships and believe in yourself. His list of wins continues to grow as he just defeated 2018 NCAA champ Seth Gross 6-2. Other names that Austin has added to his hit list are Nick Suriano (NCAA Champ), Stevan Micic (2x AA), Spencer Lee (2x NCAA Champ), Roman Bravo-Young (1X AA), and Jack Mueller (NCAA Finalist and AA). Each one of those guys are WORLD caliber talents and if Austin continues his vision quest expect him at the top of the podium.

Hodge Trophy
(Justin K Aller/Getty)

1. Zahid Valencia 184 LBs (Arizona State Sr.)

No brainer here. Zahid is a 3x AA and a 2x NCAA champ. If it wasn’t for Penn State’s dynamic duo last year of Bo Nickel and Jason Nolf, Zahid would have been my pick for the Hodge despite his two losses. The kid is a freak and now up a weight class to 184 LBs from 174 LBs there is no one in my opinion that can challenge him. If he continues to rack up bonus point victories for the Sun Devils he will remain the front runner on his path to his third title in his final season. Honestly not much else to say about this guy.

Come back next week for my updated Hodge Trophy rankings! Don Chach out!


0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Popular Past Stories




recommended past stories

Zach Eflin

Zach Eflin Explains How Close He Was To Signing With Red Sox

Zach Eflin Explains How Close He Was To Signing With Red Sox The one that…

Read More
Harry Kane

Real Madrid Want Harry Kane

Real Madrid Want Harry Kane Real Madrid want to sign Harry Kane to serve as…

Read More
Isaiah Rodgers

Isaiah Rodgers under investigation by NFL for potential betting

Isaiah Rodgers under investigation by NFL for potential betting Not too long after the NFL…

Read More
Chris Chelios

ESPN Fires Chris Chelios From NHL Coverage

ESPN Fires Chris Chelios From NHL Coverage ESPN is looking for talent to slash in…

Read More