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Rivera to transfer to Rutgers for final season

The two-time Big Ten champ is heading home.

Big Ten Championship Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images

Northwestern wrestling star Sebastian Rivera announced he will transfer to Rutgers for his final season of NCAA eligibility Friday morning via social media, a decision that comes three days after he informed FloWrestling of his intent to enter the transfer portal.

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I’m coming home...

A post shared by Sebastian Rivera (@sebastiannriveraa) on

While his decision to transfer was somewhat abrupt, his choice of Rutgers comes as no surprise. A native of Jackson, New Jersey, Rivera’s hometown is just an hour drive from Piscataway, and his father Steve’s wrestling club, Elite Wrestling New Jersey, has multiple ties to Rutgers’ program as well.

Seabass finishes his time as a Wildcat with two Big Ten championships, three All-American nods, and an overall record of 72-12 while wrestling at 125 and 133 pound weight classes.

The ‘Cats will have to find a new option at 133 pounds, with redshirt juniors Colin Valdiviez and Micah Krueger and redshirt Freshman Justin Benjamin all being possible options. Coach Matt Storniolo could look to move Michael DeAugustino, who had a breakout year last season, up from 125 pounds, a move they made with Rivera a season ago.

While it’s tough to see Rivera move on from the program, especially after missing a chance to see him compete for an individual title at the NCAA Championships this spring due to COVID-19, it’s still easy to appreciate him for his time as a Wildcat. He’s undoubtedly one of, if not the best, wrestlers Northwestern has seen at the 125-pound weight class and will be remembered as a fan favorite for years to come.