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Penn State Wrestling

Penn State Wrestling Great David Taylor Lands 1st Big Commitment at Oklahoma State

David Taylor file photo from TeamUSA.org

If things go the way many are expecting, Penn State wrestling will finally have a threat at the top of the college universe before too long.

The threat would be Oklahoma State, and the man leading that program is one of the greatest ever at Penn State.

His name is David Taylor, and Sunday evening, it was announced that he’s landed his first big commitment since becoming OSU’s head coach earlier this month.

It’s Wyatt Hendrickson, a heavyweight who made it to the semifinals of this year’s NCAA Championships at Air Force.

The man who won the heavyweight championship this past season is Penn State’s Greg Kerkvliet, who handled Hendrickson 11-0 at the Olympic Trials in Happy Valley weeks later.

Kerkvliet also beat Hendrickson 18-2 last November at the NWCA All-Star Classic, also held in State College, and 4-2 in the semis of the 2023 NCAA Championships on Des Moines, Iowa.

Unless Minnesota great and two-time Hodge Trophy (wrestling’s Heisman) winner/2021 Olympic Gold Medalist Gable Steveson uses his last season of eligibility, Kerkvliet, who announced his decision to use his last season earlier this month, will be the man to beat at 285.

But Hendrickson is still formidable. He was a two-time All-American and twice was honored with the distinction of “most dominant wrestler,” which is bestowed on the individual with the highest bonus-point average throughout the season. Hendrickson had a year of eligibility, but due to academy rules, needed to get approval from Air Force to enter the transfer portal since the academy ends eligibility after four years.

He got that approval, and now is gonna be a Cowboy.

Taylor and company still have a long way to go to approach Penn State wrestling, let alone catch it. But this is a solid start for the new staff in marching toward that goal.

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