NCAA Wrestling: Penn State’s David Taylor Wins Second Dan Hodge Trophy
What Makes Them Great?
The most dominating wrestler in recent years, David Taylor, steam rolled the competition towards his second Dan Hodge Trophy. He joins Cael Sanderson and Ben Askren as the only multiple winners in the 20-year history of the Dan Hodge Trophy, the highest honor an NCAA wrestler can receive. It is equivalent to NCAA football’s Heisman Trophy.
Taylor put together a historic career racking up a record of 134-3. Two of those losses came at the hands of Kyle Dake. The other was in the finals of Taylor’s freshmen year against Bubba Jenkins. 50 wins were by the way of pin fall, 42 victories were technical falls and 29 major decisions.
After finishing his second undefeated season, the Nittany Lions claimed their fourth straight national title. Taylor collected his second national championship and also became the 12 person in Big Ten history to win four conference titles.
Taylor’s offense was ruthless and relentless. His continuous motion from all positions forced opponents on their heels. The 165-pound Nittany Lion wrestler performed on the mat every time with tenacity. Fans came to expect his offensive exhibitions, as he made pins and technical falls looks so effortlessly.
Through the entire season Taylor was considered the most dominating wrestler among all three NCAA divisions of college wrestling. The bonus points he produced each tournament was equivalent to having an extra wrestler in the tournament.
Taylor’s teammate Ed Ruth finished third among the voting for the Dan Hodge Trophy (the “Heisman” of college wrestling). The two-time NCAA national champion soared past Logan Stieber of Ohio State and Ed Ruth of Penn State, both of whom are three-time NCAA national champions, in the voting.
The “Magic Man” David Taylor captured the attention of casual wrestling fans, making it exciting and creating a rival with Kyle Dake in the meantime. He will be an athlete to watch on the senior level as he will enter a pool of amazing wrestlers in the 165-pound weight class, which includes Kyle Dake and Jordan Burroughs.
The final votes for the Dan Hodge Trophy are as follows.
Wrestler, School — Points-Votes-1st-2nd-3rd-4th
1.) David Taylor, Penn State — 167-45-38-6-0-1
2.) Logan Stieber Ohio State — 107-44-3-18-18-5
3.) Ed Ruth, Penn State — 102-42-2-18-18-4
4.) Chris Perry, Oklahoma State — 47-32-2-2-5-23
5.) Alex Dieringer, Oklahoma State — 20-15-0-1-3-11
6.) Jesse Delgado, Illinois — 2-1-0-0-1-0
7.) Tony Ramos, Iowa — 1-1-0-0-0-1
8.) Nick Gwiazdowski, NC State — 1-1
Kyle Carroll is a Long Island, N.Y. native and avid MMA and amateur wrestling fan. He has been a part of the wrestling community for nearly 20 years. Carroll has six years of experience coaching high school wrestling. His father coached high school wrestling over 35 years, passing on his strong knowledge. Carroll has been reporting MMA news since January 2011. The former wrestler’s coverage includes the 2012 U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team Trials, 2013 & 2016 NCAA D1 Wrestling Championship, and numerous MMA events (Bellator MMA, King of the Cage, North American Fighting Championship, and Glory).