David Taylor and Ed Ruth are up for the Dan Hodge Trophy again. The Hodge Trophy is wrestling’s version of the Heisman Trophy, and it is awarded to the best wrestler based on seven categories (some quantifiable and some not): record, number of pins, dominance, quality of competition, past credentials, sportsmanship/citizenship, and heart.
Taylor won the Hodge Trophy in 2012, after an undefeated sophomore season. If Taylor wins the award, he will become one of only three wrestlers to be multiple-time recipients. This season, Taylor was a perfect 34-0 with 16 pins and 7 technical falls and won the National Championship over Tyler Caldwell of Oklahoma State.
Taylor finished as a runner-up in his freshman season and last year, after losing to fellow Hodge winner Kyle Dake. Taylor is the only finalist who had an undefeated season. Taylor also tied the Penn State record for most pins in a career with 53 pins.
Ruth is a two-time runner up for the Hodge Trophy, behind Kyle Dake in 2013 and David Taylor in 2012. That year was the first time that two wrestlers from the same school finished first and second in voting. Ruth is a three-time National Champion and won all but one of his bouts this season.
Penn State coach Cael Sanderson is one of the two multiple-time recipients of the Dan Hodge Trophy, named after a University of Oklahoma wrestler who was a three time NCAA Champion, went 46-0, and never allowed a takedown in his collegiate career.
The other three finalists are Logan Stieber of Ohio State, Alex Dieringer and Chris Perry, both of Oklahoma State.
The fan vote will count towards two of the 45 total votes, and voting is open until 6 p.m. tomorrow. Taylor is already dominating the voting, while Ruth just trails Logan Stieber.