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Penn State Wrestling’s Bravo-Young, Lee, & Starocci Up For Hodge Trophy

Three Penn State wrestling stars — Roman Bravo-Young, Nick Lee, and Carter Starocci — are officially finalists for this year’s prestigious Dan Hodge Trophy. Now, it’s up to fans at home to help send a Nittany Lion home with some hardware.

Fan voting for the Hodge Trophy — considered the Heisman Trophy of college wrestling — is open until 6 p.m. on Friday, March 25. As always, a portion of the award’s selection is based on the fan vote, while other parts factor in wrestlers’ records, sportsmanship, and “quality of competition.” Fan vote winners receive additional first-place ballots that could help them win the trophy in the long run.

Bravo-Young represents Penn State on this year’s ballot at 133 pounds. Now a two-time NCAA champion, he just wrapped up a 22-0 season that included four pins, four tech falls, and four major decisions. Claiming the prestigious Hodge Trophy might help him chart out his future as he weighs returning to Penn State for one more season.

Lee, meanwhile, is up for the Hodge Trophy after winning a second straight NCAA title, too. The fifth-year 144-pounder bullied his way to a 22-0 record, too, that included two pins, four tech falls, and six major decisions. Although his career is now over, a Hodge Trophy win could send him out on an even higher note.

Finally, Starocci rounds out Penn State’s Hodge Trophy finalists. In just his second year, the 174-pound stud claimed his second NCAA championship while posting a 23-0 record. Starocci recorded four pins, five tech falls, and four major decisions — all while persevering through injuries (and perhaps wrestling on a broken hand).

If one of these three Nittany Lions wins the Hodge Trophy, they’ll join a long line of Penn State honorees. Bo Nickal received the award most recently in 2019, while 149-pound legend Zain Retherford earned it in both 2017 and 2018. Olympic gold medalist David Taylor brought the Hodge Trophy home in 2012 and 2014 after Kerry McCoy first claimed it in 1997.

Fans can head online to vote for Hodge Trophy and learn more about the prestigious honor.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State with distinction in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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