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Levi Haines’ Redshirt Status Creating Tough Decision For Penn State Wrestling

Penn State is facing a tough decision regarding what to do with one of its breakout wrestlers, Levi Haines, before its looming high-profile matchup against Michigan in the Bryce Jordan Center.

Haines, a Pennsylvania native, is one of the country’s most talented true freshman wrestlers, boasting a 13-1 record thus far. His only loss came at the hands of another ranked wrestler, the University of Northern Colorado’s Vincent Zerban. Haines also holds the No. 17 ranking at 157 lbs and has been steadily climbing up the leaderboard.

Haines is coming off a statement win over then-No. 16 Garrett Model of Wisconsin when he secured a bonus point win after a five-takedown performance. Haines’ time in the starting lineup has been nothing short of impressive, making coach Cael Sanderson’s decision to keep him in the starting lineup or save him a year of eligibility that much harder.

“No, we have not made a decision yet,” said Sanderson. “This next stretch is big for the whole team…it should give us more perspective before we make a decision.”

According to this year’s updated redshirt rules, Haines has only one more match remaining before he loses his status. If Sanderson chooses to keep Haines’ redshirt, the Nittany Lions would most likely wrestle Terrell Barraclough in his place. Barraclough has been dealing with injury issues this season, but he sports a 6-2 record.

Despite the uncertainty moving forward, Haines is tuning out the noise and is focused on improving.

“It’s just about getting better with time. I need to get better every day and get in the room,” Haines said.

It’s unclear who will take the mat at 157 lbs from now on for the Nittany Lions. Whomever Sanderson decides to send out will have their work cut out for them, as they will likely face off against Will Lewan, who is currently ranked No. 10 in the nation in the weight class.

Penn State wrestling is back in action at 7 p.m. this Friday when it takes on Michigan in its first BJC Dual of the season.

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About the Author

Brendan Wagner

Brendan is a sophomore majoring in print and media journalism. Born in Pittsburgh, he now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. As a die-hard Pittsburgh sports fan, you can find him on Twitter, @brchwags, often complaining about the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tom Brady.

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