Freshman Gavin Teasdale, a legend in Pennsylvania high school wrestling, intends to transfer from Penn State, head coach Cael Sanderson confirmed Tuesday. `
“He’s being removed form the roster probably right now,” Sanderson told reporters. “So don’t expect to see Gavin.”
Sanderson didn’t give a reason for the four-time Pennsylvania state champ’s decision but said he wishes him the best.
Teasdale is one of just 13 wrestlers to win four Pennsylvania state titles. One of the others is Kennard-Dale High School graduate Chance Marsteller, who is currently wrestling for Lock Haven. Marsteller and the Bald Eagles will wrestle vs. Arizona State at 7 p.m. Friday at Red Lion High School.
Teasdale, a Jefferson-Morgan High School product, initially enrolled at Penn State during the summer semester, along with fellow four-time state champs Brody Teske, of Iowa, and Roman Bravo-Young, of Arizona. Teasdale was expected to wrestle at 125 pounds for the Nittany Lions.
In November, Teasdale announced he was leaving school for health reasons and would return in January. He was added back to the roster and registered for the Southern Scuffle on Jan. 1-2 and traveled with the team to Chattanooga, Tenn., but ended up not wrestling. He was also registered in but did not wrestle the “Shorty” Hitchcock Memorial Classic on Jan. 12.
Sanderson never confirmed why Teasdale didn’t wrestle in either tournament.
Teasdale’s decision to transfer was made within the “past couple days,” Sanderson said, and the program is working with him through the transfer process.
“We care about Gavin and wish him all the best,” Sanderson said. “We’re going to help him land somewhere, whatever we can do for him.”
Without Teasdale on the roster, it’s likely sophomore Devin Schnupp (5-9) will continue to see time for the Nittany Lions at 125 pounds. Teske also still has his redshirt, and Sanderson said there is a chance he could start this year. The Fort Dodge product has seen limited action so far this season, going 2-1 unattached at the Southern Scuffle before taking a medical forfeit.
Penn State also has a commitment from FloWrestling’s No. 1-ranked 126-pounder Robert Howard, of Bergen Catholic, who is slated to join the Nittany Lions in 2020. Howard is projected to wrestle at 133 pounds in college.
Despite the loss of Teasdale, Sanderson didn’t seem too concerned about the future of his program.
“There’s a lot of changes and moving parts in college athletics,” Sanderson said, “and this is just another example of that.”
Rasheed seeking sixth year: Penn State All-American wrestler Shakur Rasheed is seeking a sixth year of eligibility and will “probably not” compete this weekend due to a minor injury, according Cael Sanderson.
Rasheed was long rumored to be a candidate for a sixth year, as he redshirted as a rookie in 2014-2015 after shoulder surgery and then missed most of the 2016-2017 season with another injury. But Sanderson’s comments Tuesday acted as the first official confirmation of the potential move.
Sanderson was initially asked whether heavyweight Anthony Cassar was yet granted his sixth year, but the head coach didn’t have any updates. “But he’s pretty solid, I would say, in that regard,” Sanderson added.
Then the head coach was asked if anyone else was seeking an additional year of eligibility.
“I think Shak’s going to apply, and that’s in the process, too. Yeah,” Sanderson responded. “(Nick) Nevills, I don’t know if he has that option right now.”
Rasheed has been a fan favorite the last two seasons and has pin-balled from one weight class to another. He started out at 165 pounds, then 174, and then 197 last season, when he made a name for himself at the Southern Scuffle and zoomed from third on the depth chart to first.
He ended up seventh at NCAAs. So far this season, at 184 pounds, he is 14-0 with 12 bouts earning bonus points.
Rasheed did not compete against Nebraska on Sunday due to an unspecified injury. But Sanderson said Tuesday it’s not considered serious.
“Day to day,” Sanderson said about his status. “Will he wrestle this weekend? I would say probably not, just because we want to give him as much time as we can, just to get him ready to go for March, which is obviously most important.”
In his place this weekend, the starting spot at 184 pounds will likely fall to redshirt freshman Austin Hoopes and/or junior Francisco Bisono. Sanderson intimated he’ll likely split the matches, with one competing against Purdue and the other taking on Indiana.
Redshirt freshman Mason Manville, who bumped up two weight classes to fill in for Rasheed against Nebraska on Sunday, plans to compete in a Greco-Roman tournament this weekend, per Sanderson.
The Purdue bout starts 7 p.m. Friday and the Indiana contest begins 1 p.m. Sunday.
Josh Moyer of the Centre Daily Times contributed to this report.