Two-time NCAA Qualifying Heavyweight Tate Orndorff Transferring to Ohio State

By Andy Vance on April 3, 2020 at 10:13 pm
Tate Orndorff

Ohio State added some mass to its roster Friday night via the transfer portal, as former Utah Valley heavyweight Tate Orndorff announced via Instagram that he is moving to Columbus. The two-time NCAA Qualifier finished his redshirt sophomore season with an 18-4 record, placing fifth at the Big 12 Championship.

He'll have two years of eligibility remaining. The addition of another heavyweight to the roster all but confirms that Chase Singletary will move down to 197 pounds as Kollin Moore's successor.

Ohio State has planned for Singletary to take an Olympic redshirt this season while Greg Kerkvliet wrestled heavyweight. Kerkvliet's defection to Penn State scuttled those plans, but Singletary was injured at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational and will likely seek a medical redshirt to retain three years of eligibility.

Fan favorite Gary Traub held down the heavy end of the lineup this season and earned the 19th seed to the NCAA Wrestling Championships. Orndorff was slated as the No. 8 seed.

In addition to his folkstyle success at Utah Valley, Orndorff has an impressive Greco-Roman resume. He won the U23 Team Trials to earn a spot on the U23 World Team and competed at the UWW World Greco Championships. 

The Washington native won the Journeyman Collegiate Classic last fall and placed third at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. He beat notable heavyweights Tanner Hall of Arizona State and Jordan Wood of Lehigh early in the season, but found himself on his back versus Wisconsin's Trent Hillger, one of the toughest in the Big Ten.

It goes without saying that Big Ten competition is much stiffer than what Orndorff faced in the Big 12, but the Buckeyes have some needed depth now at their upper weights.

With Singletary in the driver's seat at 197, the Buckeyes now have two NCAA qualifiers at heavyweight with Orndorff and Traub, plus Gavin Hoffman, who wrestled heavy after 184 proved to be too stiff a cut. It seems likely that Hoffman could challenge Singletary for the spot at 197 rather than trying to bulk up to wrestle as a true heavyweight.

In addition to Traub and Singletary, Ohio State also listed Greco-Roman specialist Nicholas Boykin on the roster at heavyweight this season. Boykin was a Cadet National Champion in both freestyle and Greco, and on the 2019 Junior World Greco Team at 97 kg.

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