Lion Taylor Captures Hodge Trophy

David Taylor's dominating streak continues as he wins the Dan Hodge Trophy, called the "Heisman of Wrestling." It is awarded to the outstanding college wrestler of the year by WIN Magazine.

David Taylor is only the third sophomore to win the award in it's 18-year history. Current Penn State coach Cael Sanderson was the first and ultimately won three Hodge Trophies in 2000, 2001 and 2002, the award's only three-time winner.

This is Penn State's second Hodge Trophy, with Kerry McCoy winning the honor in 1997. Penn State is also now one of only two programs to win two Hodge Trophies with two different wrestlers, Iowa is the other.

In the NCAA Tournament, Taylor grabbed four consecutive pins and tech fall in what resulted in a 32-0 season record and an individual national championship at 165 pounds. PSU won it second straight team crown.

"I really appreciate the award. It's definitely something I've looked forward to for a long time," Taylor said. "When I was kid, every time WIN Magazine would come, I would go through it. It always listed the previous winners and I just wanted to be on that list. The best wrestlers ever were on that list. To be a part of that list is just very special."

What's even more impressive is that the Nittany Lions had three of the four finalists for the honor, with Ed Ruth placing second and Frank Molinaro (both fellow 2012 national title winners) in fourth.

When asked about Taylor winning the honor, Sanderson explained, "He's a great kid who has a passion for the sport. His actions speak pretty loudly with the way he competes, the look on his face and what he says in interviews."


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