Taylor voted 2011 InterMat Freshman of the Year

David Taylor is the very definition of "freshman phenom." In his first year wrestling for Penn State, the Ohio native was a near-perfect 38-1, scoring bonus points in 34 of those victories, grabbing the 2011 Big Ten title, and making it to the 157-pound finals at the 2011 NCAA Division I Championships.

For all these reasons, Taylor is the unanimous choice for 2011 InterMat Freshman of the Year.

2011 InterMat Freshman of the Year
1st-5th-Place Votes: 9-7-5-3-1
Total Votes/(First-Place Votes)

1. David Taylor, Penn State, 126 (14)
2. Ed Ruth, Penn State, 94
3. Derek St. John, Iowa, 33
4. Kevin Steinhaus, Minnesota, 27
5. Andrew Alton, Penn State, 19
6. Tony Nelson, Minnesota, 17
7. Tony Ramos, Iowa, 14
8. Spencer Myers, Maryland, 9
9. Eric Grajales, Michigan, 5
T10. Devin Carter, Virginia Tech, 3
T10. Alan Waters, Missouri, 3
Each year, this honor is awarded to the nation's top freshman wrestler across all divisions of college competition, and is determined by a vote of InterMat writers and executives. Taylor received all 14 first-place votes, for a total of 126 points. In second place was Penn State teammate Ed Ruth (winner of the Gorriaran Award for most pins in the shortest time at the 2011 NCAAs), with 94 points. Derek St. John of the University of Iowa placed third in the balloting, with 33 points. (Of the 11 freshmen who received votes, eight wrestle in the Big Ten.)

Taylor joins a stellar list of InterMat Freshman of Year honorees. Last year, Kyle Dake of Cornell University received the award. Others include Wisconsin's Andrew Howe (2009), Cornell's Mike Grey (2008), Iowa State's Jake Varner (2007), and Minnesota's Dustin Schlatter (2006).

In his first season as a Nittany Lion, Taylor had captured the imaginations of wrestling writers and fans. Back in January, Craig Sesker of said, "Taylor has taken the college wrestling world by storm as a redshirt freshman." Just prior to the NCAAs, Tim Leone of the Harrisburg (Pa.) Patriot-News described Taylor as "a precocious redshirt freshman with supernatural skill and supernatural cool."

David Taylor gave American's Steve Fittery his only loss this season (Photo/Tony Rotundo,
"David Taylor was the most dominating individual in college wrestling all season, save for one match," said InterMat staff writer T.R. Foley. "Winners win and make those around them perform better, and Taylor was able to impact those around him in a positive way all season."

David Taylor's credentials were well established long before setting foot in the Penn State wrestling room. The product of St. Paris, Ohio was a four-time state champ for St. Paris Graham High School, one of the powerhouse prep programs in the nation. He compiled a phenomenal 180-2 record in high school, winning four Beast of the East and a like number of Ironman championships. Taylor also garnered three Cadet and two Junior National titles in both freestyle and Greco-Roman competition. He completed his prep career by being named the recipient of the 2009 Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award.


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