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  • Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Photo: Tony Rotundo

    2x All-American Cardenas to Transfer to Michigan

    The University of Michigan continues to pull in talent through the transfer portal. Today, they added one of the best available transfers as two-time All-American Jacob Cardenas announced he would use his final year of eligibility wrestling for the Wolverines. 

    Cardenas qualified for the NCAA Championships on three occasions while competing for Cornell. In each of the last two seasons, he got on the NCAA podium at a crowded 197 lb weight class. In 2023, Cardenas was eighth. This year he was fourth. 

    During his time at Cornell, Cardenas made a pair of EIWA finals, winning in 2023 and finishing as a runner-up in 2024. 

    Early in the 2023-24 season, Cardenas finished fourth at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. In Kansas City, Cardenas was knocked off in the Round of 12 by Rocky Elam (Missouri). He battled back with three straight wins to secure All-American status for a second time. In the consolation semifinals, Cardenas got a measure of revenge with a 7-3 win over Elam. 

    Cardenas is the second wrestler to commit to Michigan through the transfer portal this offseason. Last week, 157 lber Chase Saldate, formerly of Michigan State, announced he was using his final year of eligibility at Michigan. 

    Cardenas’ situation is different from most typical transfers. He is graduating and unable to continue wrestling at Cornell due to Ivy League rules. Cardenas entered the transfer portal before the 2023-24 season, so a transfer was in play regardless of his results during the year. 

    The Wolverines received a boost from transfers last season as they picked up Austin Gomez, Shane Griffith, and Lucas Davison - all senior transfers that ended up finishing in the top three at the NCAA Tournament. They accounted for three of the team’s four All-Americans en route to a third-place finish. Before the 2023-24 season, Michigan also picked up All-Americans Michael DeAugustino and Chris Cannon. DeAugustino went 1-2 at nationals and Cannon was injured and lost for the year during his first match. 

    Cardenas slots in well for the Wolverines as 197 lb was the only weight in which Michigan did not qualify for nationals this year. He’ll likely start the 2024-25 season ranked second in the nation.

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