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  • Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Aaron Brooks Wins 2024 Dan Hodge Trophy

    Today, WIN Magazine announced that Penn State 197 lber, Aaron Brooks, would be the recipient of the 2024 Dan Hodge Trophy. Brooks won the award over runner-up Parker Keckeisen (Northern Iowa) and teammates, Carter Starocci, and Greg Kerkvliet. 

    Brooks earns the honor after winning his fourth NCAA title and becoming only the seventh wrestler in DI history to win four. Starocci also joined the club two matches before Brooks in Kansas City. With Brooks receiving this Hodge, it marks the seventh time that Penn State wrestler has earned the honor. David Taylor (‘12/’14) and Zain Retherford (‘17/’18) did it twice, while Bo Nickal (‘19) and Kerry McCoy (‘97) are the others. 

    During his final year with the Nittany Lions, Brooks amassed a 22-0 record that featured bonus points in 20 matches - good for a percentage of just over 90%. Brooks’ 6-1 NCAA finals victory over then-undefeated Trent Hidlay (NC State) and a dual victory over Zach Glazier (Iowa) were his only regular decisions over the year. When Brooks and Glazier met in the Big Ten finals, Brooks managed a 19-3 tech fall. 

    Dominance is one of the main components of the Hodge Trophy vote and Brooks displayed plenty of that during his 2023-24 campaign. He notched six falls, 11 tech falls, and three major decisions among his 22 wins. 

    In addition to his win over Hidlay, Brooks pinned the eventual third-place finisher (Stephen Buchanan - Oklahoma) and teched the sixth-place finisher (Rocky Elam - Missouri). Heading into the 2024 NCAA Tournament, nine of his 17 wins came over national qualifiers. Brooks also posted a pair of major decision victories over the returning Big Ten champion, Silas Allred (Nebraska). 

    The 2023-24 season marked Brooks’ second undefeated season. He was also unbeaten in the shortened 2021 campaign that also saw him defeat Hidlay in the 184 lb national finals. 

    For his career, Brooks finishes with an 89-3 record with four national titles, four Big Ten titles, and a 2021 NWCA First Team All-American designation. He also was a five-time Big Ten finalist. The first four years of Brooks’ career were spent at 184 lbs - he moved up to 197 for his final season.

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