Grant Willits (left) and Hunter Willits (photo courtesy of Tony Rotundo; WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
Friday evening, the Willits twins, Grant and Hunter, announced that they both would not be returning to compete for Oregon State during the upcoming 2022-23 season. The Willits' were a part of an Oregon State squad that put four wrestlers on the NCAA podium during the second national tournament of Chris Pendelton's tenure. Those placements helped the Beavers to a 12th-place finish in Detroit.
While both were four-time NCAA qualifiers, Grant was potentially the highest-ranked returning 141 lber in the nation. He finished fourth at the tournament and the three wrestlers above him already exhausted their eligibility. In Detroit, Grant downed All-Americans Cole Matthews (Pittsburgh) and CJ Composto (Penn), while knocking off past AA Chad Red Jr. (Nebraska) and perennial threat Allan Hart (Missouri). He finishes his career as a four-time Pac-12 finalist with two individual titles and an 80-30 overall record. In each of the past two years, Grant has logged a win over conference favorite and now Iowa Hawkeye, Real Woods. During the regular season, Grant was fifth at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational.
Hunter was one of the stories of day one at the 2022 NCAA Championships as he handed top-seeded, returning NCAA champion, David Carr (Iowa State), only his second collegiate loss and the first since December of 2019. Hunter wound up placing seventh at the NCAA Championships as his tournament concluded with a medical forfeit over Austin O'Connor (North Carolina). Like his brother, Hunter made the Pac-12 finals during every year of his career; however, he was unable to bring home a title during any of those four appearances. For his career, Hunter was 65-39.
Even though both of the twins have an extra year of eligibility, they aren't expected to pursue an opportunity to use that season with another program.
Hunter's successor looks a bit more evident at this point. Penciled in at 157 for Oregon State is two-time NJCAA national champion, Isaiah Crosby. Crosby picked up a pair of national titles for Iowa Western CC, the first coming at 165 and the second at 157. He went 5-1 during the 2021-22 campaign with the lone loss coming to Jacob Wright (Wyoming), 7-5. The Beavers have a handful of talented true freshmen that could compete with redshirt freshman Hunter Eveland for starting duties at 141. Eveland was 4-2 in unattached action last year.