3x All-American Bernie Truax (photo courtesy of Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)
This afternoon, three-time All-American Bernie Truax announced that he would be joining the two-time defending national champion Penn State Nittany Lions for his final year of eligibility in 2023-24. Truax was one of the most sought-after wrestlers in the transfer portal.
Truax chose Penn State after narrowing down his final list to Arizona State, Iowa, and Iowa State.
He'll leave Cal Poly as one of the program's all-time greats, earning a fourth-place finish at each of the last three NCAA Tournaments. In each instance, Truax moved up a weight, going from 174 to 184 and 197 lbs in 2023. Along the way, Truax amassed a 67-21 record and claimed a pair of Pac-12 titles.
Truax told the Mustang News that he plans on competing at 184 lbs for Penn State. In an interview with InterMat at the NCAA Tournament, he told us that he never completely grew into the 197 lb weight class and probably could have gone 184 this season. His arrival at 184 lbs likely means that three-time NCAA champion Aaron Brooks moves up to 197 lbs. That is a move that had been rumored regardless of Truax's status.
At the 2023 NCAA Championships, Truax fell in sudden victory to the eventual runner-up, Tanner Sloan (South Dakota State), then proceeded to defeat former Penn State All-American Michael Beard (Lehigh) in the Round of 12 and Penn State starter Max Dean, the returning champion, in the consolation quarterfinals.
With Truax's addition and Brooks up to 197 lbs, Penn State could field a lineup that has returning top-four finishers at seven of ten weights.