Austin Gomez (Left) and Nathan Traxler (Right) (Gomez Photo/Cam Kramer; CamKramerPhoto.Smugmug.com/Traxler Photo/Tony Rotundo; WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
A couple of big name transfers made their destinations public Tuesday night which happens to be the first time since March 2020 that recruiting restrictions were lifted. Both, Austin Gomez and Nathan Traxler, have competed in the NCAA Round of 12 during their impressive careers. They now have new homes.
The former Iowa State Cyclone, Gomez, will head to the Big Ten and wrestle for Chris Bono's Wisconsin squad. Just about six months ago, Gomez announced that he was retiring from the sport after multiple injuries. Within the last month and a half, Gomez has hinted at a return. Austin was a national qualifier in 2019 as a redshirt freshman. That year he was seeded 13th at the 133 lb weight class after taking third in the Big 12. In Pittsburgh at the national tournament, Gomez reached the quarterfinals before dropping a 1-0 decision to Micky Phillipi (Pittsburgh). In his next match, Gomez was eliminated by Austin DeSanto (Iowa). During dual competition, he downed DeSanto 14-9, in one of the most exciting bouts of the year. Gomez probably slots in at 141 lbs for the Badgers. That would come in handy as their returning starter, Dom Dentino was 0-10 in 2021.
The first major transfer out of Stanford is Traxler who will enter Virginia Tech as a graduate student. Traxler is a four-time NCAA qualifier for the Cardinal. He spent the first three years of his career at 197 lbs, before going up to 285 in 2021. It would make sense for the Hokies if he competed at 197 in 2021-22. Virginia Tech has a pair of national qualifiers (Hunter Catka and John Borst) at 285 and did not qualify at 197 last season. Traxler went 78-28 for Stanford and made three Pac-12 finals (winning in 2019). He is a two-time NCAA Round of 12 finisher, doing so in both 2019 and 2021. In this year's tournament, Traxler fell in the first round to returning AA Jordan Wood (Lehigh), then proceeded to pick up three wins before losing to conference foe Cohlton Schultz (Arizona State) in the bloodround.