2023 NCAA All-American Michael Blockhus (photo courtesy of Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)
MINNEAPOLIS - NCAA All-American and Minnesota 149-pounder Michael Blockhus announced Wednesday morning that he will forgo his final season of eligibility and will not return to the team for the 2023-24 season.
The redshirt senior had the opportunity to return and utilize the extra year of eligibility that was granted in 2020 due to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, but he has elected to move on to a new chapter in pursuit of a professional MMA career.
Blockhus was a three-year starter for the Gophers after transferring from Northern Iowa following his redshirt freshman season, collecting a 69-41 career record and 23 bonus point victories. A three-time NCAA qualifier for the Maroon & Gold, Blockhus broke through this past season to reach the podium for the first time in his career, placing eighth at the 2023 NCAA Championships.
"I will forever be grateful for the Minnesota wrestling family and they will always have a special place in my heart," Blockhus wrote in an Instagram post announcing his decision. These coaches have been there for me since day one and there is no other staff out there that has your back like these guys do here at Minnesota. I will bleed Maroon & Gold 'till the day I die."
Blockhus now joins fellow seniors Jake Bergeland and Bailee O'Reilly in the departing senior class following the 2022-23 campaign.