Penn State defeated Michigan State, 34-6, on Sunday and Levi Haines wasn’t in the line-up.
This hardly seems newsworthy if you haven’t followed the new freshman eligibility redshirt rules. Haines, a true freshman ranked #21 at 157 pounds, is 14-1 this season following a big 3-1 win over Michigan All-American Will Lewan on Friday.
The victory over Lewan was Haines’s fifth college competition, which is important to remember. A true freshman is allowed five competition dates as a member of the team without losing a year of eligibility.
That means Haines can still redshirt if he doesn’t compete for the remainder of the season. If he does compete, he’ll likely be the starter for the Nittany Lions entering the post-season.
If you ask Haines, he wants to start. That should come as no surprise in the hypercompetitive D1 wrestling space where opportunities are fleeting.
Sophomore Terrell Barraclough got the nod at 157 against #17 Chase Saldate of the Spartans and fell, 6-2. Barraclough is currently 6-3 on the season.
Haines defeated Barraclough, 2-1, at the Black Knight Open on November 20.
This has big implications as #1 Penn State faces #2 Iowa in State College on Friday, January 27 at 8:30 p.m. ET. The Hawkeyes have #13 Cobe Siebrecht at 157 pounds, so this could be a swing match in the dual.
Levi Haines’s Five Competitions Dates This Season
November 13, 2022: Jonathan Kaloust Bearcat Open
November 20, 2022: Black Knight Open
December 19-20, 2022: Collegiate Wrestling Duals
January 6, 2023: Wisconsin Dual
January 20, 2022: Michigan Dual
Penn State’s Remaining 157-pound Match-ups (Probable)
January 27: #13 Cobe Siebrecht (Iowa)
February 3: #23 Paddy Gallager (Ohio State)
February 5: #16 Derek Gilcher (Indiana)
February 10: #24 Andrew Clark (Rutgers)
February 12: HM Michael North (Maryland)
February 19: Trevor Elfvin (Clarion)