COLUMBUS, Ohio -- NCAA champion Kyle Snyder is a finalist for the Hodge Trophy, considered to be the Heisman Trophy of wrestling.
For the fourth straight year, fans are being asked to help select the winner from the four finalists. The winner will be announced on Monday, March 28. The winner of the fan vote will earn two first-place votes among the total ballots from a group of formal voters which includes each former Hodge Trophy winner, national media, representatives of national wrestling organizations and retired former college coaches from different regions. The deadline to vote is Friday, March 25 at 6:00 EST.
Snyder, who originally intended the redshirt this season while training for his chance to compete in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, finished 11-0 and capped off his season in dramatic fashion. Last Saturday night at the NCAA Championships in a sold-out Madison Square Garden, Snyder came back from a 5-3 third period deficit to defeat No. 1 seeded and two-time defending champion Nick Gwiazdowski of NC State in the finals, 7-5. The final minute of the match saw Snyder get a tying takedown, ride Gwiazdowski out to end regulation and then score another takedown 30 seconds into the sudden victory period.
In seven postseasson matches, Snyder averaged 16.5 points and finished with four technical falls. He also won by pinfall - the first of his collegiate career - in the opening round of the NCAA Championships. Overall, he was 8-0 in the postseason and defeated three opponents who were ranked in the top four.
When he wasn't wearing a Scarlet and Gray singlet this winter, Snyder was traveling overseas to the top international tournaments in the world. Snyder wrestled numerous world champions and world placers in the Ivan Yarygin Memorial Grand Prix Alexander Medved International.
The award is named after Dan Hodge, the former three-time (1955-57) NCAA champion from the University of Oklahoma, who did not allow a takedown in his career and pinned 36 of 46 opponents. Last year, Logan Stieber became the first Buckeye in school history to win the award.