The Champ is here. And back.
Reigning heavyweight NCAA champion Anthony Cassar announced Friday afternoon he will return to Penn State wrestling next season while training for the Olympic Trials.
Cassar’s announcement comes one week after news broke that he had reportedly received two additional years of eligibility from the NCAA but wasn’t yet set on competing for the Nittany Lions.
“After much thought and prayer, I’ve decided that I will be returning for another year of college wrestling as I prepare for the 2020 Olympic trials,” he said in an Instagram post. “Let’s run it back!”
The post didn’t confirm whether he had received a second additional year of eligibility.
The return of Cassar is a major win for Cael Sanderson’s Nittany Lions who are already losing a pair of three-time national champions in Bo Nickal and Jason Nolf. Cassar is the first of three returning former national champions to announce his intentions for next season. Rising senior Mark Hall is one of five wrestlers eligible for an Olympic redshirt and has been the center of plenty of rumors during this offseason.
The trials Cassar and likely plenty of other Nittany Lions will be training for next year will reportedly be held next April at the Bryce Jordan Center— although USA Wrestling has yet to officially confirm.
As a first-year starter last season, Cassar enjoyed a breakout year, going 30-1 and winning both Big Ten and NCAA titles. The championship season came after a roller-coaster start to Cassar’s career. He spent two years off the mat due to injury and even left school at one point because of his health. After finally working his way into the lineup during the 2018 season, Cassar split time at 197 lbs. with Shakur Rasheed, who ended up winning the starting job for the postseason, leaving Cassar on the bench.