Three Ohio State Wrestling Walk-Ons Earn Scholarships

By January 18, 2020 (10:00 am)Joe Dempsey, Sports, Wrestling
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True freshman wrestlers Jacob Decatur and Jordan Decatur and four-year junior Gary Traub came to Columbus without scholarships because they wanted to be a part of Ohio State wrestling. 

The preferred walk-ons worked their tails off since arriving, and head coach Tom Ryan rewarded their dedication with scholarships. Here is the video of them finding out they had earned scholarships, with a short speech from associate head coach J Jaggers

The Decaturs could have definitely wrestled elsewhere with scholarships to start, but they wanted to be Buckeyes, regardless. 

Jacob Decatur (125 pounds) was a back-to-back state champion at Division-II Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy, where he went 130-12, including a 39-0 junior campaign. Jacob was the 2018 Ironman champion and took third in 2017.

While wrestling unattached in his first season as a Buckeye, Jacob Decatur is 13-4, with five major decisions and one tech fall. 

Jacob’s twin brother, Jordan, also excelled at CVCA, winning back-to-back state titles and finishing with an 133-7 record. Jordan Decatur (133 pounds) was a four-time Ironman placer and three-time Fargo freestyle national champion. 

Jordan Decatur is 9-2 in his young Ohio State career, including two major decisions, one tech fall and one pin. 

Traub has much more collegiate experience than the Decatur brothers, holding a 46-17 overall record since arriving at Ohio State, with four major decisions and eight pins. 

The heavyweight affectionately known as “Gas Tank Gary” has thrived as a fourth-year junior, boasting a 16-2 ledger with one major decision and five pins. 

In addition to taking classes, Traub has been working part-time while training, practicing and traveling with the team. The scholarship should help alleviate some of that financial stress for Traub.

Earning scholarships as walk-ons shows the hard work and dedication each one of the student-athletes has put in since becoming Buckeyes. 

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