Thomas Haines - Buckeye
Willie Saylor, Editor
The saga is over. One of the most coveted recruits in the country is headed to
Thomas Haines (Solanco HS, PA), who is favorited to make history this season by becoming the heaviest 4x State Champion in the long history of Pennsylvania, has pledged his services to the Buckeyes after a circuitous, but rewarding, recruiting journey.
There are just ten 4x State Champions in PA history. Chance Marsteller, a fellow District 3 wrestler, and Haines will look to become the 11th and 12th members of the exclusive fraternity this season.
Last year, Haines committed to Penn State. This summer, Marsteller did the same. But the Nittany Lions would go on to successfully recruit California prospect Nick Nevills, prompting Haines to look elsewhere.
Now, he found his home in Columbus with Penn State’s chief rival Buckeyes, whom many would say are the the biggest threat to Penn State’s supremacy in the near future.
Haines father David, says the unorthodox road was a blessing in disguise. “I’m really happy. He got to see so much. He got to learn. And he’s going to a place he really connected with.”
We had the opportunity to catch up with Thomas regarding his decision:
WS: Why in the end was it Ohio State?
TH: It was a little bit of everything. The team they’re putting together. The Jordans and Snyder. The team will be top notch. I think we can compete for team titles and the staff can help me be a National Champion myself.
WS: What did you like most about Columbus?
TH: Everything was great. I loved the team. I had fun. And I really liked the business program there. I’ll have the opportunity train with the SR level guys. I really got along with those guys well.
WS: What other schools were you considering?
TH: Maryland, Cornell, and Ohio State. It was a really tough choice. Great schools and great coaches at all those places.
WS: What did you learn from taking your visits?
TH: All my visits were great. I wouldn’t recommend verballing without visiting. There’s so much out there that you have to see. I’m glad in the end I got to experience what I have.
WS: Are you bulked up now? What are you walking around at?
TH: 240. Still lifting. Trying to get bigger by the season. I’ll be heavyweight this season and always trying to get bigger. I’m definitely going to be a HWT in college. So better get big now.
WS: So you’ll be joining a team that includes Kyle Snyder, the only kid that you’ve lost to in quite some time.
TH: We’ve gotten along well. We’ve been on traveling teams through middle school and Jr. High. He’ll be a good friend and training partner. I think we’re going to room together. We didn’t talk much at the tournaments where we wrestled each other at, but it wasn’t a grudge match. We’re still friends.
Congratulations to the Haines Family, and the Solanco and Ohio State Wrestling communities!
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