Big Ten

Penn State Lands Bernie Truax From Transfer Portal

Penn State Lands Bernie Truax From Transfer Portal

The Nittany Lions land three-time All-American collegiate wrestler Bernie Truax who announced his transfer from Cal Poly to Penn State.

Apr 19, 2023 by Andrew Spey
Penn State Lands Bernie Truax From Transfer Portal

The 2023 NCAA champion Penn State Nittany Lions have landed the services of three-time All-American Bernie Truax, who has previously announced that he had entered the transfer portal on March 23. 

As Truax noted in an earlier post, he'll be a graduate transfer and will be pursuing a graduate degree in Happy Valley, with one year of NCAA eligibility left with which to compete. 

Coach Sanderson will likely slot Truax in the lineup at 197 to take over for departing senior Max Dean, who finishes his career as a four-time NCAA All-American and 2022 NCAA champ. 

With Truax in the lineup, the Nittany Lions will return All-Americans at seven weight classes. Those starters and their most recent NCAA placements are Beau Bartlett (149, 3rd), Shayne Van Ness (149, 3rd), Levi Haines (157, 2nd), Carter Starocci (174, 1st), Aaron Brooks (184, 1st), Bernie Truax (197, 4th), and Greg Kerkvliet (285, 2nd). 

Truax just wrapped up his fifth season in San Luis Obispo as a key part of the Cal Poly Mustang program. 

Watch Truax win the Tiger Style Invite from November of the 2022-23 season:


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The California native from Oceanside followed up a pedestrian redshirt campaign by qualifying for his first NCAA tournament in 2020. That tournament, in which Truax received the #29 seed, was canceled due to covid. 

It was the 2021 NCAA Championships in which Truax would have his breakout performance, placing fourth from the #12 seed. 

Truax would follow up his first All-American placement with two more trips to the podium, staying eerily consistent with two subsequent fourth-place finishes at the 2022 and 2023 tournaments. Bernie was seeded fifth and second in those two championships, respectively. 

Never a big-time recruit, Truax did not appear on the high school class of 2018 Big Board, which ranks recruits 100 deep. The Rancho Buena Vista grad was also a lot smaller when he finished high school, wrestling at both 149 and 157-pounds as a true freshman before qualifying for the NCAAs at 165, 174, 184, and most recently 197-pounds.