COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ethan Smith got a taste of the national stage in his home state of Pennsylvania at the 2019 NCAA Championships, winning two bouts as the No. 19 seed for the 174-pound weight class. He has dropped down to 165 pounds for his sophomore season and is in line to also decrease his seed number in 2020. Smith enters the Big Ten Championships slotted 11th and 13th in the RPI and NCAA Coaches rankings, respectively.
Smith is arguably the most battle-tested Buckeye on the roster, slogging through a gauntlet filled with a team-high 14 top-25 showdowns. And that lofty total doesn’t include two wins over Shayne Oster (Northwestern), who was unranked at the time, in the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. Oster is currently slotted No. 12 nationally according to FloWrestling.
All-America contender status was confirmed on Nov. 17 when Smith ignited the Covelli Center crowd by knocking off three-time All-American and fourth-ranked David McFadden of Virginia Tech. The 5-4 decision carried Smith into the All-America conversation.
Tournament settings have treated Smith well thus far, placing top-4 in both the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational (4th) and Michigan State Open (3rd). His aggressive approach to wrestling displayed in Vegas proved to be the final step in earning ‘black shirt’ recognition inside the Jennings Wrestling Facility.
Stay tuned to OhioStateBuckeyes.com for more ‘Postseason Profiles’ as the Big Ten Championships quickly approach (March 7-8).