March 30, 2020

Sammy Sasso Named National Freshman of the Year

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State redshirt freshman Sammy Sasso picked up National Freshman of the Year honors from Intermat for the 2019-20 season. Sasso won 24 of 27 bouts, including a 9-0 mark during the Big Ten dual gauntlet. He was seeded third at 149 pounds entering the since-cancelled NCAA Championships.


📄 Intermat Release


Sasso garnered bonus points in more than half of his victories, amassing five pins, four tech falls and four major decisions. He got it done versus the nation’s elite as well, posting a dozen top-25 triumphs and spending multiple weeks as the top-ranked wrestler in the country at 149 pounds.

This award, presented each year since 2006 to the best college freshman wrestler in all divisions for his/her college wrestling performance during the 2019-2020 season, is based exclusively on the balloting of writers at InterMat. Each writer is asked to select five freshman wrestlers and rank them from first to fifth. Point values are assigned to each placement, ranging from one point to a wrestler listed fifth on a voter’s ballot, up to nine points for a first-place vote.

Sasso received four first-place votes (out of ten) from the InterMat staff, for a total of 60 points to put him No. 1 in this year’s InterMat Freshman of the Year voting. In second place was Shane Griffith of Stanford, who was the top choice among three InterMat staffers, earning a total of 53 points. Two other freshmen who earned at least one first-place vote: David Carr of Iowa State, taking fourth place with 45 points, including two first-place votes … while Stanford’s Real Woods received one first-place vote, for a total of 25 points.

He is the second Buckeye to earn this honor, following in the footsteps of Logan Stieber (2012).

2020 InterMat Freshman of the Year Voting Results
1st-5th Place Votes: 9-7-5-3-1
Total Votes/(First-Place Votes)

1. Sammy Sasso, Ohio State 60 (4)
2. Shane Griffith, Stanford 53 (3)
3. Aaron Brooks, Penn State 48
4. David Carr, Iowa State 45 (2)
5. Real Woods, Stanford 25 (1)
6. Tony Cassioppi, Iowa 14
7. Travis Wittlake, Oklahoma State 3
8. Brayton Lee, Minnesota 2

InterMat Freshman of the Year Past Winners

2019: Mekhi Lewis, Virginia Tech
2018: Spencer Lee, Iowa
2017: Mark Hall, Penn State
2016: Jason Nolf, Penn State
2015: Isaiah Martinez, Illinois
2014: Jason Tsirtsis, Northwestern
2013: Alex Dieringer, Oklahoma State
2012: Logan Stieber, Ohio State
2011: David Taylor, Penn State
2010: Kyle Dake, Cornell
2009: Andrew Howe, Wisconsin
2008: Mike Grey, Cornell
2007: Jake Varner, Iowa State
2006: Dustin Schlatter, Minnesota