Austin DeSanto, a former standout wrestler at Exeter, will transfer from Drexel
Just read this article in Reading Eagle, Austin DeSanto is transferring from Drexel. Article Here.
The three-time PIAA medalist, who became the school's first wrestling state champion in 2017, was granted a release following his freshman season.
Less than 13 months after pulling off one of Pennsylvania's biggest upsets, Exeter grad Austin DeSanto has the wrestling world buzzing again.
This time, DeSanto is attracting attention after being granted a release from Drexel University Monday to continue his wrestling career at another school starting in the 2018-19 season.
DeSanto already has attracted attention from several schools and reportedly has met with Penn State coach Cael Sanderson.
DeSanto also reportedly has attracted interest from Iowa and Nebraksa of the Big Ten and several other Division I wrestling schools.
During his freshman season at Drexel, DeSanto compiled a 32-9 record with 11 technical falls. He advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals and fell one win short of earning All-American honors by placing in the top eight at 133 pounds.
DeSanto, a three-time PIAA medalist who became Exeter's first wrestling state champion in 2017, told his parents he wants to work out in a tougher wrestling room. Attempts to contact DeSanto were unsuccessful.
"To me it seems like he's looking for the next challenge," said Exeter coach Jon Rugg, DeSanto's high school coach for four years. "He feels there isn't that competition in the room on a daily basis for him to get better."
DeSanto upset previously undefeated three-time state champion Spencer Lee of Franklin Regional in the PIAA Class 3A 126-pound championship bout last March. It later was learned that Lee was wrestling on a torn ACL.
Lee, a freshman at Iowa, won the NCAA 125-pound title last month. The possibility of having Lee and DeSanto become teammates and work together in the wrestling room has made for interesting conversation on Twitter.
"DeSanto and Spencer Lee at Iowa would be insane," one wrestling fan tweeted.
DeSanto rocked the Giant Center in March of last year when he scored a last-second takedown to defeat Lee 6-5. That capped a 53-0 season for DeSanto, who lost by technical fall to Lee the previous year in the state final.
DeSanto finished his career at Exeter with a 188-7 record. He was named the 2017 Reading Eagle Sports Newsmaker of the Year.
He helped Exeter win back-to-back Berks Wrestling League titles in 2016 and ‘17 and helped lead the Eagles to their first District 3 Class 3A team title in 2017.
During his freshman season at Drexel, DeSanto was highly ranked nationally by InterMat. He entered the NCAA Tournament as the No. 7 seed at 133 pounds.
DeSanto reached the quarterfinals before suffering a 13-1 loss to eventual NCAA runner-up Stevan Micic of Michigan, then lost an 8-6 overtime decision to Scott Delvecchio of Rutgers in the consolation quarterfinals.
DeSanto was criticized on social media for his actions during both losses and was accused by some fans of intentionally trying to injure Micic late in their bout.
Now he's ready to put that behind him and start on the next chapter of his career.
"The only reason he'd make this move is to get a bigger challenge," Rugg said. "I think that's what it ultimately came down to."