The transfer portal is just a part of college sports nowadays, there is no way around it. Whether it is football, basketball, wrestling, or what have you, every team checks the portal daily seeing if there are ways to upgrade their current roster.
Just yesterday, the Ohio State wrestling team added Lock Haven 133-pounder Will Betancourt. The Pennsylvania native is a four-time PIAA class AAA state qualifier, three-time placer, and one-time state champ. Additionally, coming out of Manheim Central High School in Mt. Joy, Pennsylvania, Betancourt was regarded as one of the country’s top 126-pound wrestlers.
He signed with Lock Haven University in November of 2019 during the early signing period. However, after Betancourt arrived on campus with the Eagles he decided to enter the transfer portal and find a program that was a better fit for him.
Immediately after entering the portal the former Pennsylvania state champ was overwhelmed with programs trying to bring him in. He quickly put out a top list of Oklahoma, Purdue, Rutgers, Nebraska, Messiah Wrestling and Ohio State. Ultimately, he chose Columbus as his future home. Buckeye Scoop caught up with Betancourt about why he chose Ohio State.
“To start, they have a great faith0based wrestling team and I am a big believer that I carry my faith with my wrestling,” he said. “And the relationship I built with coach Ryan over the phone and on Zoom calls, I just felt like he was going to be fully invested in me and I felt like it was somewhere I could reach my goal to become a national champ.
“I took an unofficial to Ohio State a couple days ago and I just felt like I had a connection with the program. I haven’t felt that connection in a long time and I just came home, talked to my dad, talked to some other close people in my life, and we decided on Ohio State.”
One close friend Betancourt made sure to talk to was 2022 Ohio State heavyweight commit Nick Feldman, who is another Pennsylvania native. Naturally the future Buckeye had nothing but good things to say.
“He is one of my really good friends and we go to my dad’s wrestling club together,” Betancourt said. “He told me nothing but good things about Ohio State, so I wanted to go see it myself and everything he said was true. I am really excited to be teammates with Nick. We have been through a lot together so it is going to be awesome going to the next level together too.”
For those unfamiliar with Betancourt and his style of wrestling, he is talented when wrestling on the mat either on top or on bottom, which is exactly what Ohio State needs more of in their wrestling room. Needless to say, Betancourt is eager to bring his mat wrestling prowess to Columbus.
“I feel like since I won that state title I have grown in my wrestling incredibly,” he said. “I feel like a totally different wrestler. I feel like I bring a lot of different varieties of turns on top, being very offensive from neutral, and I just feel like I am going to make a big impact on the program. I am just going to keep grinding and hopefully reach my goals.”
Being known for his mat wrestling ability and the Buckeyes’ program being known for its knack of developing takedown artists, Betancourt felt that Ohio State could help him develop into a more well-rounded wrestler.
“I feel like with those coaches they can help my wrestling go to even another level to get to that national championship level,” he said. “I think with my wrestling ability right now and what I am going to be learning there, it’s going to be pretty dangerous.”
To finish up our conversation with the future Buckeye we asked him about his overall goals for the future, and Betancourt is shooting for the stars to say the least.
“I want to be one of the leaders of the team. I want to set the standard. I want to be an NCAA champ, multiple-time NCAA All-American. And I want to help win a team title with these guys,” he told Buckeye Scoop. “After college, hopefully win an Olympic championship, but I won’t be competing for the U.S.A, I will be competing for Puerto Rico. I am on the Puerto Rico national team right now.”
Those are the goals for Betancourt in both the short and long term. In the meantime, he is focused on becoming the starter at 133 for the Buckeyes next season while also bringing some of that Pennsylvania mat prowess to Columbus