Canfield’s Stein commits to Ohio State
Stein latest D-I
recruit for Cards
By Brian Dzenis
Before Canfield’s wrestling team starts practicing, they get caught up on the goings-on in college wrestling.
The Cardinals watch matches and like any sports audience, they have their own allegiances to teams and wrestlers to discuss and debate. In a year, there will be a new character in those conversations: Tyler Stein.
Stein, who’s heading into his senior season, verbally committed to wrestle for the favorite team amongst his teammates, the Ohio State Buckeyes.
“We’re always talking about who’s wrestling like their celebrities, you know?” Stein said. “Now that I’m going to be one of those guys, it’s like, ‘Are they going to talk about me like that?’”
Stein caught the eye of OSU when the Cardinals were in Columbus for the state dual wrestling tournament this past February and the Buckeyes reached out to him a week after the Cardinals bowed out in the semifinals.
With coaches texting him as he navigated the postseason, Stein won the Division II 220-pound state title. He finished the season with a 49-3 record.
He took his official visit in June and while Iowa State, West Virginia and Navy expressed interest in him, those schools did not have a chance.
“I was planning visits to other schools, but my big thing with my decision is just that to grow up in Ohio and to wrestle for your state school is just crazy,” Stein said. “It’s been a dream just to go there.”
Stein is set to join some lofty company, becoming the first area wrestler since Austintown Fitch’s Tony Jameson in 2008 to suit up for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State is a powerhouse in wrestling as the defending NCAA runners-up and Big Ten Conference Champions, with one individual NCAA champion this year.
Being an Ohio State wrestler also gives Stein full-time access to the Ohio Regional Training Center, which is one of the most prestigious freestyle wrestling training facilities in the nation, with Olympic athletes often electing to train there. Wrestlers have to be at a high skill level to train there.
Stein is allowed in this summer as a state champion.
“I think that if I can get used to that pace just a little bit, that will help me so much more this upcoming season,” he said. “It’s a different mentality there and if I can work that into my senior season, it will help me a lot.”
The reigning state champion is looking to compete as a 197-pounder, which isn’t too far from where he was as a junior. He stayed at about 200 pounds while competing at 220.
Stein is Canfield’s fourth Division I wrestling commit in three years after Georgio Poullas and Mason Giordano at Cleveland State and David Crawford at Pitt.
“They have to have an unrelenting will to be good. They have to have a work ethic and a drive like no other,” Canfield coach Stephen Pitts said. “[Stein] will be at one of the top two programs in the country and they expect high-level athletes and it’s involved.
“The expectations are high and he knows that. It’s what he wanted. He wanted to go somewhere where he’s going to be challenged and he’s going to have to work his hardest to do his best and I’m sure he’ll do it.”