Possibly the biggest news yet coming out of the transfer portal this off-season with 2021 All American Michael Beard announcing he will be continuing his collegiate career at Lehigh.
Beard was a national title contender this season but ended up losing his wrestle off to 2019 National Finalist and eventual National Champion Max Dean who transferred in from Cornell. The talk was big before Beard even entered the portal being that he would have to sit out until the 2023-24 season unless he could beat out Dean for the spot. Having a stacked team like Penn State with Kerkvliet at heavyweight and Brooks at 184 did not make this much easier.
He announced this via Instagram.
He will have some great practice partners at Lehigh with Jordan Wood and Zach Rey being around and it should be good to get his hands on these bigger guys so he can hopefully make a smooth transition to 97kg when he decides to compete on the senior level if he does.
As far as team implications this becomes interesting because Beard could potentially out place Dean at the national tournament which would be interesting to see. If he does that would in theory give Iowa or someone else a slight chance to maybe dethrone the Nittany Lions.
Overall great pickup for Lehigh and a solid landing spot for the All American and it will be fun to see what he can do next season for the Mountain Hawks.