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Rutgers adds Oklahoma grad transfer Jacob Butler

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Butler
Oklahoma s Jacob Butler works for a take down against Kaden Gfeller during a college wrestling meet between the Oklahoma State Cowboys (OSU) and the Oklahoma Sooners at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Okla., Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023. Photo credit NATHAN J FISH/THE OKLAHOMAN / USA TODAY NETWORK

Jacob Butler knows how to leave a first impression. Just hours after sending shockwaves through the U.S. Open wrestling tournament in Las Vegas by pinning No. 1 seed Alec Pantaleo, Butler committed to Rutgers. The grad transfer from Oklahoma has one year of eligibility remaining.

The Elgin, Oklahoma native was a three-time state champion from 2016-18 and finished 176-9 in his high school career.

He amassed a record of 37-39 at Oklahoma. After redshirting his first year, he wrestled at three different weights between 141, 149 and 157 points. This past season at 157 pounds, Butler went 14-8 but did not make the Sooners postseason lineup. In 2022, he was a NCAA qualifier at 141 pounds. He went 1-2 at nationals as a No. 30 seed including loss by major decision to former Rutgers All-American Sebastian Rivera.

Butler’s versatility should be an asset for head coach Scott Goodale and the coaching staff. Based on the depth of the current roster, he’ll likely slot in initially at 149 pounds to compete against incumbent starter Tony White.

Rutgers has now added Butler along with Harvard transfer Yaraslau Slavikouski. The heavyweight was 30-6 this past season and lost in the blood round at nationals as the No. 6 seed.

Goodale and the staff appear to be working on bringing in more transfers as well. Rutgers is reportedly in the mix for two-time All-American  Chris Cannon, who they are targeting at 141 pounds. In addition, RU is pursuing Stanford grad transfer Shane Griffiths. He’s a three-time NCAA All-American, 2021 champion and 2022 runner-up at 165 pounds who starred at Bergen Catholic.

Credit Goodale and the staff for already making due on the vow of bringing in more talent this offseason. Increasing the competition within the program is essential towards taking a step forward next season. Butler certainly added to the excitement with a big time performance on the national stage on Thursday. You can watch his upset victory below.

 

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