Two-Time All-American Wyatt Hendrickson Enters Transfer Portal

Two-Time All-American Wyatt Hendrickson Enters Transfer Portal

Two-time heavyweight All-American Wyatt Hendrickson, who went 84-6 with 53 pins during the past three seasons at Air Force, has entered the transfer portal.

Apr 24, 2024

Wyatt Hendrickson is coming back to college wrestling. 

Air Force’s two-time heavyweight All-American has been cleared to compete next season and has entered the transfer portal. 

Hendrickson, one of college wrestling’s most dominant competitors during the past three seasons, won 84 of his final 90 matches with the Falcons, including 53 by fall. He placed third the past two years at the NCAA Championships and also won a U23 World title during his time with the Falcons. 

“I’m grateful and we’re grateful as an institution and program for what Wyatt Hendrickson’s been and what he means for the Air Force Academy and the Air Force wrestling program,” Air Force coach Sam Barber said Wednesday afternoon. “He’s a guy who fit who we are institutionally, he has service on his heart, he’s an extremely high-character, integrity guy with great athletic ability, one of the top recruits in the country. He chose our program because he wanted a world-class education, he wanted an opportunity to serve and he believed he could achieve his goals in our program, and he did for the most part as a two-time All-American and World champion.

“Our relationship is going to continue to grow and we’re going to be connected through this process and whatever school he wrestles for next year, he’s still an Air Force Academy guy, he’s still our guy and we’re still his program, we’re still his home. He’ll come back to us once that’s done.” 

Hendrickson entered the transfer portal with a “do not contact” designation. Barber said Hendrickson “has a short list of five to six schools.” 

“When people come here, we’re all about maximizing opportunities,” Barber said. “So if there’s a pathway — although it wasn’t direct and straightforward with him to stay with us — we still wanted him to have that opportunity since he had it and he’s such a unique and special athlete for our academy and our program.”

The Kansas native needed United States Air Force clearance to return to college wrestling for a COVID season after exhausting his four-year eligibility for the Air Force Academy. 

“He needed official Air Force approval to be able to compete,” Barber said. “There’s a couple different pathways available to him. He’s still kind of working through those things with exactly what it’s going to be. But he has the official Air Force approval to compete. It’s just going to be Option A or Option B. 

“Within those two options, everything’s available. He can get a full-ride scholarship, he can get Name, Image and Likeness, he can represent a different school for a year and after he does that he can come back to the Air Force as part of the World Class Athlete Program wrestling again for the United States Air Force.”