Shakur Rasheed’s disappointing showing at this year’s NCAA Championships won’t be the end of the road for the fan favorite, after all.
Rasheed announced on Instagram Tuesday night that he had been approved to return to Penn State wrestling for one last season.
He joins weight class contender-turned-close friend Anthony Cassar by returning to the Nittany Lions for one last season and in hopes of winning the team’s ninth national title in 10 years. Both were honored on Senior Day, but throughout the season, Cassar seemed more optimistic than Rasheed about receiving an extra year of eligibility.
The presumed medical redshirt will make up for the 2016-17 season in which Rasheed wrestled only six bouts while battling injuries and cutting down to the 165 and 174-lb. weight classes. He moved up to 197 lbs. in 2017-18 and broke out as a rising star with a knack for pinning and scoring bonus points, before settling in to 184 lbs. last season to make room for Bo Nickal.
During the past two seasons, Rasheed emerged as one of the country’s most exciting wrestlers, going 44-7, finishing second in the Big Ten twice, and placing seventh at the 2018 NCAAs. In only two full seasons, he has 28 career falls, which is good enough for No. 19 in the program’s record book.
This year, recurring injuries hampered Rasheed’s would-be-senior season and kept him off the mat for most of the conference dual schedule. He had yet to lose a bout before this year’s NCAA Championships where he was seeded second, but went 1-2 and made an untimely exit.
In his Instagram post, Rasheed addressed both Penn State and Long Island. He told his hometown to “prepare for the biggest celebration of 2020 after Nationals.”