Jake Slinger grew up in Western Pennsylvania and was a star wrestler at Upper St. Clair High before signing with George Mason.
The freshman announced today that he is coming home to finish his collegiate career and will join Keith Gavin’s program at Pitt.
While at Upper St. Clair, Slinger won a WPIAL title, earned runner-up in the PIAA tournament and finished with a career record of 138-26 in the heavyweight division. Before selecting George Mason, other teams in his final five were Pitt, West Virginia and NC State.
“After having spent a year at George Mason competing and just experiencing different things there, I just came to the conclusion that it wasn’t the fit that I was looking for so I decided to enter the transfer portal and come home,” Slinger told Pittsburgh Sports Now.
“A lot of my family members and my close friends are very excited considering I’m back home. I live 30 minutes from the city and it’s a very exciting moment. With my family here, I have a very good support system and it was very nice to express how happy I am to be able to come back home.”
After redshirting for George Mason last year, Slinger has a good opportunity ahead of him at Pitt due to the graduation of accomplished Pitt heavyweight Demetrius Thomas. After starting out strong last season, Slinger finished the year with an overall record of 13-17 but is excited to join and hopefully continue the success that the Panthers had this past season.
“That was a big part of my decision mainly because the program is so much improved, have continued to improve every year and are really a program on the rise. Right now, having been in an established program and having had to rebuild a bit, a big factor for me was going to a place that is rising and where I really believe that I can thrive in that atmosphere.”
Slinger said that he will be eligible this season and has four years of eligibility remaining.