Haines is a four-time Pennsylvania state champion from Solanco High School and was ranked as a top-10 recruit nationally in 2014. He signed in the same class as Kyle Snyder, who moved up from 197 lbs. to heavyweight. That prompted Haines to seek a destination to continue his academic and athletic career and he ultimately intends to enroll at Lock Haven, located three hours from his hometown of New Providence, Pa.
"Thomas is a great kid," said Ryan. "We signed him out of high school with the thought that he and Kyle were going to be the `twin towers' at 197 and heavyweight. Fast forward and Kyle becomes a heavyweight and we certainly understand it doesn't work for them both to be in the same weight class.
"He leaves here on the best of terms," Ryan continued. "As tough as it is to see him go, we understand it. The most rational decision is for him to move forward. Our staff has a great relationship with his family -- they've poured their life into raising him -- and we wish him the best of luck."
Haines appeared is one varsity match for the Scarlet and Gray and it was a memorable one. He won a tight 3-2 decision over 13th-ranked Brooks Black of Illinois on Jan. 3 in Ohio State's 22-17 win over the Illini. In open tournaments, Haines was 12-2 this year with a title at the Penn State Open. He had two pins and one major decision.
"I had a choice to make," said Haines. "I could either try to beat Kyle in a wrestle-off or at the NCAA Tournament. I've really enjoyed my time at Ohio State and the relationships I've built with my teammates and the coaches. I'll take a lot of positive memories with me. But I had to make the most logical decision for me and that was to transfer."