IU junior Liam Cronin announced Saturday on Twitter he will transfer to Nebraska for his final year of eligibility. Cronin was one of two Hoosier wrestlers to qualify for the NCAA championships this winter.
Cronin spent four years in Bloomington, including three in competition and one as a redshirt.
“Thank you to indianawr, my former teammates and coaches for supporting me through this,” Cronin said in the tweet.
Last year, Cronin opened the season dropping 11 of his first 17 matches. With his early season struggles and the addition of Northern Illinois University transfer Brock Hudkins to the team, Cronin lost the starting spot in the 125-pound weight class.
In December, Hudkins suffered a severe knee injury which knocked him out of competition for the remainder of the season. Cronin was inserted back into the starting lineup.
Starting on Jan. 20 against Purdue, Cronin rattled off eight straight victories and surged into the top 25 in the country. He concluded the regular season with a record of 6-3 in Big Ten dual matches.
Cronin won three of his five matches and placed fifth in the Big Ten Championships on March 7-8, earning a spot in the NCAA championships. The event was canceled on March 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Cronin finished the season with an overall mark of 17-13, which equalled his record the year before.
The Hoosiers, who won two matches last season, will be losing one of their most consistent wrestlers. Cronin was a part of the team during the program’s transition to current head coach Angel Escobedo in 2018.
Next year, Hudkins and Cronin would have competed for the starting bid at 125 pounds. Shortly after the season ended, Escobedo said that bumping Hudkins up a weight class could be an option, but he was waiting to see how things played out in the offseason before a decision was made.
Now, Hudkins, who has been rehabbing his knee, will likely be the outright starter. Hudkins was ranked as high as No. 6 in the country at 125 pounds by FloWrestling last year before he was sidelined.
Cronin will be joining a Cornhusker squad that tallied 11 wins last season, including six in the Big Ten. Nebraska finished second as a team at the Big Ten Championships. IU fell to Nebraska 35-6 on Feb. 9 in Wilkinson Hall.