Courtesy of Tony Rotundo /

Ben Honis was named an All-American wrestler in March. In August, he was named to Syracuse University's football team.

August 6, 2019

All-American Wrestler Honis Transfers to Syracuse to Play Linebacker

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As summer winds down, college preseason camps get underway and teams post their rosters, sometimes featuring some surprising — but maybe familiar — names and faces.

On Friday, former Cornell wrestler Ben Honis ’19 reported to football camp with Syracuse University.

Honis’s final year of NCAA eligibility will be spent as a linebacker with his hometown Orange. Honis last played football at the competitive level in high school, when he attended Jamesville-DeWitt in Syracuse.

A 2019 All-American and First Team All-Ivy selection, Honis competed with the Red for four seasons in both the heavyweight and 197-pound classes.

While Honis is no longer eligible to participate in varsity athletics at Cornell due to Ivy League rules, he is able to join teams at institutions outside of the league. In the Ivy League, redshirt years are not permitted. Standard NCAA rules allow Honis to play because he is switching sports — he has used four years of eligibility in wrestling but is granted a fifth year in football.

Honis will play as a redshirt senior while pursuing a graduate degree. Though this move to Syracuse is referred to as a transfer, Honis did graduate from Cornell and would not have been eligible to continue his athletic career with the Red. As an undergraduate, Honis studied applied economics and management.

In his final outing as a Cornell wrestler, Honis was upset in his first match at the NCAA tournament. Following the loss, he rebounded to win four straight matches and come back to secure his first All-American title.

Honis ended his wrestling career with a top-10 national finish in the 197-pound weight class but weighed in at 215 lbs going into the football season. Syracuse added him to its roster as a walk-on on August 6.