Ohio State will be without its Preseason All-American opposite for the 2020 season.
The Buckeyes announced Saturday that Jake Hanes has opted to forego his final season of college eligibility in order to train with the U.S. Men’s National Team.
“We’re excited for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that are in front of Jake, and we look forward to helping him prepare throughout the spring while he completes his degree,” first-year Ohio State head coach Kevin Burch said a statement.
Hanes finished last season third in the nation with a 4.36 kills per game average and earlier this mont was named a 2020 Off the Block Preseason Second-Team All-American. The 6-foot-10 opposite as a redshirt freshman in 2018 had a combined 55 kills and 13 aces in three NCAA Tournament matches.
Hanes will attempt to make the U.S. roster for the upcoming 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
The United States was one of six teams in 2019 to earn berths to the 12-team Olympic tournament. Hanes was not on the U.S. roster for either the Olympic qualification tournament or the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League.
Hanes joins a short list in recent college men’s volleyball players who chose to forego their final college season.
All-American opposite Matt Anderson left Penn State in 2008 after being named the National Player of the Year and leading the Nittany Lions to the NCAA championship. All-American outside attacker Thomas Jaeschke also turned pro a year early after guiding Loyola to back-to-back national titles and winning the 2015 National Player of the Year.
Both Anderson and Jaeschke were a part of the U.S. team that won the bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics.
The Buckeyes were picked to finish the conference in fifth place in the MIVA Preseason Coaches Poll. Hanes also was the only Ohio State player to make the Preseason All-MIVA Team.
Ohio State will play host to North Greenville in its season opener on Saturday.