Kaleb Romero has worked his entire life to complete a dream that very few people can fulfill. In August of 2017, the three-time state champion from Mechanicsburg (OH) High School will enroll at The Ohio State University and join the wrestling team.
The number four wrestler in the entire nation in his 160-pound weight class, Romero chose OSU over the University of North Carolina, Cornell, and others.
When asked about the possibility of redshirting at either UNC or Cornell, Romero understood there was a chance. However, that didn’t play a part in his decision.
“I honestly highly considered both schools,” Romero said of UNC and Cornell. “I loved them and only have positive things to say about them, but when it came down to my decision, I couldn’t pass up my dream school”.
It seemed as though it was only fate for Romero to be paired with OSU, as he has rooted for the team as he’s grown up. On top of that, being close to home was a big reason why he chose the Buckeyes.
“I was born and raised a Buckeye,” Romero said. “My family and friends will be able to come and watch me which is very important to me.”
Romero also cited the relationships he’s established with some wrestlers at Ohio State as another reason as to why he picked OSU.
“I go up there frequently, so I know the players really well,” Romero said. “They are all studs and will better me greatly. I also have a great bond with the coaches already and really like them.”
The chance of a redshirt his freshman year is more probable than not. The wrestling phenom said he will most likely redshirt, but it depends on the situation.
A star on the mat, Romero has high goals for himself at Ohio State.
“My goals are to win national titles, as well as team titles,” Romero said.
But his success isn’t limited to just wrestling. Romero is a star on the football field as well. The starting quarterback on Mechanicsburg’s perennial powerhouse football team, Romero has built quite a resume.
He’s helped lead the team to multiple state playoff appearances, including a regional title. On top of that, Romero’s etched his name into the prestigious team record book multiple times. He’s scored a touchdown in 29 straight games, which is a new school record. He’s also got the all-time school passing records to his name.
When it comes to playing football in college, there’s certainly a chance.
“Ohio State did offer me a preferred walk-on spot for football, which was extremely hard to say no to because it would be my dream to suit up for them,” Romero said. “But the scholarships I’m getting for wrestling I couldn’t pass up on.”
When Romero thinks about suiting up in an Ohio State uniform, it tugs at him relentlessly.
“It kills me thinking that I could suit up for Ohio State football,” Romero said.
With what he wants to accomplish as a wrestler, Romero said playing football wouldn’t be best for his future.
“The football coaches want me to do both, but the goals I’ve set for wrestling would almost be impossible to obtain if I focus on another sport besides wrestling,” Romero said.
Ohio State recruited him to play safety, but playing on the football team seems like a longshot right now since he already has the role of a star wrestler on his plate. Even so, the draw will always be there to play in Ohio Stadium.
After working his entire life to be the greatest wrestler he could, it seems as though it has paid off.
“I just trained as hard as possible to reach my goal of becoming a four-time state champion in high school, which I have yet to do,” Romero said. “Wrestling at a Division I college, and getting a scholarship to wrestle at a Division I college is something I worked for my whole life.”
Kaleb Romero just might be to most successful athlete to ever come out of Mechanicsburg. It’s clear that the sky’s the limit for this star athlete, and one day those who can say they went to high school with Kaleb Romero will be pretty proud to say it.
Update: Kaleb Romero notched his fourth OHSAA state championship on March 11. Romero finished his senior season with a 52-0 record and became just the 29th wrestler to win four state championships in Ohio high school history.