Sumo Wrestler Joins Colorado State Rams
In a groundbreaking announcement, former amateur sumo wrestler Hidetora Hanada from Japan revealed his decision to join the Colorado State Rams college football team. Hanada, who gained football stardom in Japan after an impressive showing in an X League tryout in March 2022, is set to embark on a new chapter in his athletic career.
Having achieved great success as an all-world sumo wrestler at Nippon Sport Science University, where he claimed the prestigious all-Japan title in 2020 and won gold in the 2022 World Games open-weight division, Hanada has made a name for himself in the sporting world. As a yokozuna, the highest rank in the realm of sumo wrestling, his skills and determination have captured the attention of American universities.
Amid interest from prominent schools like Texas and Ohio State, Hanada ultimately chose to join the Colorado State Rams. The university’s athletic department confirmed his commitment, revealing that he will be part of the defensive line group. Hanada will arrive in the United States in the coming weeks, prepared to join the Rams as a junior and enjoy two seasons of eligibility.
Though Hanada’s transition to college football at the FBS level is eagerly anticipated, he remains unfazed and motivated to pursue his dreams of playing professionally. Expressing excitement rather than nerves about his unique journey as the sole Japanese player in a foreign-speaking football program, Hanada sets his sights on the NFL.
“I’m aware that I’ll have to give it my all to succeed. I’m more excited than nervous about the fact that I’ll have to learn how to survive and continue to aim for the NFL,” Hanada shared with The Japan Times.
As Hanada joins the Colorado State Rams, led by head coach Jay Norvell, he becomes a trailblazer, paving the way for an unprecedented intersection of sumo wrestling and American college football. The Rams will kick off their 2023 season on September 2, facing Washington State in an eagerly anticipated match.
With the anticipation building for this historic move, the sports world eagerly awaits Hanada’s debut and journey in college football, confident that his prowess and dedication will leave an indelible mark on the game.