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Seven Minutes with Bo Jordan

By Andy Hamilton, TrackWrestling, 10/17/16, 1:45PM CDT


This is the 19th installment of seven minutes. It's a series of interviews with college wrestling's top stars.

Most of the question-and-answer sessions last roughly seven minutes. Hence the name. Ohio State's Bo Jordan earned All-America honors for the second time last season when he placed third at the NCAA Championships at 165 pounds, completing a 21-3 season. He takes a 43-5 career record into his junior season with the Buckeyes. 

Trackwrestling's Andy Hamilton recently caught up with Jordan. 

Let’s say wrestling has one governing body and you’re the president, what would you want to change?

I would add a push-out rule. I would say when you push someone out, it should be one point, same as a it is in freestyle for folkstyle. Other than that, I probably wouldn’t change much. I think it’s pretty good as it is. I love wrestling. I love the sport and I’d say it’s good.

Take me through your pre-match preparation: What’s the typical size of a last-minute weight cut for you? What do you put in your body after you step on the scale? What do you have pumping through your headphones during your warm-up?

I’ll try to be two to 2.5 pounds over about an hour out from weigh-ins and then I’ll get a hard drill in. Once I get that hard drill in, I’ll step on the scale and I’ll have lost that two pounds or 2.5 pounds or whatever it is. I really don’t like to be any higher than two or 2.5 pounds, but I don’t want to be lower than that, either. That’s kind of my range for an hour before weigh-ins. Then I’ll get a good hard drill in. That’s my warm-up. I touch down to weight and then go right back up.

After I step on the scale and weigh in, I try to put some healthy food in my body. My wife will make me an egg wrap with eggs and beans and stuff, just a lot of good things to put in my body.

I don’t really listen to music during a warm-up. I kind of did here and there, but Kyle Snyder told me how his coach said: ‘Does a lion listen to music before he hunts?’ I was like, ‘I guess not.’ After that, I stopped listening to music.

What’s the last thing you tell yourself before you set your foot on the line?

Usually, it’s ‘Just wrestle.’ I’m a real big thinker. My mind can go a thousand different places in five seconds, I feel like. To try to simplify things — I have a lot going through my head and I scout my opponents and I feel I have a good idea about what they’re going to do and what I need to do and all these other things like things I’m working on and adjustments I need to make in the match — before I step on the line I try to tell myself to just wrestle. I was born to do this, it’s what I love to do, I’ve been wrestling my whole life and just go do what I was born to do.

What’s one thing your coach yells that you can hear every time?

I’d probably say keep moving. That’s when I’m on bottom. When I’m on bottom, sometimes I get really frustrated and I’m like, ‘This is stupid, I’m getting rode, I don’t like this, I hate bottom and I can hear them say, ‘Just move’ and I’m like, ‘It’s not that easy sometimes. If I could move, I would.’ That’s one of the things that really sticks out.  

What’s the strangest thing that’s ever gone through your mind during a match?

The weirdest thing was probably last year, and I don’t really know exactly what match it was, but it was at the national tournament. I remember going out of bounds and being pretty tired and I looked up in the stands and I saw this person eating nachos and relaxing. I was like, ‘Man, I wonder what it would feel like to be sitting in the stands and watching the wrestling.’ When you’re in the match, you’re so tired or fatigued or whatever and stressed. I remember looking up and wondering what that feels like. They don’t know what you’re going through out there. They’re watching the wrestling, but a lot of people don’t know what it feels like to be in certain situations and I was super tired. I remember looking up and thinking, ‘I wonder what that feels like to sit there and relax and watch the national tournament.’ I only have two more national tournaments left, so I’m sure I’ll get there, but I want to know what it feels like to just sit there and watch it and kick back and drink a Coke or Pepsi and eat nachos. As long as I can remember, I’ve never really went and watched tournaments and relaxed. I went back and watched the state tournament my redshirt year and watched my brother wrestle and it was so weird because I could sit in the stands and watch it, but I was still on a really clean diet, so I wonder what it’s going to be like when I can drink pop again and eat bad food. It’s going to be so relaxing to watch some awesome wrestling when you’re drinking a Coke and eating some nachos.

If you could go back and re-wrestle any match, which would it be and why?

I would say probably my freshman year against Alex Dieringer in the semifinals of the national tournament. He was definitely better than me that day and he beat me fair and square, but I didn’t really open up and he rode me really bad, so he shrunk the match on me. I feel like if I could just go back and really freak out and go crazy to get out on bottom, I feel like I could’ve done better in the match. I probably wouldn’t have been able to beat him. He was better than me that day and it showed, but that’s definitely one match I would like to go back to and re-wrestle.

What’s the most interesting about you that has nothing to do with wrestling?

I’m married and I have a daughter and I’m going to have another little girl on Nov. 25, so coming up here pretty soon. I’m about to be a husband and father of two as a junior in college. That doesn’t happen to a lot of people.

What’s your greatest fear?

Being buried alive. If it’s not wrestling-related, being buried alive is probably one of my greatest fears. That or being stuck out in the middle of the ocean. I saw that movie, ‘Unbroken’ and that was insane. Of course, being tortured and beat up and that stuff was way beyond that, but being stuck in the middle of the ocean and slowly dying of thirst — because I feel a lot of wrestlers know what it’s like to not have water in you and it sucks — I couldn’t imagine literally dying of thirst while having a bunch of water all around you that you can’t drink. That would be horrible. That’s a big fear.

We’re trying something different with the last part of the series. We’re giving every wrestler the opportunity to ask a question to the next guy we interview. Northern Iowa’s Dylan Peters asks: If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would you choose?

I would probably go with a ribeye steak. I love steak and I feel like it doesn’t get old and it’s still pretty good for you. I wouldn’t pick pizza because it would be awesome for like two weeks and then I would feel completely disgusted with myself. I think I’d have to go with steak.

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