This is the 40th 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.
North Carolina State 141-pounder Kevin Jack enters his senior season with the Wolfpack as a two-time All-American with a 92-16 career record after placing third at the NCAA Championships last season.
Let’s say wrestling has one governing body and you’re the president, what would you want to change?
I think to get everyone prepared for college, I would probably try to change so all the rules in elementary and high school are all the same as college, so when kids come up they don’t have as big of difference that they’ve got to figure out.
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 definitely try not to cut my weight too hard the day before, the day of. I try to make sure I diet throughout the whole week so I feel good that day and only need to cut a pound or two that day, that morning.
After weigh-ins, I usually throw in some Pedialyte, Gatorade, water, and from there I’ll start with something slow to eat. I usually just do a bagel with cream cheese and a couple protein bars. I try not to stuff myself too much so I can still feel good. I don’t want to cramp up during my matches.
Then warm-up music, it’s usually just different types of rap I’ll throw on and see what I like and go from there. I don’t really have too much of a ritual. I just warm up a little bit, listen to music, talk to my coaches a little bit and listen to what they have to say and go from there.
What’s the last thing you tell yourself before you set your foot on the line?
Right before I wrestle I tell myself I’m the best in the country before every match.
What’s one thing your coach yells that you can hear every time?
Pat (Popolizio) yells “cradle” probably 20 times every match.
What’s the strangest thing that’s ever gone through your mind during a match?
I don’t know if there’s ever been anything too crazy, but there are definitely sometimes during matches where I’ll get my mind on something else and I’ll think about that for a good 30 seconds and remember that, “Oh crap, I’ve got to wrestle.”
If you could go back and re-wrestle any match, which would it be and why?
I’ll probably say my freshman year when I wrestled (Devin) Carter just because I was kind of a nobody and I just went out and wrestled and pretty much shocked everyone in the stadium. That was one of my most memorable matches since I’ve been in college.
Who’s one guy you’ve wrestled in college that you enjoy scrapping against and why?
I really like wrestling (Dean) Heil and Bryce (Meredith). They’re the top two guys in the weight class with me. They’re some of the best competitors I’ve wrestled. Being able to go back and forth with them has definitely been a fun time.
What’s the most interesting about you that has nothing to do with wrestling?
I really battle OCD. I probably clean my room and car about 30 times a week and make sure everything’s spotless.
If you could go back in time and take on anybody, who would you want to wrestle and why?
I would like to wrestle Logan Stieber again when he was in college. I wrestled him one time my freshman year. I would definitely like to wrestle him again and see what the outcome would be with where I am now.
What’s your greatest fear?
Probably spiders or clowns. I don’t like spiders and clowns much.