AMES — It’s looking like around 350 Iowa State fans who will make their way to Cleveland this weekend to cheer on Cyclone freshmen, Jarrett Degen.
“He likes 16,000 people looking at him,” said head coach Kevin Dresser. “That’s what I like about him.”
Degen has been in the practice room with the whole team training for the tournament since the Big 12 Championship, where he placed third at 149.
“We’re all as a team still trying to send the whole team to Cleveland,” said Degen. “That’s what they say the goal is in the future, is to have 10 guys going. We’re going to be practicing like we’re all going to Cleveland.”
Dresser speaks highly of Degen,k his work ethic and passion for the sport.
“He’s the kind of guy who’s been wrestling a long time, wrestled big matches,” said Dresser. “The bigger the stage the better. He likes the limelight and that’s why he is where he is and that’s why he’s improved so much.”
Not only has Degen been working with the whole team but has been able to have some one on one time with the coaches, specifically assistant Derek St. John.
Unlike the other coaches, St. John has been able to understand Degen’s wrestling style being they are both of taller stature. St. John has been able to help Degen find the strengths in his body type when hitting mat.
Degen says something he greatly appreciates is not only St. John but, that the entire staff has worked towards helping him better his style instead of trying to change him all together.
“They all work with my style and that’s something I really like about this coaching staff,” said Degen. “They weren’t changing my style they were working with it to improve it.”
Degen has been working hard to figure out how to work his feet better to help from getting caught and working towards being able to move his hands and feet at the same time.
“I look at him 14 or 15 months ago when he was with us at Virginia Tech, he was the guy who made some mistakes but wrestled really hard,” said Dresser. “He’s going to go out there and throw it out there and continue to get smarter like he has all year.”
Degen will have one last chance to truly show the growth he’s made this year as he will start off his first round against Colton McCrystal of Nebreska at 149.