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March 17, 2017

Bo Jordan

Mark Hall

St. Louis, Missouri

BO JORDAN: Yeah, I don't really know what to say. It was a lot of fun. He got into my legs a lot, had a lot of takedowns, so I was trying to listen to my corner. They told me to kept fighting and keep wrestling hard, so I did, and thankfully came out on top. It was a lot of fun.

Q. Considering the Big Tens and now the last two matches here, are you now the comeback kid for Ohio State?
BO JORDAN: I hope not. That's not a good -- I don't think that's a really good thing. Exciting for the fans, but I'd rather be out in front in the match, obviously. But yeah, I've won a lot of matches where I came from behind, so it's a lot of fun.

Q. What was going through your mind when you were down?
BO JORDAN: Dang, this guy is good. That's what I was thinking. First thing was, he almost twice took me down, I was like, dang, this guy is good. But I kept wrestling, and for whatever reason, I was able to get to my leg attacks and come out on top of the match.

Q. You were not real happy with how you wrestled, your coach wasn't real happy with how you wrestled. In the quarterfinals, he wanted you to be much more aggressive. Were you, and could you describe what you did to make sure that you didn't get passive?
BO JORDAN: Yeah, I just tried to be just going after the guy constantly. A lot of times the guy takes me down, I go into careful mode, and that kind of makes me want to stand in the middle of the mat, not do anything, and kind of wait for the guy to come to me, and I get super tired that way. I got super tired today, too, but at least I was able to put him through some stress, too.

Yeah, I just told myself -- I tell myself this every time, so for whatever reason it just worked this time, but told myself to go out and give a lot of effort, no matter what happens and keep wrestling, and my coaches were awesome. They kept saying it the whole match. They never were like freaking out, they were just like, keep wrestling, keep on him, and I was lucky enough to come out on top.

Q. Tom Ryan says a lot of heart of champion type stuff. When does that go from just a cliché to something that you and your teammates really start believing in?
BO JORDAN: Heart of a champion? Is that what you said?

Q. Yeah.
BO JORDAN: Yeah, I don't know. Like I said, they just preach giving our best effort every time, and no matter win or lose, just get after it. You know, that's what I try to stick to. But I`m always -- the negative thoughts creep in of, oh, heart of a champion, like, I did it, but for every time you say that, it's like, I think the match would still go the same way no matter what.

I just try to put my best effort out there and see what happens, and if I win, I win; if I lose, I lose. I'm disappointed, but that's life. You know, you win some, you lose some, so I just try to give my best effort on the mat, and I wasn't able to do that in the quarters, so I was happy to at least keep fighting and battling through the whole match this one.

Q. Could you explain that situation where he went kind of for a throw and you got all those points and turned this thing around? Obviously didn't work out for him, but what were your thoughts in that exchange, and how was it that you got what you needed out of it?
BO JORDAN: Honestly, I don't know. I just knew he went for -- scouted him a couple times, I knew he was going to go mixer when I came to my feet, so I was kind of expecting it. But yeah, for whatever reason, I just landed on top, which was nice, and I was able to get back points out of it. Again, I just tried to keep giving my best effort, and it worked out this time.

Q. To go have a chance for a National Championship, what does that mean to you?
BO JORDAN: It means a lot, you know. As much as we talked about effort and doing the right thing, it's also nice to win them, too. It's nice to be in the finals this year, just not to go in the morning and then wrestle back. So it'll be exciting. Got Mark Hall. He's really good. He was all over my legs last time, too. I'm sure he was working to get better, and I've been, too, so it'll be really fun to compete against him tomorrow and get after it, so I'm sure he's looking forward to it, as well.

MARK HALL: I'm just happy to be here. This is an awesome tournament. I remember watching it when I was a kid. Heck, my junior year in high school, two years ago, I was here watching the big rounds. Penn State is doing really well. We're having a lot of fun. We're five for five in the finals, so I think that's the most important thing to us.

Q. Do you think your styles were pretty similar and you sort of had to wait for spots to attack in that match?
MARK HALL: I don't know if you'd call it similar styles. I think it was more we're just familiar with each other. We've been on world teams together. We've wrestled since we were just kids, and so I think it was a familiarity there. I think he's one of the better guys at putting up points, and the tournament shows I'm right up there, as well, putting up points. I think you've got two guys that know each other and it's just familiar. I wouldn't say we're -- we're not attacking, we're not offensive, but at the same time, you don't want to make mistakes, and so that's what happened.

Q. Mark, you guys were on the same world teams in quite different weight classes. From television, he looked a heck of a lot bigger than you. Talk about how that size difference didn't really ultimately matter when it came to when you needed the score.
MARK HALL: Yeah, he's an 86, 84 kilo on junior world team, I was 74 kilo, and yeah, it just happened that he came down. Anyways, people were saying, you're too small, you're giving up a lot of size, but at the end of the day, you just wrestle seven minutes, and what comes out of that seven minutes has nothing to do with the size. It's not about the size of the dog in the fight, it's about the size of the fight in the dog, and I think that's the best way I can put it. You just wrestle. That's the best way I can describe it.

Q. Two questions: Did you realize that he had pulled your headgear or did you not know that until they actually called time out, and talk about your mindset since the Big Ten considering you lost that final.
MARK HALL: I didn't -- I mean, I was just wrestling. He took me down, I got away. I was ready to be down 3-2, 18 seconds left, 19 seconds left. I was ready for that. But when he had taken me down, my headgear was a little bit jostled, and it just happened that he grabbed it, he put time back on the clock, and we wrestled through it.

I know for a fact it wasn't on purpose. He didn't -- he wasn't going to cheat to get a takedown by any means. We were just wrestling. That's part of the sport. It happens. I wished it could happen another way, knowing that I know Zahid very well. But at the same time, like I said before, you just wrestle and you wrestle through all those positions.

Q. Talk about your mindset after the Big Ten.
MARK HALL: Yep, that was rough for me, losing that match. But at the same time, it was probably the best thing that could have happened to me. It's not like I was holding an undefeated record going in. I wasn't having any pressure on me, you know. You get on a big stage like that, that's where I compete my best, and that match, it definitely did not show. I've looked at my Big Ten second place medal every day, and yeah, I'm just excited to be a part of the special thing Penn State has got going on right now.

Q. For your senior year, a lot of people were asking are you going to the OTCs, win six titles, team and individuals, big thing for you. When you were getting recruited you said taking all your visits was a big thing for you. You saw Bo get a pin. Putting five guys in the finals, do you feel like you made the right decision, and have you ever been on a team like this that's this good?
MARK HALL: Yeah, I made the right decision. I'm really happy with where I am, with where our team is at, and I think -- I don't know. This tournament could have played out a lot of ways. We were down a 125 pounder off the get-go, and that's unfortunate that Nick couldn't wrestle. I know in his heart of hearts, he was ready to scrap. And so you get down like that, we're down a guy right away, and so you just wrestle through those things. Coach Cael is big on just having fun, having fun, and the rest will take care of itself. All we have to do is wrestle seven minutes. We don't dictate what the ref says. We don't dictate the things going on around us. The only thing we can control is how we're going to compete, and at the end of the day, that's what got us five in the finals. And I think that's a big part of what makes Penn State special, and that's why I'm more than satisfied with making my decision to go to Penn State and be a Nittany Lion for the rest of my life.

Q. About the weight, the question whether you were big enough. Was it always the plan to go 174, or did they decide later and they were going to wait to see what you did at that weight class before they took the redshirt off? Explain that.
MARK HALL: I just certified for 174. That was assuming I was going to be a redshirt season. I wasn't going to cut any weight, and I had no plans to, just redshirting and wrestling and having fun. That was the most important thing.

When the time came around and after Sudden Scuffle, I just wanted to wrestle. I got the itch, I wasn't going to be wrestling for a while if I hadn't, maybe until the US Open, and yeah, I just -- I wasn't worried about my weight, you know.

Q. Had you thought you were going to wrestle this year, would you have gone down to 165?
MARK HALL: No, I think we're strong regardless. I think we win the team title regardless. I think we wrestle smart, we do the things we're doing right now regardless.

I'm a small 174 pounder. I'd be a big 165. I know when I'm making 74 kilos, it's quite the cut. You don't want to be doing that for a whole season. It gets hard. 174 is a good weight for me, and my mom is telling me to go down next year, but now I have reason to tell her 174 is mine and I'm going to stay here. This is the best part about being -- wrestling at this level, just having fun and taking it that route.

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