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March 17, 2017

Brett Pfarr

J'Den Cox

St. Louis, Missouri

BRETT PFARR: Yeah, I mean, this is a very surreal moment. This is one of my biggest goals since I came to University of Minnesota to be a National Champion. This obviously was a step in the right direction. Got one more big match tomorrow, but regardless of what happens, I know I'm going to hang my hat knowing I did everything I could with my time here at the University of Minnesota.

Q. How much have you looked back on that last match from the Scuffle last time you faced J'den?
BRETT PFARR: You know, I was always training this whole season to make myself a better wrestler, and yeah, the elephant in the room has always been J`den Cox this year, but really it`s been about me progressing as a wrestler and a person, making myself as good and well-rounded as possible. So no matter who I face, whether it be J`den or a guy like Kollin Moore who came out of the woodwork, you've got to be ready for all of them. It was just that kind of mentality this whole season.

Q. This could have been a year of turmoil for Minnesota considering all the changes. Could you talk about how you guys ended up with two finalists, talk about what your current coaches have done and looking back at Jay Robinson.
BRETT PFARR: Jay Rob is one of my favorite people in this world. I consider him -- he was a great coach, but better yet, he was a great friend of mine. He's still a friend of mine. I see him quite a bit. I cannot thank him enough for what he did for this program. Those 30 years he did a lot of great stuff. Brandon Eggum, Luke Becker, Dustin Schlatter, and Zach Sanders, they filled that void of Jay, and they're doing a great job, and we're always going that right direction, that same Minnesota mentality and lifestyle that we've had, it`s just going forward.

Q. Is Jay here?
BRETT PFARR: I do not know actually. I haven't reached out to him in the past week, but if he's not here in person, I know he's definitely here in spirit.

Q. This match, a lot of points. You guys are big guys, you're moving, you're shooting. Talk about how it ended up that you were able to get it when you needed it.
BRETT PFARR: You know, obviously after my last match, I had a little interview, and I just said -- when they asked me what you guys should expect tonight, and I just told you it's going to be a high scoring match. Kollin and I, we`re almost cloned carbon copies of each other. It's kind of scary, actually. Great offense and so do I and we both scramble really well, so I knew that was going to be it. Looking back on my Big Ten, I was final relying too much on my scrambling and putting myself in bad positions, and this time it was all about squaring my hips, staying strong, and taking the points when they`re there and not pushing the envelope too far.

J`DEN COX: Well, I'm very grateful to be in the position I am right now. I'm excited for what's to come. I'm excited for tomorrow. And I look forward to wrestling another great match. So yeah. That's all for me.

Q. J`den, Mizzou is 7-0 on the evening. Could you ever have imagined dominating the evening? Did you think you could do 7-0?
J`DEN COX: Yeah, we believed we could do whatever we put our minds to, and I think if you guys had been watching Mizzou this whole tournament you'd see these guys have come to scrap. Jaydin being in a very close match with Dean Heil, and then he goes on to major -- you know, McKenna was like the No. 2 ranked guy at the weight, and then wrestling the guy from Princeton who was ranked No. 3 for most of the year.

You know, and then you've got Daniel, who loses a tough one in the quarters and comes back in a big way and starts getting majors. Lavion pushing his way to the finals, Joey wrestling and pushing his way to the finals. Guys came out to wrestle hard this tournament, every one of my teammates. And I imagine them being able to do as well as we wanted to, and we're doing it, and we're keeping that flame and that fire going.

Q. Been in the finals a couple times before, but this is the first time you've had teammates in the finals with you. Are the emotions any different having a couple teammates in the finals with you?
J`DEN COX: For me, with my emotions, I think it was a lot easier to actually do what I needed to do because it almost felt like, oh, don't give me cheesy, but it's like, we're all in this together, let's do it, kind of like that High School Musical deal. Let's do it. So it was a lot easier for me. I felt at ease, and I felt confident, and I was so happy for my teammates. Like the happiness I felt for my teammates winning really drove me just to be calm for my match as it was awesome just to watch that because I know how hard these guys work. I see the drive and the passion they have and the practice day after day, how they fall and then having to get back up and falling again and having to get back up, and finally seeing it pay off, and getting where they need to go. It just made it so much easier within myself, no nerves or nothing, just go out there do your thing and wrestle and you'll join your brothers and get three to the finals. And now we're making history at Mizzou, three finalists.

Q. Before the tournament in the press conference the day before, you kind of gave a little defense when you said you allow your emotions to soak in about the tournament and everything. I know you were kind of upset after the scuffle match with Pfarr. That was several months ago, but talk about facing him in the finals tomorrow night?
J`DEN COX: I think I had a misunderstanding wherever I wrestled my matches in the beginning of the year, mainly just -- I took things wrong. I hadn't realized the scenario I was in. I had been wrestling for a really long time, and I hadn't given myself time to rest. I hadn't given myself time to just kind of sit back, relax and take a chill pill. You know, and now I've had that, and I've been wrestling at an outstanding pace, at an outstanding level against everybody and anyone who comes in my way.

Going into tomorrow, it's the same thing, I'm just going to go out there with a passion and drive to go after my dream and to make Mizzou history and to just love what I do. Nothing changes. The only difference is there's one mat, and you're the only two out there. Other than that, I'm just going to go have fun and just wrestle. And it's been working for me.

Q. Obviously, you've heard your mother saying before, for many of us it's the first time. Talk about what she did almost to set the tone for your group tonight.
J`DEN COX: I think, one, everybody was -- they were watching it, and you know, it's just -- I think it's just awesome to have more -- I won't call my mother a fan, but for everybody else, she's just another fan. For me, she's my mother. But the guys get to see that people are actually here for us. We're in St. Louis. It's our hometown. Yeah, we've got the Ohio States, we've got the Penn States, and a lot of other states here and universities and people are here to cheer them on, but this is St. Louis. This is St. Louis, Missouri. This is some of our guys' hometown, so let's do what we do and just sing the National Anthem and get hyped up. And the National Anthem that we've heard plenty of times, but each time you hear it later on in the season that anthem gains a lot more meaning and a lot more drive behind it, so that was just awesome.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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