March 18, 2022
Detroit, Michigan, USA
THE MODERATOR: We move on to 197-pound waste class, Max Dean has advanced to the NCAA Finals.
Q. This will be the second time you will be in the finals of the NCAA Tournament. What's the difference between last time and this time?
MAX DEAN: A lot. My whole life has changed but pretty much everything. Experience, the people I have behind me. So those would be the two biggest things.
Q. Max, can you take us back to the journey, what took you to State College, I'm sure you could having someplace else. Why there?
MAX DEAN: It was time for me to leave where I was because the place was no longer consistent with my values. I wanted to explore my options, always had a lot of respect for Cael Sanderson and the way he runs his program. I wanted to go to go to a place where they were going to win NCAA Titles, so excited to have that opportunity with them tomorrow.
Q. Seems like you and Suriano provided the missing parts they needed to take them back to the top, is that what is it?
MAX DEAN: I don't know if I would go that far, Penn State has a lot of good guys in their upper weights but I came in and tried to contribute as much as I could on and off the mat, tip my hat to Michael Beard he made me raise my level and I raised his level and now I'm here competing. Stinks for him, I know he has a bright future ahead of him and he's going to do great things.
Q. You are going to wrestle Jacob Warner, he won tonight. You wrestled him in the dual at the University of Iowa, he got up early and you came back late and scored a takedown and grabbed the leg, turned him over, you got a 4-point move. Are you going to have to start earlier tomorrow night or same game plan that you had last time?
MAX DEAN: I'm going to go out and wrestle hard for 7 minutes. That's what I always do and let the chips fall. It's a little different every time.
Q. Do you take anything away from your first match with Warner? Clean slate?
MAX DEAN: If there is anything I need to know my coaches will let me know, usually that's about 30 minutes before the match, outside of that I try to keep my mind empty.
Q. Family has been a big theme in this interview room, your dad reached the finals, your procedure, two-time NCAA Champ. What do they mean in this process?
MAX DEAN: Everything, I grew up wanting to be like my dad and wanting to be like my brother. Be not just hard workers but two of the toughest guys you will ever meet. They've supported me, been there for me, had my back. It's been a tough couple of years and knowing I had those guys and everyone else to lean on. They've got my six. Family is number one, I love them, love the rest of my family and my extended family at Penn State, just super grateful for everyone behind me. It better that I deserve. Luckiest guy in the world.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations. See you tomorrow.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports