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March 19, 2022

Max Dean

Detroit, Michigan, USA

Media Conference

197 pounds

Max Dean (Penn State) d. Jacob Warner (Iowa)

Q. Your relationship with Casey and Cael seems to have some meaning to you. What have they meant to you?

MAX DEAN: A whole lot. Honestly, I was kind of at a place where I was so tired I would have been happy (indiscernible) our season canceled, losing a lot of my purpose, I was kind of done. I needed something. And they gave it to me.

So just thinking of those guys and so many people I know I wouldn't be here tonight without them. It's emotional because they're just such classy guys. They've been so good to me.

Q. What's it mean when a teammate jumps on the podium to help celebrate like Carter did?

MAX DEAN: Everything. Carter pushes me. He's fiery. He brings that intensity. I can't tell you how valuable that is as a teammate to have a brother going to war with you like that, because instead of me being worried about winning or losing, I'm thinking, wow, Carter Starocci did it. I'm going to spend seven minutes figuring out if this guy is a man or not.

So, Carter, Aaron, Nick, Roman, those guys deserve it more than anybody in the world. They deserve it more than me. I'm striving to be like them. They push me a lot. They mean a lot to me.

Q. Max, while you were getting interviewed by ESPN they showed a clip of your brother sitting in the stands crying, he was so happy for you. What does that mean to you?

MAX DEAN: I just remember watching him doing it and I remember being so happy. And thinking, man, I just want to be just like him because he's -- not only is he so tough but he's such a great athlete and he's so fearless. There's been so many times in my career where I didn't live up to that.

But he's been such a role model to me. He loves me so unconditionally. And just to get my hand raised tonight to know that I have that in common with my brother, it just means a lot.

Q. The bout itself, no shots, no shots, all of a sudden you get the feel, you know when to strike. What happened with that takedown?

MAX DEAN: I felt confident that he wasn't going to score off anything except maybe if I took a bad shot. First time I wrestled him, I don't get too much into the game plan; I'm not going to tip my hand too much, but he took a bad shot and I scored on him. That's what happened.

Q. In terms of lifestyle and training, what are the things you think really carried you into this tournament to set you up for success today?

MAX DEAN: I live a clean life. I eat the right things. I sleep. But I wouldn't be able to do any of that without the people around me. I've got the guidance of my coaches and they do it too. They live it. Healthiest lifestyle ever.

My fiance, she doesn't compete athletically but she's eating like for me months on end. She didn't say when the season is over can we mix up dinner because I think we've had the same dinner six nights a week for six months now. So, Hannah, yeah, we can eat some tacos or something now. That's fine.

But just in my family -- and I live, there's something about going out and being a competitor, you know you'll never quit because you do everything right. You stand in the middle of the mat, okay, beat me. I dare you. I did everything right; you'll have to drag me off this mat. I wouldn't be able to do that without the people behind me.

Q. In your heart of hearts could you beat Gabe Dean right now?

MAX DEAN: He might be a little out of shape. I think I'd get him.

But I'll tell you what, it wouldn't be easy. I don't care. That dude could be half dead. He'd be on the mat trying to tear your head off. You have seen him in matches. You should see him in the practice room.

Q. How about your dad?

MAX DEAN: He'd lead me about one minute and then he might fall over and die, so we're not going to do that.

Q. Talking about sleep. After 2019, you told us on Friday night you tossed and turned a lot, a lot of sleep trouble. How did you sleep last night?

MAX DEAN: Like a baby.

Q. To clarify what was your go-to-meal meal six nights a week?

MAX DEAN: Kale salad with homemade dressing. Some sort of meat whether it be steak, salmon or chicken and baked potatoes.

Q. C-a-e-l or k-a-l-e?

MAX DEAN: The pronunciation is similar. Might be a good omen. That's why I got it done tonight.

Q. You talked about your support system all year long everyone around you. What has it meant to come to Penn State college and what's it done for you personally as wrestler?

MAX DEAN: Best choice I've made not just because of wrestling I know everybody would say that. But I remember thinking before the season even started if I don't start, if I don't ever win a match, I'm just lucky to be here because their perspective on life I think that's why they are so successful, is just so it's next level. You talk about what integrity is integrity is having values and sticking to them even when it's uncomfortable. That's the type of guys they are. That's why in situations when it's uncomfortable out here we're competing it's 1-1 your dreams are on the line but you're so focused because you have values you decide how you're going to wrestle stick to it no matter what that's Cael Sanderson and that's case that's everybody else. Going with them adding them to my support system, you'd be silly not to.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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