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March 21, 2014

Devin Carter


(Virginia Tech) (21-0)

Q.  How would you describe your story?
DEVIN CARTER:  I mean, when I found out I had to get surgery, told me it was going to be only six to nine months, so I really had no hope until about three weeks before I started actually being able to do stuff without feeling a lot of pain.  My range of motion was kind of getting there and I kept working hard.  And when I found out I had a chance, it was awesome.  That's when I just hit training hard and pretty much did two and three days the rest of the way.

Q.  Did you feel like you were running into any issues because of the injury?  Or I mean, your matches hasn't shown that you've been hurt at all.
DEVIN CARTER:  Well, I can definitely feel it when I'm out there.  Not pain‑wise.  I don't feel it at all pain‑wise or range of motion‑wise, but my offense is lagging a little bit more than I want it to.  But other than that, there's not a big difference.

Q.  What were your hopes going into this tournament, honest hopes?
DEVIN CARTER:  I wanted to get in the Finals and win it.

Q.  Why would you have thought that, especially coming off the injuries and that type of thing, having a guy like Port, for example, who is the No. 1 seed, who had been a finalist?
DEVIN CARTER:  When you look at it, the past is the past.  Once I got cleared, once I wrestled a couple of matches, once I wrestled ATCs, once I proved to myself I could go 100percent and get back to my old self, it wasn't really changing my goals at all.

Q.  Devin, tell us what your redshirt meant.  You won the Schultz Tournament, you won overseas, you spent a year not doing as much folkstyle, and you come back, here you're an NCAA finalist.
DEVIN CARTER:  My redshirt was good for two reasons.  One, obviously got a little more offense.  I developed, trained with some other guys, some bigger guys, some international guys, so to get a different feel.  Freestyle is a different technique than folkstyle.
And, second, it made me a lot hungrier, missing a year.  Anybody that knows me, missing a year was rough on me.  Even though I wasn't hurt or anything, I was still training, but watching our guys succeed and going through all the championships and stuff like that made me come back and want it even more.

Q.  Devin, were you a forgotten man?  Even like your opponents, maybe they didn't scout you as much.  Like, for example, you think Stieber's team has focused on you at all?
DEVIN CARTER:  Well, honestly, top guys don't really, you know, scout each other that much.  When you're good, you're good sometimes and you don't really have to change your style for other people.
You gotta know one or two things, if somebody's got a headlock or something like that, cradle.  And other than that, I don't think scouting has much to do with that at the higher level.

Q.  Do you have any history with Henderson, the guy you just wrestled?  And also you jumped out to a really nice start and got yourself back points and put yourself in a strong position right off the bat.  Just some thoughts about that?
DEVIN CARTER:  Well, yeah, I've had a history with Henderson, wrestled him last year.  Every open tournament I went to, three different tournaments, I wrestled him.  And the score is kind of similar, beat him by six or seven.
And, I mean, I knew his technique, I knew I could beat him on my feet.  And going out there, getting the extra back points is even a bigger cushion for me.

Q.  What does it mean to be the first finalist in Virginia Tech in wrestling program history?
DEVIN CARTER:  It's awesome.  Awesome that I can leave a mark at Virginia Tech more than I have, and hope it's not the last.

Q.  What's the difference between this morning where you struggled a little bit and then you seemed to open up and be a little looser tonight.  What was the difference between the two sessions today?
DEVIN CARTER:  Kind of hard to say.  Coming off the scale might have been a thing.  But I don't know.  I just‑‑ I guess I felt more comfortable once I started getting closer to my goals, maybe I saw the light, I don't know really.  But either way I'm happy it happened.

Q.  You only had that half a year to really do this.  How much was the weight tough for you?
DEVIN CARTER:  I kept my weight close.  When I was injured and on crutches and stuff, I didn't gain that much weight because I wasn't working out and getting hungry.  It wasn't like burn a lot of calories.  So my weight didn't get that high.  So I could get right back on the horse as soon as I found out, which is good.

Q.  Your thoughts about the Finals and your opponent?
DEVIN CARTER:  Just go out and wrestle hard.  We both know what each other does.  We've wrestled a couple times.  He's gotten the better of me both times.  I'm going to stay on my toes and just wrestle my butt off.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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