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March 21, 2014

Nick Heflin


(Ohio State) (31-1)

THE MODERATOR:  Nick Heflin.

Q.  We talked to you about this before, making the jump, that type of thing.  I want to take you back to last year's tournament, how you ended and that type of thing.  You seemed obviously upset the way it ended that type of thing.  Talk about this path since then.
NICK HEFLIN:  It was a struggle at first.  Earlier in the year, I had a pretty bad loss and just struggled with all things.  I was going 1‑0, 2‑1 with opponents.  Something just clicked between the coaching staff, wrestling.  Something just clicked.
And I've been able to overcome that and find my offense and that's helped me as a wrestler overall, so...

Q.  Tight semifinal with a Big Ten opponent.  What was the difference?  Somebody had to win that match and you're the one that made it happen?
NICK HEFLIN:  You know what, I could sit here and tell you it was fight, it was heart, I'd be lying to you because I guarantee if you put that kid up here he would say I wanted it just as bad, fought just as hard.  I'm just fortunate I came out on top, and thank Christ for this opportunity to be there.

Q.  Why did you also go up two weights instead of one this year?
NICK HEFLIN:  A big reason is I've had a couple of losses to Ruth and they weren't close.  And I thought my best chance at winning is at 97.  So I thought I'm strong enough, I'm disciplined enough.  I can gain the weight.  I can get strong.  And I can make it.

Q.  But your year didn't go according to plan exactly.  I mean, there were parts of the year you weren't competing and things like that.  Why are you doing so well right now?  Things obviously came together the last few weeks, and I mean did you ever have any doubts that you could do this?
NICK HEFLIN:  Oh, absolutely.  Absolutely.  It's human to doubt.  You know what I mean?  I listen‑‑ big thing I do I listen to motivational videos.
As silly as that sounds, I listen to them before I compete.  And it's to get yourself in the right mindset because those doubts are, it's human to say, well, what if this happens, what if I get taken down can I come back?

Q.  Who are some of those motivational speakers?
NICK HEFLIN:  It's online.  I Google motivational speeches for athletes.  One of my favorites is fear of failure.  So...

Q.  How much do you know about J'Den Cox?
NICK HEFLIN:  I've seen some tapes on him.  It's always wise to familiarize yourself with your opponent.  But at the end of the day it's him stepping on the mat saying I want to kick your butt and me stepping on the mat saying I want to kick your butt.

Q.  You've got some great wrestlers walking around Columbus, a regional training center around there and you've also got a guy on your team that's going for a third NCAA title.  What's it like to have some of those people in your head and in the room with you and helping push you?  I just saw about three or four of them wrestling at the World Cup a few days ago.  People that are part of the Ohio State family.  How has that helped you to get where you're going to be here and have a chance to walk out as national champ?
NICK HEFLIN:  It's one of the reasons I am here.  I chose‑‑ originally, I originally was planning to go to Missouri until I really familiarized myself with Ohio State's RTC, and that's one of the main reasons and the coaching staff that I chose Ohio State because I thought my best chance at winning a national title would be at Ohio State.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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