Hometown: Penns Grove, N.J.
Major: Sport industry
Question: Let’s start by talking about your weight; better yours than mine. Do you feel good about the plan for you to wrestle at 184 pounds this year?
Answer: The plan coming into the season was to get as big as I can. So I hit the weights hard and gained a good amount of weight so I can be a little bit bigger.
Q: As a freshman in 2015-16, you wrestled at 174 and ended up winning an NCAA title; were you a “big” 174?
A: Yes, I was one of the bigger 174 guys. I had cut down from 196-ish and making 174 was extremely hard, but as the season went on, my body got used to it, and I was able to be healthy and compete without worrying about making weight. Being on a meal plan helped a lot.
Q: When and why did you switch to 184 last year?
A: I made the move right before season started. Bo Jordan and I talked about how making 165 would be hard for him, so I agreed to move up. I knew I would be wrestling at 184 in following years.
Q: Ten pounds maybe doesn’t seem like a huge difference, but can you explain how much stronger some 184-pounders are than 174-pounders?
A: Yeah, 184 is a different ballgame. These dudes are muscle heads. I wasn’t used to everyone being so strong, and that told me to get stronger than them if I wanted to compete. That 10-pound difference was mainly strength!
Q: Were you able to use your speed as an advantage at 184?
A: Yeah, but speed can take you only so far, especially when in the third period. You need the horsepower and strength to finish matches. Having both speed and power is deadly.
Q: What has your training and nutrition regimen been like since last March?
A: All summer, I lifted four days a week and ate a lot. It didn’t take long to get past 200 pounds. That was the summer goal, to be at 200-plus pounds and still be solid and not fat-looking.
Q: I’m sure you don’t get to eat anything you like, but do you get to eat more now that you’re competing at a higher weight?
A: No. Making 184 is not as tough as making 174, but it’s not easy. I still have to be disciplined in what I eat, but every now and then, I do have cheat meals, whether it’s Five Guys or ice cream.
Q: Who are your main training partners at practice?
A: Kollin Moore, Bo Jordan, Kyle Snyder, Kevin Snyder, Vic Avery, Kaleb Romero, Chase Singletary, Ethan Smith, Zach Steiner, Te’Shan Campbell. I rotate with those guys.
Q: How close to “full go” do you guys go in practice? Do these sessions result in real bruises, or the occasional loss of blood?
A: We go full, life or death. Coach (Tom) Ryan calls it fighting, and we don’t normally bleed, but it gets super-intense, and every now and then, guys will be yelling at each other, and someone will have to step in. But at the end of the day, we love each other.
Q: How aggressive are you on the mat? Do you like to dictate the action, or do you find an advantage in waiting to see what your opponent is doing?
A: I like to shoot as much as possible. I don’t like boring matches, and I like to hit cool moves when I can. I don’t care what my opponent does.
Q: What is coach Ryan’s best quality, do you think?
A: His passion for what he does is one of his many great qualities! I love Tom Ryan. He’s my dude! He takes great care of me.
Q: And what’s a secret about coach Ryan that you can reveal?
A: He’s an open book. Everybody knows what they need to know.
Q: I saw a tweet in which you thanked coach Ryan for installing a basketball rim and backboard at the practice facility. Are you a player?
A: Ball. Is. Life.
Q: Do you get to play much basketball these days, or is that frowned upon by coaches who want to avoid sprained ankles and such?
A: We play about two hours of basketball every day, and coaches play with us! We are aware of our surroundings and play safe.
Q: I suspect I know the answer, but in basketball, are you more of a physical or finesse player?
A: MyMar the Finesse Kid! All day, every day. But I like to shoot. If I was compare myself to a basketball player in the NBA, I’d be James Harden. I can drive when I need to, but I can shoot from wherever.
Q: Speaking of James Harden, you’re a Houston Rockets fan? How did that happen?
A: I’ve always been a huge James Harden fan. I love his personality and that he can score when he wants, and he makes it look easy. I love playing as him in NBA 2K, as well. He’s a beast, so that resulted in me liking the Rockets.
Q: Where you grew up in New Jersey, Penns Grove, is just across the river from Delaware; do you identify yourself as a Jersey kid?
A: Yes, 100 percent. Jersey boy ’til I die.
Q: We talked about basketball, but what about other sports? Did you play football growing up?
A: I played football and baseball. I stopped playing football in my sophomore year of high school and focused on wrestling because that’s when I fell in love with the sport.
Q: If you were called onto the field for the Ohio State-Michigan game, what position would you play and what would you want to accomplish?
A: I would play slot receiver on offense and cornerback on defense. Quarterbacks would be afraid to throw the ball to my side. I would have my own island — “MyMar Island,” similar to “Revis Island.”