Interview by Curt Heinrichs
Curt Heinrichs 1) Starting at the beginning, how did you get into wrestling?
Nick Heflin - When I was younger I was extremely hyper and my poor mom could not take me. She heard from another mother that wrestling would tire out her son , thus my wrestling career began.
CH 2) You were a 2 time finalist and state champion at Massillon Perry. How did wrestling in DI in Ohio prepare you for wrestling in the Big Ten?
NH- I can’t say that I would have the success I have had if it were not for a little high school by the name of Massillon-Perry. Granted many people in Perry had put a lot of work into me but the two that stand out the most is David Riggs and Brent McBurney. If not for them and the others that made a impact in my life, I would not be prepared for the wars the Big Ten has to offer.
CH 3) What were the biggest adjustments you had to make when coming to college?
NH- I had to really open my toolbox if you will. One shot or one move wins are just non existent. It’s a combination of moves, or a more popular term is chain wrestling.
CH 4) Being from Massillon, you’re in close proximity to a number of outstanding college programs. What made you choose Ohio State over schools like Kent State, Edinboro, and Pitt?
NH- All of them are great schools, but looking at the coaching staff and the availability of the RTC (Regional Training Center, located in Columbus, focusing on training wrestlers for international competition) athletes Ohio State was by far the better choice even though in the beginning they offered the least for signing.
CH 5) This year at the NCAA tournament, the 174 lb weight class was stacked with talent from the Big Ten. 6 of the 8 All-Americans were from the Big Ten. Did you feel confident heading into the NCAA tournament after facing that kind of talent all year long?
NH- Extremely! To be truthful, I believed with all my heart I was the future 174 national champion. However, it played out that I had lost a tough match and you cannot give up, even in sorrow, you push on to still place the best you can.
CH 6) You were able to beat Mike Evans of Iowa in the 5th place match with a 1st period fall. How sweet was it to get a bit of revenge against Evans, who beat you late in the match in the dual against Iowa?
NH- It was really sweet, I had just come back from a really rough hand injury and had little conditioning (when Heflin lost to Evans in the dual on January 4th). To peak at the right time and come in and wrestle a good tourney finishing with a pin was phenomenal way to end the 174 weight class.
CH 7) You’re one of those guys that always seem to be in tight matches throughout the season. Does the coaching staff get on you a bit to score more points to help the team, or do they just accept that as your style?
NH-They are always on me to expand and try to score more team points. It is hard but I am trying to expand my offense and pinning combinations. I feel as long as I win I am doing my job, anything else is bonus.
CH 8) While some guys try to keep their weight down in the offseason, you recently mentioned on Twitter that you’re thinking about moving up in weight. What made you start thinking about the change in weight? Is this a decision that Coach Ryan discussed with you, or is that a case of you understanding your body and the coaching staff trusts your judgment?
NH- I weighed 196 last summer and made a monstrous cut to 174 to try to win a title. That cut almost broke me. Week in week out I would cut from 188 or so and I did not have any fat, it was mostly water and it made it miserable. I think its best to try and get massive this summer and go 197 and chase another title. The coaching staff believes in my strength but they have made it clear I need to have size. Otherwise, I will be looking at a cut to 184
CH 9) The Buckeyes will only be losing 2 starters from their lineup in Nikko Triggas and CJ Magrum. How do you think you’ll fare in the Big Ten next year with a lineup full of returning All-Americans?
NH- I will greatly miss Nikko Triggas and CJ Magrum; they cannot be replaced as wrestlers or as men. I think we will fare well. I am greatly excited for this coming year. It is my last year as a wrestler for the Buckeyes and I expect a team title chase. I believe with (2012 All-American Cam) Tessarri back we will be a threat for a title. I am also excited to grow into this weight class.
Follow Nick on Twitter @TheDarkhorse197