Last week, Warsaw state champion and four-time state placer Burke Paddock went to Iowa City. Before leaving the University of Iowa campus, Paddock informed head coach Tom Brands and his staff that he will be joining the Hawkeyes in the fall of 2014. New York Wrestling News spoke to Paddock about his decision and what else the future holds.
New York Wrestling News (NYWN): What were the main reasons you chose Iowa?
Burke Paddock (BP): I’ve always loved the way the Iowa team wrestles. I always liked watching the Hawkeyes because the style there matches my style. When I visited, I loved the guys, the coaches, the facilities – everything. I watched a practice and everything just felt right.
NYWN: You had planned on making more unofficial visits this summer. What made you commit this week?
BP: I knew I had to go with my gut. My brothers [Paul and Ian] gave me the same advice. Paul (Edinboro) told me to take all my visits if I wanted to, but that if something felt right, I should just do it. Edinboro was one of the first places he visited and he said he knew it was what he wanted. Ian (Ohio State) said the same thing. Instead of messing around with other schools, I realized I just wanted to commit.
NYWN: What other schools were you considering?
BP: I saw a few other campuses. I went to Binghamton, I saw Ohio State with my brother. I went out to Clarion with my coach. I liked all of them, but I didn’t feel they were 100% right like Iowa was. Now I definitely feel some pressure is off. I don’t have to worry about all the phone calls. It was really hard telling Coach [Troy] Letters [of Clarion] and Coach [Jasen] Borshoff [of Binghamton]. I really liked them both a lot.
NYWN: What stood out to you on your visit?
BP: Carver Hawkeye Arena was one of the first places I went with Coach [Ryan] Morningstar. Walking down those stairs, onto the floor – it was just awesome. I can’t wait to wrestle Coach Morningstar and guys like Mike Evans. There are so many great wrestlers there.
NYWN: What weight do you plan to wrestle at Iowa?
Either 165 or 174. I have a whole year to go in high school and then a redshirt year, so we’ll see how big I am then.
NYWN: You’re finally home - talk about the last few weeks prior to your visit to Iowa.
BP: I thought I wrestled pretty well at the Junior World Team Trials, except for my first match. I wrestled back for third, but after watching the finals, I’m pretty sure I could have been there.
At the Junior Duals in Greco, I wrestled more All-American kids than not, and didn’t have too many close matches. In Freestyle, I was undefeated going into the last match. The last wrestler [Ryan Blees of North Dakota] was tough, I beat him twice already at the tournament. It was my 19th match of the week and I guess I was a little out of gas.
[Paddock had four techs and two pins in Greco while going 7-0; he had six techs and a pin while going 8-1 in Freestyle].
NYWN: What’s next for you?
BP: I’m leaving pretty soon for Fargo. I definitely want to bring back the gold for New York this year. I’m confident I can do it; now it’s time to just get it done. I’m focused on winning Greco first.
After that, I’ll keep working out back home and I’ll play football in the fall.
NYWN: You pinned your way through the state tournament last year at 160. What are your goals for this year?
BP: I want to get that state title again and help my brother [Aaron] get to states. I’ll probably wrestle 170.
NYWN: Anything else?
I want to thank my family and especially my dad for being on the road with me for the last three weeks, driving me around to all these places. I’m really excited to be a Hawkeye.