Photo courtesy of ODU Athletics
Throughout the off-season, we’re going to be getting to know returning NCAA Division I wrestlers from around the country. We sent questionnaires to every DI program and will be sharing the results throughout the long trek to next fall. You can find them all, including last year’s interviews, whenever you like under the Getting to Know tag.
Name: Larry Early III
School: Old Dominion University
In his first full season wrestling for Old Dominion, 157 lber Larry Early qualified for his first NCAA tournament and picked up a pair of wins before getting eliminated. Overall, Early won 28 bouts during his sophomore season and placed eighth at the Midlands Championships. He was one of four NCAA Qualifiers for the Monarchs in 2017-18, all of whom will return next season. 157 will clear out in the MAC next year, so expect Larry to contend for his first conference crown and move into the upper echelon of the weight class nationally.
What games does your team play on the road? Who is the best at it? Who is the worst?
Honestly, we never really played too many games on the road. But, we dance and dance often. The best would probably be our 125lber and I. The worst; I don’t want to call anyone out haha.
Tell us the funniest road-trip story involving your team this season.
The funniest road-trip story would probably be when one of the opposing teams’ fathers was trash talking our team the entire dual, and they still lost by double digits. That weekend probably brought us a lot closer as a team.
What words or phrases does your coach use way too much? Why is he so obsessed with it?
Coach Dixon, “PULL, PULL, PULL.” He is so obsessed with saying this to our heavyweight during matches.
If there is one question you want the media to quit asking you, what would it be and why?
One question that many people ask me is “Are you still on good terms with Minnesota?”. This is a valid question, but so many people ask it, and I give the same answer every time, Yes, the coaches and team at Minnesota are on great terms with me.
If you could pick any one of your teammates to win a national title next year, who would it be and why?
Micheal Mcgee. He is so ambitious and confident. He truly believes he can beat anyone.
Who is your favorite current college wrestler who is on a different team and why are they your favorite?
My favorite college wrestler would be Kaid Brock. I am a huge fan of the Oklahoma State wrestling style. Kaid specifically has a swagger that is almost unmatched in his matches.
If you could be any size tomorrow, who would you want to wrestle and why?
If I could wrestle anyone, it would be Jason Nolf. I haven’t had the chance to wrestle him just yet, and I have wanted to for a long while. He is so dominant and great at the sport, and I would like my opportunity against him to see how he feels.
If you could wrestle one match, from any season since you started wrestling, over again which one would it be? Why that one? What would you do differently?
If I could wrestle one match over again, it would be against Andrew Crone from Wisconsin. That was my second match at the NCAA tournament, and I was winning and lost in the last 14 seconds. I know that if I wrestled that match again, I would keep my head straight and not let the nerves and crowd get to me.
Who is the one person at your school (staff, professor, coach, trainer, wrestler, anyone) who doesn’t get enough credit for all they do? What do they do that makes them so special?”
There are a lot of people here at ODU that deserve credit for what they do, but I would say, Shane Jones. Shane Jones is our 165lber and is a junior. Shane was, unfortunately, a backup to an NCAA qualifier his freshman year and last year he started for us at the end of the season. Shane works his tail off and will do anything for the team.