4.8.16

Grappling For A Repeat

Jordan Burroughs

Jordan Burroughs is no stranger to surpassing expectations. After an incredibly successful junior year at the University of Nebraska, he suffered a devastating knee injury, tearing his LCL and PCL. Jordan was sidelined with surgery and an eight-month recovery period, and, combined with the satisfaction of what he’d already accomplished in his college career, this could have been the end of Jordan Burroughs the wrestler.

Staying Hungry

“I had a little bit of complacency after my junior year of college where I had won a national title and felt as though I had done everything I planned to do in college,” Jordan explains. “But I remained hungry, got my love back for the sport, and was just enjoying what I did. It was less of a job and more of a fun activity and a hobby for me, so that’s what made it cool.”

Good thing, because after redshirting and returning as a fifth-year senior, Jordan was unstoppable. He returned from his knee injury at 165 pounds of pure strength to complete an incredible final year at Nebraska, finishing with a third Big 12 championship, a second NCAA championship as a #1 seed, and a Hodge Trophy.

After graduating, Jordan took a little break. He waited three whole weeks before winning the 2011 U.S. Open. Clearly not one for slowing down, Jordan joined the U.S. World Team. Continuing his dominating streak, he became just the fourth wrestler to ever win the NCAA Championship and the World Championship in the same year. This qualified him for a trip across the pond, where he achieved his lifelong dream of becoming an Olympic champion. His first act? Running over to the stands and jumping the railing to hug his biggest fan of all, his mom.

The Best In The World

Now, Jordan is looking forward to the upcoming year. “For me, I prepare by looking at the big picture, keeping it all in perspective. I want to be the best in the world. I’ve accomplished that, and now I want to continue to be the best in the world. I know everyone’s gunning for me and that’s a motivator. So when I step in the wrestling room, I know I have to work harder and outwork all my opponents and everyone out there in the world. I don’t know how they’re training, specifically. I don’t know what they’re doing, but I know what I’m doing, and I’m doing it as hard as I can.”

Jordan isn’t the only wrestler looking to stay on top in August. He will be joined by fellow American Jake Varner (link) in his pursuit to join the elite ranks of American wrestlers to become two-time Olympic Champions. It’s a challenge so difficult that only two athletes have succeeded. But, like we said, Jordan is no stranger to exceeding expectations.

That’s why Jordan reminds young wrestlers everywhere that “no goal is impossible” with hard work. And he means it. So much so that he added it to his body with a tattoo that reads “Dream It, Do It.”

Want more from Jordan? Check out our videos and wrestling tutorials.

Haskins Featured Image

Dwayne Haskins Jr.: The Future King

The hype is real. Dwayne Haskins has a reputation of exceeding expectations and plans to continue that trend on his way to becoming the future king of Washington.

Savage Featured Image

Darnell Savage Jr.: 3 tips to prepare yourself for success

Eastbay's July cover athlete Darnell Savage Jr. gives insight on how to prepare yourself for success.

The Freak 1: Giannis Antetokounmpo’s First Signature Shoe

The Prince of Milwaukee finally has his own signature shoe, and we have a full breakdown for you.

Julie Ertz Featured Image

Julie Ertz: Attacking Adversity

Julie Ertz is one of the fiercest competitors on the planet. Find out how she tackled the challenges and obstacles in her way to become an international soccer superstar.

Stefon Diggs: Portrait of a Playmaker

Stefon Diggs is a perfect portrait of the modern-day wide receiver. We sat down with the Minnesota star to see how he mastered his craft.

Nike Training Shoes: Workout like the Pros

Find the best football training shoe for your skill set. Read how Todd Gurley, Jarvis Landry, and Cam Jordan impact their workouts with Nike training gear.

BILLA jersey image

PREVIEWING THE BALLISLIFE ALL-AMERICAN GAME

Get prepared for this year's Ballislife All-American game with Eastbay's pregame coverage.

Guardians of the Gridiron

Eastbay sat down with Todd Gurley, Jarvis Landry, and Cam Jordan to see what makes each of them a supernatural talent at their position.

AAU Winner Featured Image

AAU Sullivan Awards: Plummer Takes Home the Hardware.

Stanford senior Kathryn Plummer took home the AAU Sullivan Award this year.

Looney Tunes Feature Image

Space Jam 2: An analysis of the best kicks for the Tune Squad

An in-depth analysis of what shoes each member of the Tune Squad should wear in Space Jam 2

A'ja Wilson and Air Max

A Throwback to the Future with A’ja Wilson

A'ja Wilson is a professional basketball player and outspoken role model. Discover her story of how she went from benchwarmer to baller.

EB-031819-SullivanAwards-660x660

The AAU Sullivan Award: Meet Your Finalists

The final round of voting for the AAU Sullivan Award is now open! Learn more about each finalist here.

See More