Some people?s dreams take them from small towns to big cities. For Oklahoma State freshman wrestlers Jordan Oliver and Alex Meade, it was the opposite. Their dreams took them from cities on the East Coast to Stillwater, Okla.
Oliver, who not only won three Pennsylvania state championships, but also won the 2008 national championship, has always wanted to succeed in wrestling. And he knew he could reach those goals coming to Oklahoma State.
"It?s the best wrestling school in the country," Oliver said. "I knew I could succeed if I came here. The coaching staff and your workout partners are amazing. You can?t really beat that. I wanted to be a part of the Oklahoma State tradition."
Oliver finished his senior year undefeated with a record of 40-0 and a prep career record of 175-5. He watched the path that former OSU wrestler Coleman Scott took from high school. Scott is also from Pennsylvania and only about five minutes from where Oliver grew up.
"I?ve watched Coleman since I was in about the sixth grade. I liked the way he wrestled and he was someone I could look up to and relate to. I watched him go from the East Coast to Oklahoma State and I?ve seen all the success he?s had here."
The move from city life to college-town life wasn?t too difficult for Oliver. He said the transition was much easier because he knew Meade would be coming as well. Meade, who won three Delaware state championships while finishing with a prep record of 125-4, said life in Stillwater is definitely different.
"One difference is that people out here are really friendly," Meade said. "Out east, people don?t really talk as much as people do here."
Oliver agrees that people are much friendlier in Stillwater, including his head coach. Before he came to OSU, Oliver said he was a little intimidated because he saw John Smith as "The John Smith" who was a six-time World champion and is internationally recognized. But once Oliver arrived in Stillwater his view of Smith completely changed.
"He?s a lot more approachable now than before I came here. He was a little intimidating before but now I can talk to him about anything. I have a relationship with him now where I can come up to him and ask him things and go over stuff."
That kind of relationship with Smith and with their Cowboy teammates will only help Oliver and Meade, both of whom will likely redshirt this season to prepare them for careers that may well put them right next to John Smith, Coleman Scott and the long list of Oklahoma State NCAA champions.