Talk about it in The Hawkeye Lounge
Dan LeClere grew up dreaming about wrestling for Iowa and wearing the Hawkeye singlet. After a detour to Virginia Tech and a year of sitting out, LeClere finally gets to start to realize his dream. The 141 pounder from North Linn HS talks about the last year and what that was like and how he has improved since his high school days.
Q: Finally, the Virginia Tech thing is behind you. Can you talk about, maybe what a relief it is to be an Iowa wrestler. You're not the Virginia Tech guys anymore, you're a Hawkeye.
LeClere: Yeah, it feels good. Growing up, I've always been a Hawkeye fan, always dreaming of being a Hawkeye, being one of those guys wrestling out there in Carver. Here, it's just my time; I got to get it done now.
Q: Can you talk about the sense of pride maybe that you'll feel when you first step out in the black and gold singlet to wrestle for the Hawks?
LeClere: Yeah, it'll be quite a bit of pride. It's kind of a special thing to be wearing that singlet. Not many people really get to wear it. It's not just wearing it is what I want to do; I want to win in it.
Q: Can you talk about the competition between you and Tsirtsis?
LeClere: We'll see. We'll see, whoever comes out on top and get the spot. Obviously I'm looking to get the spot, but whoever comes out on top is going to be the guy. Both of us are Hawkeyes, so whoever it is has got to get the job done for us this year.
Q: Can you talk about this whole ordeal where you're not wrestling? Can you talk about how frustrating that was to? You redshirt at Virginia Tech, you think you're going to wrestle the following year, and then you have to sit out again the next year?
LeClere: It is frustrating, but I had some good open tournaments last year I was involved in. I had a lot of good tournaments I competed in this summer freestyle wise. I got what I could in. I made the best of it.
Q: Does that help a little bit? Not going through the grind of the Big Ten, nationals, you get two years of preparation.
LeClere: I feel I used, I mean I wouldn't say it was a gift to. I obviously used it for what it was worth, and made the best of it, made myself advance that much farther using that extra year.
Q: What is the biggest difference between you in high school to where you are now as a wrestler?
LeClere: Just attitude I guess. Coming in everyday, trying to get better, I got to be ready everyday. Coming in to practice, I'm not the best guy coming into the room. If I'm not coming in here prepared for battle everyday, I'm going to get hurt. High school; I could come in pretty relaxed into workout. I got to be ready everyday stepping on the mat coming into this wrestling room.