Nov. 17, 2011
University of Iowa 149-pound wrestler Dylan Carew is a redshirt sophomore who graduated from Iowa City West High School in 2009. He went 11-1 wrestling unattached for the Hawkeyes in 2009-10 and won his first two varsity matches last season. Then Carew repaired an anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligament and meniscus on his right knee, and an anterior cruciate ligament on his left knee. He is majoring in sports management and intends to add a minor in sociology.
What was the hardest part of being sidelined with injuries?
I would say waiting my whole life, since I was a little kid, to get to this point and then having it taken away by something that was out of my control. The hardest part was not being able to wrestle when I knew that's what I should be doing.
Were there any positives that you took away from that experience?
I did get a lot better technique-wise and I've learned a lot over the last year about protecting my legs and staying in my stance and becoming more of a strong wrestler and defending myself and getting to my hold and my attacks. With the coaches, I had 8 ½ - nine months to study the sport of wrestling and watch every day and learn and then have the coaches go slow with me and show me things.
I'm ready to rock. We have really good people here that surround us -- from the doctors to the trainers to the coaches -- they make sure everything is 100 percent in line.
What kind of wrestler will Hawkeye fans see out of Dylan Carew this season?
I plan on being exciting. I've always been an exciting wrestler and always been dangerous. Over the last couple years of being here and learning this program, I got back to the basics of wrestling. You have to get back to the basics first; then having my dangerous stuff...don't let me on top.
"A lot of things you can get away with in high school, you can't in college. People always ask me what the difference is between high school and college and I always go like this [rubs chin] -- wipe my facial hair, because you're wrestling men now, there are no kids in college wrestling. Everyone is as strong as an ox and is going to try to beat you into the ground."
UI sophomore wrestler
Can you describe the feeling you will have when you get back on the mat in front of the Iowa fans?
I don't know if you can describe it. I only had it once last year; it's an unreal feeling to accomplish what I've always wanted to do; to put that Hawkeye singlet on and go out and wrestle. I'm just ready to get some big wins in front of those big crowds.
What kind of team will the Hawkeyes have this season?
We're going to be tough from top to bottom. Last year everybody said we were young; we didn't think we were young. Coach always says after your first year, you're a veteran. Most of the guys in the lineup are third, fourth-year guys, and we have some fifth-year guys who are going to be in the lineup...we're going to have some hammers.
In what ways will it be a different team than the one in 2010-11?
We'll be more seasoned. There will be a lot of guys coming back to wrestle in the same spots, and those guys will have a lot more experience and just know-how of certain things that some people don't have.
Is there anyone in the room now that you enjoy watching compete?
I have bias toward my high school teammates -- I love watching those guys wrestle. I get fired up watching Derek St. John and Grant Gambrall; I get fired up for everyone, but those two especially, since we've been best friends since we were in first grade. Those guys really get me fired up when I watch them, and they're both after me, so I do get to watch them.
You had a brief taste of the spotlight last year. In what ways does that motivate you to get back out there and get going?
I don't want to have that feeling again. I'm not going to let anything take that away from me now. If I, God-willing, got hurt again, I wouldn't let that slow me down.
As a Hawkeye wrestler, is it crazy to think of any other goal except for a national championship?
Here, it's expected, everybody knows that's how we think, but that's how every wrestler should think. If you're in the sport of wrestling, you're not in it to say `I was an All-American, I did OK.' That's OK if some people want to think like that, but Iowa wrestling isn't about that. Like coach always says, we're going to win every match by the widest margin possible every time.
What's the biggest adjustment from being a successful high school wrestler to this level?
A lot of things you can get away with in high school, you can't in college. People always ask me what the difference is between high school and college and I always go like this [rubs chin] -- wipe my facial hair, because you're wrestling men now, there are no kids in college wrestling. Everyone is as strong as an ox and is going to try to beat you into the ground.
How special is it to be a local kid (Tiffin, Iowa) and doing what you're doing now?
I love it. I love to be able to have my friends outside of wrestling see me compete; I love having my family and all the people within the Iowa wrestling program around me. All these people are still in my life, it's just on a bigger scale now. A lot more people can watch.
In what ways have you benefitted from being part of this program?
It's made me a lot better wrestler; it's made me a better person. I think I've grown into being more mature and taking my responsibilities on, and what I need versus what I want -- more task-oriented, I would say.