Devin Schroder is Purdue’s 125er. He is number 8 in the country. After a 26-5 junior season, Scheoder has all the momentum going into his senior wrestling season. Now an All-American, he is ready for the tournament, especially with the cancellation of the 2020 tournament.
As for being an All-American, it’s a bittersweet moment. While getting named All-American is awesome, Schroder wishes he could have competed in the tournament and proved himself amongst the best of the NCAA.
“It feels good. You know, that’s what I came to Purdue for, to chase the goals like that. It didn’t happen the way you thought it would. Obviously we wanted to compete in the tournament but you feel good to get recognized for all the time we put on.”
The moment the tournament was canceled for the entire NCAA was like the world was coming to an end. While Devin Schroder has one more season left, he remembers how the seniors on his team had their final tournament and last season stolen from them.
“We we’re going into practice and everything was starting to go down and you could kind of see the writing on the wall. So it’s tough. We just focused on practice and getting better, you know, the tournament is probably going to be canceled any moment now. After practice we found out and there was tears. It was tough, but we were all there. So as we have each other and it’s easy to feel sense of happiness but we’re seeing my own teammates dreams dashed be done like that and their career is over. But at least it’s good knowing that I have a chance to redeem myself, but you feel for the seniors it’s even harder than for yourself.”
Devin Schroder and the Purdue System
Purdue has become a great school for wrestling. With four wrestlers on first team All-American, Devin Schroder believes in his coaches and the system in place. He also believes that the entire team does as well, which you can see in the talent on the team.
“I really do think we put a lot of time in in the offseason and just really buying in and fine tuning a few things. I didn’t change anything major, just put more time and worked on enhanced wrestling and I think the whole team was was buying and believing. Once you get that culture, everyone’s production. You see the jumps and I believe saw that and a lot of guys came here.”
Schroder goes on to speak or how the camaraderie that the Purdue wrestling team has built.
“One of the biggest things I think, we are cool and believe in each other. We’re always pushing each other. This was the closest sports team I’ve been on since I was four to now. This was the closest I’ve ever been with the team and just from top to bottom, senior to freshman. We all have each other. We all push each other and we all know what the expectations are. It’s just the standards now and we’re up to this year round, 12 months a year. We’ve been working really hard, so it’s nice to see everything come together.”
One of the thorns in the side of Devin Schroder is Spencer Lee, the 2020 Hodge Trophy winner. Lee beat Schroder twice last season and Schroder knows how good he is. But, he is also excited to improve and see if he can take it to the Hodge Trophy winner next season.
“Spencer Lee is strong and technical. He’s tough and a lot of times you don’t get that feel for him from anyone else. He’s just all around solid. The more chances I have to get out there and compete hard, the closer the gap will be so I’m excited about next year and hope we can a few more times and get a crack at him.”
Looking at 2021
As for 2021, Schroder has his eyes on the best of accomplishments. The senior will look to win the tournament, an opportunity not afforded to him this season.
“I want to win national championship,” says Scheoder. “I think if you’re competing and you’re chasing anything besides national championships here, you’re not your heart’s not in it. So it’s always been the goal. It’s the goal moving forward.“