Tyler Erdman has had a busy spring. In March, he became Elizabethtown College’s first national finalist since 1977 and is only the third 2x All-American in school history. With two years to go, he has a great chance to be the first ever 3x and 4x All-American for Elizabethtown. He also made his first foray into Greco-Roman wrestling and competed in six tournaments while representing the newly-formed Modern Day Gladiators club. He opened his Greco-Roman career with a 2nd place finish at the University Nationals, and followed up by competing in the U.S. Nationals, FILA Jr Nationals, Northeast Regional, FILA Jr World Team Trials, and Senior World Team Trials. Competing at 55kg, he wrestled in 17 matches this spring, all in Greco-Roman. d3wrestle.com had the chance to interview Tyler after he got back from the World Team Trials in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
d3wrestle.com: How has your training and competition this spring affected your desire to continue on in Greco-Roman wrestling after college?
Tyler Erdman: It has been fun and I plan on competing after college if possible. This was my first year ever actually focusing on greco so to have a good offseason and make the world team trials says a lot about my future in greco.
d3: In what ways has the training you’ve been doing prepared you for next season as you try to win an NCAA championship?
TE: The main thing is that i got plenty of matches, about 20, so that will help for the regular season on experience. My training has helped me with different techniques and attacks I can use on my opponents next year. Basically my greco training has made me a more dangerous competitor for my opponents. My greco training has helped me improve on my feet. It has improved my hand fighting techniques and it has given certain upper body attacks that easily transition over to folkstyle. I would love to share exactly how they will help but I don’t want to ruin the surprise for my opponents next season.
d3: As a University and NCAA All-American, what would you tell someone if he asked you why he should train in greco-roman wrestling?
TE: It is a very fun style of wrestling and will help you learn about positioning while handfighting. It is much more laid back compared to folkstyle, but also very explosive and brutal. It is also the oldest style of wrestling and separates the manly men from other men….just ask Jim Gruenwald.
d3: Will you ever wrestle any freestyle?
TE: I thought about it and may wrestle freestyle at university nationals and the northeast regionals next year, but there is no way I am making 55kg 2 days in a row. I would go 60kg and have fun with it.
d3: Are you planning to take any breaks in your training before next season?
TE: Other then helping out at a couple wrestling camps I am going to take my wrestling shoes and locked them up in an iron safe for a couple weeks. I am going to keep lifting and running/conditioning but I need to take some time off from the mat to prevent burnout. Don’t get me wrong I love wrestling as much as every other die hard, but all wrestlers need their breaks and need to take the time to just have fun.
d3: Now that your greco competition is done for the year, when will you transition back to collegiate style wrestling?
TE: As soon as I finish my break then I will begin to transition back to folkstyle. I will still practice greco 1-2 days a week but my main focus will be on my collegiate style. I plan on using all my greco knowledge and moves with my folkstyle, particularly my gut wrench, I think that would be very effective in folkstyle wrestling. (editor’s note: haha)
d3: Any chance we’ll see you compete again before next season?
TE: I am looking at possibly competing at the Sunkist next fall. I am also looking at the NYAC tournament and possibly going overseas to do 1 or 2 international tournaments during break.