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Penn State Wrestling Legend Carter Starocci on Jordan Burroughs: ‘I’ll end his Career in 3 Weeks’

Photo by Penn State Athletics: Carter Starocci

There’s a good chance Carter Starocci has performed in his last Penn State wrestling match.

Starocci has a season of eligibility left, which means he could compete for an unprecedented fifth national championship if he chooses to.

But based on logic and Starocci’s own words, it doesn’t seem likely that he’ll come back.

If last weekend in Kansas City was indeed Starocci’s last dance, Penn State wrestling fans will miss him for many reasons. Mainly, they’ll miss his wrestling. Starocci has established himself as one of the best college wrestlers of all time, and this past NCAA Championships were the icing on the cake. Fighting through an injury that led to him having to be helped off the Rec Hall mat on senior day, Starocci still won his fourth national title, becoming the sixth wrestler in history to accomplish that feat (teammate Aaron Brooks became the seventh later that night).

But many fans will also miss Starocci’s quotability, both in interviews and on social media.

Here’s the latest example.

Jordan Burroughs is arguably the most successful freestyle wrestler in US history.

His folkstyle career wasn’t too shabby— two national titles and a Hodge Trophy at Nebraska— but it’s in freestyle where Burroughs has truly become an icon.

No wrestler in American history has won more Olympic and World Championships. Burroughs won a Gold Medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, among the many accolades.

So, what does any of this have to do with Carter Starocci?

Well, for one, both Starocci and Burroughs will be projected to compete at the 74 KG weight class, and the Olympic Trials— which happen to be in State College— are less than three weeks away.

So, Starocci and Burroughs could meet in a match that would have a ton of  interest.

Beyond that, Burroughs has exchanged words with another Penn State wrestling legend, with Starocci being at the center of the discussion.

During the NCAA Championships, Burroughs suggested that guys going against Starocci would be wise to target his injury.

Bo Nickal didn’t like that too much.

Really classy Jordan Burroughs as commentator saying you’d target Starocci’s injury in competition,” Nickal posted to X, formerly Twitter. “Sad that you think that way and even if you do you should keep it to yourself it’s unprofessional. For all your accomplishments I’d expect more.”

Burroughs had a response:

“You punch guys in the face for a living,” he said. “Shut up.”

Nickal punched back.

“You should stick to wrestling not commentating because you can’t stop talking about yourself,” he wrote.

Burroughs didn’t have a response for that.

As it turned out, Nickal wasn’t done.

“Again, it’s not his (Burroughs’s) moment,” Nickal said on the “Baschamania Podcast” hosted by Justin Basch. “So, why take a guy’s fourth national title, and one of the biggest moments of his career, and make it about yourself? To me, that just shows his character, and the thing that bothers me is that nobody sees this. You know, he always tries to act like an ambassador of the sport… bro, you’re a freakin’ fraud. You just want to make it about yourself.

“So, relax, don’t come at our guys and don’t act friendly to me when I see you… I don’t really care to be cool with you.”

Starocci quoted the video of Nickal’s podcast comments, writing this:

“All good,” he wrote. “I’ll end his (Burroghes’s) career in 3 weeks.”

The “3 weeks” part of be post was clearly referring to the Olympic Trials.

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