Nebraska's Jordan Burroughs, left, battles with Oklahoma's Tyler Caldwell during their 165-pound finals match, Saturday, March 19, 2011, at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) via NCAA.com
In the previous Scouting Report of the NCAA talent that was on display during the Division 1 championships in March I looked at Heavyweight Champion Zachery Rey. Today's prospect is the recently successful USA Freestyle Team Member, Hodge Trophy winner and the 165lbs NCAA Division 1 Folkstyle champion for Nebraska, Jordan Burroughs.
A native of Sicklerville, New Jersey, Burroughs has done nothing but impress over the last few months especially with his speed when going for a Double Leg takedown. What makes him really effective though is an ability to re-shoot off of his opponent's initial defense as well as being able to finish with a double, single or even a foot sweep if need be. It was a perfect style to translate into Freestyle competition and Burroughs with little rest from his NCAA win entered the U.S. Open Freestyle competition in Cleveland, Ohio despite not training in Freestyle Wrestling for 3 years while at college.
Burroughs won the U.S. Open and headed to the U.S. Olympic Training Center to prepare for last week's Team USA vs Team Russia dual meet where he was able to succeed with his quickness against Aniuar Geduev winning 2 back to back periods in Times Square, New York.
Burroughs interest at the moment appears to be international wrestling and making the US Olympic team for the Summer games in London, England next year for a chance to become an Olympic Gold Medalist and he believes hard work and success at that level coupled with support from the Living The Dream medal fund will keep him covered financially.
As of yet the 22 year old hasn't declared interest in an MMA career, but would easily be the most athletic pure wrestler to enter the Welterweight division in the sport's history and I would argue would have the best take downs out of anyone currently competing - including the great Georges St. Pierre. He has shown though in matches he can be controlled and turned over from the front headlock position or from the par terre (where you're flat out, belly down to stop being turned over for a pin) position and this could be a potential pitfall when dealing with submission savvy fighters.
However he has one of the world's best teams wanting to court him: Daniel Cormier of American Kickboxing Academy followed Burroughs success at the NCAA championships and has made it clear he wants Burroughs to be a part of their stable. Even if Burroughs spends the next 4 or 5 years in Freestyle competition that would cover the next two Olympics, that would put him at 26-27 years of age where he's still young enough to embark on an MMA career and can be shaped and formed by the likes of Welterweights Jon Fitch, Josh Koscheck, Mike Swick as well as coaches Javier Mendez, Dave Camarillo and Bob Cook.
Burroughs is a special talent in Wrestling and may have the potential to become a phenom through AKA like Cain Velasquez has and for that reason he is my top pick of the NCAA Scouting Report this year.
After the jump, videos of Jordan Burroughs at the NCAA finals and U.S. Open finals, and a post match interview after his Team USA win in Times Square last Thursday.