Get to Know Your Gophers: Jarod Donar

Go Gophers! Freshman Jarod Donar sits down with GopherSports to talk wrestling and the first year of college.
Go Gophers!
Freshman Jarod Donar sits down with GopherSports to talk wrestling and the first year of college.
Go Gophers!

Oct. 3, 2012

GopherSports: Why did you choose to come to Minnesota?
Jarod Donar: Because of the tradition here and I thought it was just a great wrestling school. That's the main reason why I chose to come here. Both my siblings went to other Big Ten schools, Iowa and Wisconsin, so I figured I might as well complete the triangle and go to Minnesota.

GS: What other schools did you consider?
JD: Wyoming, Wisconsin, and Hofstra.

GS: When did you first realize you could compete at the college level and that it was something you wanted to do?
JD: I always thought I could compete at the college level. I was undefeated all through high school. That was just one of the main goals I had. Since my siblings did it, I thought I could.

GS: Your brother Jake wrestled for Wisconsin. Any sort of rivalry now that you are a Gopher?
JD: He was supporting me coming here to Minnesota, because he was like, "Go to a good program and you'll be successful. You'll accomplish what you want to accomplish." He felt like he didn't fully accomplished everything he wanted at Wisconsin.

GS: What are some of your goals for your first season as a Golden Gopher?
JD: Definitely to be an All-American. That's basically everyone's goal on the team when they crack the lineup, to be an All-American and win a national title as a team.

GS: What are you most looking forward to about starting college?
JD: I like not having to be in the classroom seven hours a day. That's the best part.

GS: You won four state titles in high school, at four different weight classes. Do you have a favorite?
JD: The first one, probably. That was the most exciting because I wasn't really expected as a freshman to do that. And then your senior year, you're finally done. So those two were probably the best.

GS: What was it like competing for your dad in high school?
JD: He was the assistant coach behind Bob Hahn. He's always there pushing you every time you're in practice. Our team was pushed harder since I was in the room, so a lot of the other kids got to accomplish more than they thought they could by me being in that room.

GS: What was it like to go undefeated in high school action?
JD: It was awesome being the first person in your school's history to do that. Everyone looks up to you when you're there. I thought it was kind of funny, because after my freshman year, I just wrestled through and I was undefeated, and everyone was like, "Are you going to do that again?" I was like, "I guess. I did it once."

GS: You also participated in baseball and football. What position did you play and what did you like best about playing those sports?
JD: In football, I played running back and middle linebacker all the way up until my sophomore year. Then my coach said I had a target on my back and there was no way I was running the ball anymore. So he said, "You're playing outside linebacker from now on." In baseball, I was a second baseman. I played until my sophomore year and then I decided to stop playing.

GS: Was there ever any chance that you would do one of those sports in college, or was it always wrestling?
JD: It was always wrestling.

GS: What has been your favorite wrestling moment or experience?
JD: Probably winning state and going undefeated. It's awesome to have everyone stand up and applaud for you.

GS: You mentioned one of your hobbies outside of wrestling is archery. Talk about that and how you got involved.
JD: I've always like hunting. Bow hunting is more of an adrenaline rush because everything has to be closer to you. Tommy Clum, one of the guys that used to wrestle for Wisconsin--actually ended up wrestling Mack Reiter in the Big Ten finals--he got me started on traditional stuff. Now I shoot longbow and recurve. Now I'm trying to get all the wrestlers on the team to do that, too.

Freshmen Favorites
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Song: "Fly Over States" by Jason Aldean
Last Movie You Saw in Theaters: The Avengers
Favorite Pizza Toppings: Sausage and pepperoni