Freshman Devan Berrian emerges as one of Simpson’s top wrestlers

by Erich Bogner, sports reporter

Going to school 18 hours from home can be challenging, but freshman Devan Berrian is ready to take on much more than that.

Berrian went to Brandon High School in Brandon, Florida, one of the top wrestling high schools in the nation. He’s far from home and the distance gets tough.

Berrian said, “It’s kind of hard, I don’t get to see my family much, so it is hard on them too.”

Berrian won the Florida state wrestling championship as a senior and got multiple Division I offers, but chose Simpson over them because it seemed like the right fit.

“A big deal for me was picking a school where the coaches would really care about me and my wrestling and Matt and Nate [Hansen] really care about me,” he said. “I had a couple of (Division I) offers, but I thought that Simpson would be the best fit for me.”

Assistant coach Matt Hansen thinks very highly of Berrian. Coach Hansen said Berrian plays a huge role on the team because he is very talented and his teammates like him.

Berrian has been in and out of the rankings this year. The coaching staff expects big things from him and sees a potential for him to reach the national tournament or be a national champion.

That may be possible with his love for competition.

“(I like) the competitive edge,” Berrian said. “I like pressure, like when you’re wrestling and it’s just you and the other guy. There’s no teammate you can look to for help. It’s just you.”

Berrian is a physics-engineering major and a French minor. He says he took French all four years of high school and loved it. Berrian’s first thought on the difference between college and high school was academic based. He said the difference is classes, because in college he is more responsible for his grades. The difference in his wrestling life is how close he is to his teammates and the tougher competition.          

Berrian attributes his success on the mat to his teammates and coaches pushing him to do his best. His coaches will say that it is his technique and attitude that make him successful.      

Coach Matt Hansen said, “He’s got a good work ethic, and he is always upbeat, positive, and likes to have fun with the other guys on the team. He doesn’t take himself too seriously. He is jus a fun guy to be around; all the guys on the team like to be around him.”

This season, Berrian has one of the team’s top records at 12-4, and a possibility to keep improving that record as the season progresses.