MASON — JD Greathouse always felt the pressure.
His older brother, Tony, was a state champion wrestler by his junior year of high school and took the mat for Michigan State shortly after that.
The Mason High School senior wrestler thought his brother’s path was the one he had to follow. He instinctively set the bar high for himself.
“I didn’t really think I’d be at this point,” JD Greathouse said. “I had some big shoes to fill with my brother.
“And even though I didn’t, I felt like I made really good improvements every year and showed to colleges that I could compete at a Division I level.”
Greathouse never captured a state title — he placed fifth as a junior (135 pounds) and sixth as a senior (140 pounds) at the Division 2 state tournament. But that didn’t stop him from living out his dream of becoming a collegiate wrestler.
On Saturday, Greathouse verbally committed to Indiana University. He plans on signing his national letter of intent during the next signing period, which begins on April 12 and goes until Aug. 1.
“I wasn’t really banking on just being Division I only,” said Greathouse, who also held offers from Division II University of Findlay and Division III University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. “I feel like you have other opportunities in Division II and III, as well.
“Indiana’s campus was like the most beautiful campus I’d ever seen. I have a connection with (associate head coach) Nick Simmons down there. He went to Williamston and my brother went to Mason. They wrestled together at MSU.”
Greathouse, who posted a career 133-27 high school record, lived in Indiana during his first two years of high school. And it was during his sophomore season that he said he started to believe that he could be a collegiate wrestler.
“As a freshman, I came in and got injured. I didn’t perform well at all,” he said. “I came on strong my sophomore year, came in unknown in Indiana, and knocked off guy after guy.
“I wrote ‘State Championship’ in my basement where I ran on a treadmill to cut weight. That’s what I was always running for. And that’s when I realized I was motivated enough, dedicated enough, and I worked hard enough to be at a Division I level.”
Greathouse is the second Bulldog to commit to a Big Ten wrestling program this school year, as Brad Wilton signed his NLI to attend MSU in November. The two have been preparing for this moment together since elementary school.
“I think it’s pretty cool how we started together in first grade and now we’re both going to that Division I level after high school,” Greathouse said.
Contact James L. Edwards III at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @JLEdwardsIII.