‘It’s Always Win or Die.’ A look back at Carter Starocci’s Top Quotes from the 2022-23 Season

Penn State three-time All-American Carter Starocci (photo courtesy of Sam Janicki;

Carter Starocci turned some heads during his ESPN interview after winning his third national title. From "That's what big balls look like" to not-so-subtly calling out Kamaru Usman and referring to a DII national title as "beginner's stuff," the Penn State junior showed the rest of the nation what those covering the team all season already knew - the guy isn't afraid to say what's on his mind.

And as we've learned, what's in Starocci's mind can be kind of … scary. But, hey, that's why he's a three-time NCAA champ on a 52-match win streak. If you thought his ESPN interview was interesting, check out some of his interview highlights from throughout the season.

On using the Michael Myers theme as his walkout song

"Well, first of all, it's my dad, in his living room, he has like 1,400 masks and Michael Myers everywhere. It's kind of creepy. And then I was on my phone and I had seen Kobe Bryant and he was talking about how he gets his mindset ready for his matches - or, his games. And he was talking about how he has that theme song going in his headphones. And he said Michael Myers is just a stone-cold killer. Am I too hyped up? Am I too calm? I'm not going to run you down, I'm going to walk you down and just kill you. I was like, dude, that was hard. So, I have that going every time."

On being called 'overrated' by Iowa commit Gabe Arnold

"If he can kiss enough butt and get into the starting lineup, I'll take care of business there. It'll be in his home dojo, too, so he can get whooped in front of his mom and dad. So, that'll be fun."

On rematches

"I don't prepare for one individual, I just prepare for myself and every position. If those rematches come, I'll be looking forward to those rematches cuz I like sending those guys messages over and over again. It's kind of like Marshawn Lynch said, "If you run through someone's face over and over again, then you don't have to worry about them no more."

On rematches (again)

"I like wrestling guys over and over again. It's kind of like what Marshawn Lynch said, 'If you run through someone's face, over and over again, you don't have to worry about them no more.' I kind of like beating guys over and over again, just to let them know that I'm the guy, I'm the one."

On why he likes that Marshawn Lynch quote so much

"I watched that when I was a kid and was like, damn, that was pretty hard. That was gangster right there. I didn't forget that one."

On the tournament format

"I wish I could wrestle everyone in the bracket, not just one side of the bracket. I want to wrestle everybody, because that's what I'm here for. I don't get tired. I train hard and I have fun. I wish I could wrestle everybody, that's how I look at it."

On whether winning Big Tens helps build momentum for NCAA's

"No momentum. We can get it in the parking lot in 10 days, five days, two days, right now. There's always momentum no matter what. This tournament doesn't have an impact on what's going on in 10 days, that's a whole different story."

On confidence

"I think confidence is a huge part of my personality, my athletic career and my personality outside of wrestling. I'm not doing this sport to say another guy can beat me. I'm here to be the best, showcase that and get my crown again."

Twitter highlights

Other tidbits

"It's always win or die."

"I believe this is a really special team with a lot of killers. I'd hop in a foxhole with any one of these guys."

"You don't want to go to bed on a win because then you'll wake up with a loss. You want to just keep pushing forward and keep shooting to get better. You don't want to get too high or too low, you want to just keep going."


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