Jake Sueflohn works to finish a single against Kyle Langerderfer of Illinois (Photo/Mark Lundy, Lutte-Lens.com)"Growing the program is what needs to happen and continue to happen," Ersland said. "We've started a strong foundation, created the work ethic and got our guys focused on the right things and we're very excited about that. Jake is a continuation of that growth and development we think needs to happen year in and year out.
"Jake is an absolute grinder," Ersland continued. "He is one of the hardest wrestling guys you will find out there; you'd be hard-pressed to find somebody like him. He has the grinder mentality, that great competitive drive when he's out there wrestling and that's a big deal for us. Obviously with our strong class that's coming in and good talent within the program, we need to continue to develop the understanding that it takes a lot of work and a lot of competitive drive to get it done and Jake can show our guys that."
During his career at Nebraska, Sueflohn amassed a career record of 109-32 (.773) wrestling all but one season at 149 pounds. He was twice the Huskers' team leader in major decisions, racking up 35 in his career.
"As a wrestler, Jake always brought an element of toughness to his wrestling," Ersland said. "He's a hard worker that is tough in his training, very focused in his mindset and very disciplined in his wrestling."
Sueflohn qualified for the NCAA Championships at 149 pounds in 2013, 2014 and 2016 after qualifying at 141 as a true freshman in 2012.
The Watertown, Wisconsin, native was the 149-pound runner-up at the Big Ten Championships as a junior in 2014 and as a sophomore in 2013. Sueflohn placed three times at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, highlighted by a runner-up finish in 2013. That same season he also brought home the Reno Tournament of Champions title at 149 pounds.
Sueflohn was honored numerous times for his accomplishments on and off the mat. Sueflohn received the Nebraska Granite Award, which was bestowed for his toughness, the Most Dedicated Award and the Tom Osborne Citizenship Award. For his work in the classroom, Sueflohn earned a spot on the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll four different semesters and was an Academic All-Big Ten selection in 2014.
"I have always loved the Big Ten Conference," Sueflohn said. "When Purdue approached me about being the middleweight coach I had to take it. It's a great opportunity to begin my coaching career and it's something I couldn't pass up. I think I bring a lot of grit and a strong work ethic to the team, and along with the other coaches on staff, a lot of experience in the Big Ten."
Ersland recruited Sueflohn out of Arrowhead High School where he was a two-time Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association champion while going 100-1 during his final two seasons. Sueflohn tallied a high school record of 188-10 (.950). He also earned All-America honors in 2011 with a third-place finish at 145 pounds at the ASICS/Vaughn Junior Freestyle National Championships.
"I've always had a good relationship with Coach Ersland," Sueflohn said. "I've known him six years now and I think him and I see a lot of things eye-to-eye. I think working together will be pretty easy and I'm looking forward to working with him and the rest of the staff. I grew up watching Zach [Tanelli] and Tyrel [Todd] so I think it's awesome that I get to work with these guys now."
Sueflohn will receive his Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism, with concentrations in communications, psychology and sociology, from Nebraska in August.