Former Laramie High School student and athlete walked on to the University of Wyoming wrestling team in the 133-pound weight class.

University of Wyoming has always been an option for Idris Elias Jr. who currently is a “red shirt” for the UW wrestling team, meaning he doesn’t wrestle at all of the meets.

“It`s cheap honestly, but also it is home,” Elias said. He said it was a good fit for him because his family is here and he likes the coaching staff and team.

Elias will be majoring in Computer Engineering to become a computer systems technician.

“I just enjoy creating something that can think automatically to help people,” Elias said.

Elias likes the freedom that comes along with the college experience, the new faces, and that it makes Laramie feel not so small.

“College wrestling is about 1,000 times more intense than high school,” Elias said.

High school workouts were not challenging enough for him.

“Coach definitely tries to weed out the weak ones because he needs to know who is gonna stand up to the challenge,” Elias said.

Elias didn’t know how to explain his love for wrestling other than the way it feels.

“I always push myself to be better, and my level of competition is awesome,” Elias said.

Elias says the level of dedication that you need to have to get to the next level of competition is huge.

“If you`re not willing to get up on Saturday and go run?” Elias said. “If after you just get done with a set on your lift and you can`t make yourself stand up without bending over… if you can’t dedicate yourself… then you don’t have the dedication to be a college athlete in general. Then for wrestling you pretty much have to be insane and love the sport with your whole being because coaches won’t waste time telling you to leave if you’re not gonna give them their investment back.”

The practice schedule for Elias is long and tough.

“6 a.m. lift where you’ll have anywhere from 5-10 lifts and be done. Then from 3 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. you’re wrestling and conditioning, working on technique and other things with the coaches. Then anytime else you have free time, you’re probably in study hall. But during season the afternoon practice goes from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.,” Elias said.

One of the helpful tips Elias would give an athlete of any sport who wanted to go to the next level is that you have to have integrity.

“If you really want to go to the next level, be prepared to fail, but also keep learning,” Elias said.

“You`re not the best, but you will be if you do all the extra little things to make yourself and your team better,” Elias said.