Weight: 197
Year: Senior
Hometown: Camp Crook, S.D.
High School: Harding County
Experience: 3 Letters


Honors And Awards


All-American (3rd)

Big 12 Champion

Academic All-Big 12 (first team)

NU Most Valuable Wrestler



All-American (5th)

Big 12 Champion

NU Most Valuable Wrestler


NU Redshirt of the Year


NCAA Championships

2006-Padden earned his second straight All-America honor at 197 pounds with a third-place finish.  In the first round, Padden scored five unanswered points to defeat Matt Montiero of Cal Poly, 5-4.  Padden moved onto the quarterfinals in the championship bracket after an 8-6 victory over Dallas Herbst of Wisconsin.  Padden clinched the win with a takedown with 27 seconds to go in the sudden victory period, capping a match in which neither wrestler held a lead larger than two points.  Padden fell to the consolation bracket after a 6-5 loss to Phil Davis of Penn State in the quarterfinals. 


Padden clinched All-America status with a 3-2 win over Casey Phelps of Boise State.  With the match tied at two entering the third period, Padden earned an escape five seconds into the final frame, then held off Phelps the rest of the way for the win.  Later in the consolation bracket, Padden defeated Wynn Michalak of Central Michigan, 3-1.  Padden took the lead with a takedown with 51 seconds to go in the second period to claim a 2-1 lead.  In the consolation bracket semifinals, Padden defeated Chris Weidman of Hofstra by injury default.  Padden was leading the match, 6-5, when the match was stopped before the start of the third period.



2005-Padden earned his first career All-America award with a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Championships.  Padden was 3-2 on the tournament, which began with Padden as the No. 11 seed.  After a bye in the first round, Padden defeated Casey Phelps of Boise State in overtime, 3-2.  Padden clinched All-America status with his 8-7 win over Daren Burns of UNC-Greensboro in the quarterfinals.  In a rematch of the Big 12 final at 197 pounds, Oklahoma State’s Jake Rosholt defeated Padden, 10-9.  Padden dropped to the consolation bracket, where he lost to Oklahoma’s Joel Flaggert, 7-6, but rebounded to win the fifth-place match, 4-3, over Wynn Michalak of Central Michigan.  


2004-Padden lost by injury default to Matt Greenberg of Cornell 2:19 into their consolation match.  Padden, the No. 5 seed, ended his first trip to nationals with a record of 2-2.  Padden began with an 8-6 win over J.D. Bergman of Ohio State.  In the second round, Padden beat Fresno State’s Marcio Botelho 7-5 before  No. 4 seed Ryan Bader of Arizona State defeated Padden in the quarterfinals 5-3.


Big 12 Championships

2006-Padden earned his second career Big 12 championship with his 4-0 win over Jake Rosholt of Oklahoma State in the 197-pound finals.  After a scoreless first period, Padden rode Rosholt for the entire second period to take a 1:59 lead in the riding time advantage.  Then in the third period, Padden scored a takedown and earned an extra point for his riding time advantage to earn his fourth point.  Padden earned his second straight trip to the conference finals with a 10-2 win over Missouri’s Jeff Foust. 


2005-Padden became the first NU wrestler to win a Big 12 individual wrestling title since Bryan Snyder in 2002 when he defeated OSU’s Jake Rosholt, 6-2, in the 197-pound finals of the 2005 Big 12 Championships. Earlier in the day, Padden earned his second trip to nationals with a 5-3 win over Oklahoma’s Joel Flaggert in the semifinals.  Padden was one of three NU finalists, but the only one to win.


2004-Despite a 7-4 first-round loss to Oklahoma State’s Rusty Blackmon, Padden earned a trip to the NCAA Championships with an 11-4 win over Trevor Smith of Iowa State.


2003-Padden opened the championships with a 12-9 loss to Oklahoma State’s Jake Rosholt before being eliminated by Austen Palmer of Iowa State, 6-5.


Career Notes

2006-Padden was one of the top-five 197-pound wrestlers in the nation throughout the 2005-06 season with a 12-2 record in duals.


After defeating Casey Phelps of Boise State 2-1 in the first tiebreaker period, Padden took third at the Kaufman-Brand Open on Nov. 19 with a 4-1 performance.  His last two wins at the Kaufman-Brand Open sparked a 13-match winning streak, which continued with his 16-6 major decision win over Malcolm Havens of Wyoming on Nov. 26. 


The winning steak continued through the UNI Open, where Padden won four straight matches to take the 197-pound championship.  Padden was steady in an 11-5 win over Michigan’s Casey White on Dec. 9, then earned a 16-6 major decision victory over Justin Bronson of Minnesota two days later.  After missing three duals, Padden returned to the Huskers lineup with a pin of Virginia Tech’s Matt Woods on Jan. 7.


Padden went 3-1 at National Duals, defeating second-ranked Jake Rosholt of Oklahoma State 5-3 before losing to top-ranked Wynn Michalak of Central Michigan.  In his final five matches of the regular season, Padden would collect four wins including three in conference competition.  After a pin of Tyler Flatt of American, Padden pinned second-ranked Jake Rosholt of Oklahoma State, marking his third victory in his last four matches against the defending 197-pound national champion.  After a loss against Oklahoma, Padden would finish the regular season with an 18-5 major decision win over Joe Curran of Iowa State.


2005-Padden finished tied for first on the team with 28 wins in the 2004-05 season.  After losing to sixth-ranked Chris Stretkowicz of Hofstra in the first dual of the year, Padden finished fourth at the Kaufman-Brand Open in Omaha, Neb.  Padden followed that with a major decision win over West Virginia’s Jared Villers and a seventh-place finish at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational.  Padden won 10 of 12 matches from Nov. 27 to Jan. 4, before winning just one of three at the Lone Star Duals on Jan. 8.


After that, Padden rebounded to assemble his longest winning streak of the year.  Padden won seven straight matches (Jan. 14-29), including all four of his matches at the Virginia Duals.  The win streak was stopped when Padden lost, 3-2, to top-ranked Jake Rosholt of Oklahoma State.  Though Padden would win his next match, a 3-0 decision over Oklahoma’s Joel Flaggert, he ended the regular season with a pair of losses.


2004-As a sophomore, Padden finished with a 24-7 record.  He started the season with three pins, including a victory by fall over 16th-ranked K.C. Walsh of Boise State with 33 seconds left in the first period.  Padden rebounded from his first loss of the season to defeat Rutgers’ second-ranked Chris Skretkowicz by fall 2:29 into the match. From there, Padden wrestled to a third-place finish and a record of 5-1 at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational.  Padden had a seven-match win streak (Jan. 3-24), including four bonus-point wins.  Padden won all four of his matches at the Virginia Duals, including an 8-2 win over third-ranked Ryan Bader of Arizona State.  Against conference opponents, Padden was a perfect 4-0, including a 12-3 major decision win over 19th-ranked Rusty Blackmon of Oklahoma State.  Of Padden’s 24 wins, 13 garnered bonus points for the Huskers.


2003-In his first varsity season, Padden recorded wins in 11 of his first 12 matches. Padden became the first freshman since 1997-98 to win the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational title with a 9-7 victory over eighth-ranked Ralph Denisco of Wisconsin. In the opening rounds, Padden scored major decisions against Jeff Dahl of Menlo College, 13-3, and Ronnie Silva of Cal Davis, 20-8, before upsetting sixth-ranked Scott Justus of Virginia Tech in the third-round, 11-10. Padden then recorded a victory over Franco Santiago of Central Washington by fall before recording a takedown with less than 10 seconds left to defeat Mauricio Wright of San Francisco State. Padden added a second-place finish at the Mat Town Invitational. Of Padden’s 17 wins, three were by pin and five were by major decision. Padden went 3-7 against ranked opponents.


2002-Wrestling in open tournaments, Padden compiled a 16-6 overall record.  He took home four first-place finishes at the Cowboy Open, UNK Valentino’s Open, UNO Kaufman/Glen Brand Open 20-and-Under Division and the Dana Open. He added a second-place finish at the Brand Open. Padden was also named the team’s redshirt of the year.


Before Nebraska-Padden won two South Dakota state championships while wrestling for Coach John Donavan at Harding County High School, and was also a two-time AAU national champion.  Padden finished eighth at 171 pounds at the high school national championship in April of 2001. Padden was named the Outstanding Wrestler at the 2000 Walt Disney Duals.


Personal-The son of Bryce and Dawn Padden, B.J. was born on June 23, 1983. B.J. has two brothers, Brandon and Kelly.  B.J. majored in industrial education at Nebraska.


Career Totals

Year Overall Dual Pins TF MD
01-02* 19-3 0-0 5 0 2
02-03 17-16 8-13 3 0 5
03-04 25-7 17-3 3 0 5
04-05 28-12 14-7 3 1 6
05-06 28-4 12-2 5 1 5
Career 98-39 51-25 14 2 21

*-Redshirt season does not count in career totals.
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Highlights vs. Minnesota - 2/8
Highlights vs. Illinois - 1/27
Highlights vs. UNI - 1/12