Jordan Burroughs is one of the biggest names in wrestling, but outside his sport he lives an athletic existence in relative anonymity.

A 2006 graduate of Winslow Township High in Camden County, Burroughs is a world champion, and he doesn't have to worry about getting mobbed by well-wishers and autograph-seekers when walking the street in most locations.

"Outside of wrestling fans, I would say I get recognized a small amount," Burroughs said in a phone interview from the University of Nebraska as he prepared for this weekend's Olympic trials at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. "There are plenty of athletes in other sports who are on ESPN every day for doing a fraction of what we have done."

Make no mistake, Burroughs has accomplished quite a bit, at Nebraska and now as an aspiring Olympian.

He is one outstanding day away from achieving his Olympic dream.

Burroughs was a two-time NCAA champion at Nebraska, the second time coming basically in his backyard when he won the 165-pound title in 2011 at the Wells Fargo Center.

"That was the biggest and most awesome moment in my career - winning the championship and being at home in front of friends and family," he said. "Philadelphia was really a cool experience for me."

Imagine the feeling Iowa City could provide.

Burroughs, 23, has already qualified for the Olympic trials finals at 74 kilograms (163 pounds) by winning the World Wrestling Freestyle Championship in September in Istanbul, Turkey.

On Saturday morning, the rest of the 163-pound field in the Olympic Trials will wrestle, with the winner of the tournament facing Burroughs that evening for the right to earn the U.S. Olympic spot this summer in London.

Burroughs and his opponent will wrestle the best two out of three matches. Each match is six minutes, consisting of three, two-minute periods. Whoever wins two of three periods wins each particular match. In addition, a pin ends the match.

So Burroughs will be well-rested, while his opponent would have wrestled all morning, just to get the chance to meet the Winslow Township product. It seems like a major advantage for Burroughs, a perk for being a world champion.

"My first match is usually my worst match, sitting around all day," he said. "So the guys who have been wrestling are warmed up, so there are advantages and disadvantages."

When Burroughs won the world championship, he had to wrestle five matches that day.

"It was overwhelming emotionally and physically draining," Burroughs recalled. "It was quite a relief when I won."

And not a bad financial boon either.

Wrestling isn't a sport that spawns millionaire athletes, but USA Wrestling offers bonuses for winning major events. For instance, Burroughs received $50,000 for earning the gold medal at the world championships.

"I went from a broke college kid to actually having some money," he said.

Winning an Olympic gold medal would earn any U.S. wrestler $250,000, providing even further incentive, as if any more were needed.

Since winning the title at the worlds, Burroughs has also won the 2011 Pan American Games title in Guadalajara, Mexico, and he captured the championship in the Dave Schultz Tournament in Colorado Springs, Colo.

As well as Burroughs has done, his Olympic fate rests with how he performs on one particular evening.

Burroughs has been working out with other aspiring Olympians at Nebraska. Cornhuskers head wrestling coach Mark Manning has overseen the workouts.

"He is in great shape right now and really doing well," Manning said. "He's gotten bigger and stronger and is a lot better wrestler and continues to make progress."

Manning said the biggest improvement for Burroughs has been in his technique.

"He needed to improve in that area to be the best freestyle wrestler in the world," Manning said.

Since everybody at this level is an exceptional wrestler, the mental aspect often determines who emerges as champion.

"There are lot of guys who might be better, but weren't better that day, and it's all about handling pressure," Manning said. "Like being an NCAA champion, it's 50-50 and you have to embrace the pressure and go out and prove yourself to be your best when your best is needed."

Burroughs has gone through his share of adversity, most notably when he missed the 2010 season after sufferingt a knee injury. But he came back strong the next year.

Now, in a few hours' time, he would be able to fulfill a lifelong dream of being an Olympian.

"Winning in the Olympics is the most important accomplishment in our sport," Burroughs said. "Since I was a kid, I dreamed of this opportunity."

Contact Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225, mnarducci@phillynews.com or on Twitter @sjnard.