KALISPELL – Having lots of options is a good thing. But it also makes for a very hard decision.
Tucker Nadeau had so much success while at Flathead High School, he had plenty of choices of what to do in college. The three-sport star and academic standout has made his pick.
Nadeau announced he will wrestle at West Virginia University next year.
He also starred for the Flathead football team, and will play in the East-West Shrine Game as an all-star this summer. Up until a couple weeks ago, Nadeau still considered going to Arizona to play rugby, another sport where he has excelled.
But his senior season on the mats helped change his mind. Nadeau finished a perfect 48-0, winning the class AA state title at 182 pounds, as well as picking up prestigious victories at the Tri-state Tournament in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, The Best of the West in Pasco, Washington, and the Rocky Mountain Classic in Missoula.
“I was expecting to have a successful season, but I wasn’t really expecting to get this much attention from wrestling,” said Nadeau. “So I wasn’t really focused on it. And it kind of changed my point of view on it. Two months or so I’ve just been agonizing over this college decision. So it’s nice to finally get that off my back.”
Nadeau said several division two schools reached out in the recruiting process for wrestling. But after he contacted some division one programs, a few showed interest. And the chance to join the Mountaineers program puts him in a great place in the wrestling world.
“In the Big XII, wrestling is a really big sport,” he said. “It’s probably second only to the Big Ten in terms of strength of conference. So that’s really cool knowing that I’ll be going to compete against some of the best competition.”
“Tucker just has a tremendous work ethic and he is just going to keep growing in the sport,” said Nadeau’s high school wrestling coach at Flathead, Jeff Thompson. “Tucker is one of those wrestlers who is a late bloomer. Tucker’s potential to be very successful in college is through the roof. West Virginia recruited Tucker not only for the wrestler he is now, but the wrestler he will be in the future. (He) is that great example to never give up on your dreams of being a Division 1 athlete. Tucker was never a state champion or standout wrestler growing up but he kept to the grind and working hard to get better. Now he’s going to be wrestling in the Big 12 and still loves the sport of wrestling. Tucker is a workout fanatic and is in the weight room almost as much as he is on the mats. He benched 345, squatted 485, and cleaned 265 this last week. That’s a strong high school kid right there.”
Nadeau’s academic success might be even more impressive than his athletic numbers. He’s a 4.0 student who scored a 35 out of 36 on his ACT. He plans to enter the World Languages Program at West Virginia and focus on Spanish education, and expressed an interest to learn other languages, such as Arabic.