Less than a week after winning the national championship, it looks as if Penn State wrestling coach Cael Sanderson has yet another reason to celebrate.
Gavin Teasdale — the nation’s No. 2 overall high school prospect in the Class of 2018 — decommitted from Iowa earlier this week and committed to the Nittany Lions on Tuesday night. He tweeted, “After a long and hard consideration I’m proud to announce I will be attending Penn State University!”
Teasdale’s coach, Mike Lesko, wasn’t surprised.
“I think a lot of it is he just felt he jumped the gun too early, and he didn’t know how to get out of it,” said Lesko, the coach at Jefferson-Morgan near Pittsburgh. “Finally, he just matured. I think this was in his heart the whole time.”
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Teasdale, a high school junior, still has more than seven months before he signs his National Letter of Intent. But, as long as his soft commitment sticks, the Nittany Lions are in line for one talented and determined wrestler.
The junior has already won three state titles, three Powerade championships and a Cadet National Freestyle championship. According to FloWrestling, he likely projects as a 133- or 141-pounder in college.
“What makes Gavin special is he goes to another practice right after our practice,” Lesko said, referring to the fact Teasdale trains for both high school and club teams. “And if he doesn’t have a good practice there, he’ll take it on himself to lift after that.
“He’s dedicated himself to the sport; we’re talking every single day. I think he got Christmas off — honestly, I think he took that day off, where he didn’t do anything. This boy really loves this sport.”
Teasdale initially committed to the Hawkeyes with friend and training partner Spencer Lee, who’s a year older. Lee lost the first match of his high school career earlier this month at the PIAA championships; he finished with a record of 144-1.
In the Class of 2018, according to Flo, Penn State now boasts verbals from three of the nation’s four top prospects: Teasdale, No. 3 Travis Wittlake Jr. and No. 4 Roman Bravo-Young.
So what can Nittany Lions fans expect from Teasdale? Lesko didn’t hesitate.
“What do you see in (Jason) Nolf? What do you see in (Zain) Retherford?” Lesko asked, alluding to two of Penn State’s NCAA champs. “That’s what you’re going to see — non-stop, in shape. That’s what you’re going to get from Gavin.”