EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE wrestling Head Coach Jeremy Spates announced his first two recruits for next season.
Nate Higgins (Millstadt, Ill.) and John Muldoon (Pearl River, N.Y.) each have signed a National Letter of Intent to compete for the Cougars.
Higgins, who is currently coached by former SIUE Division I All-American Al Sears at Belleville West High School, will look for a spot in the SIUE lineup at 157 pounds.
"Nate was a great sign for us," said Spates. "Nate is a big name in Illinois, and we really want to keep the local talent at home. This is a priority for me as the talent here in our backyard is tremendous."
Higgins set the Belleville West record last season with 49 victories en route to a third-place finish at Illinois High School State Championships. His current record is 113-19, and he is on pace to finish second on the all-time wins list for the Maroons.
Ranked No. 17 nationally at 152 pounds by Win Magazine, Higgins has earned numerous awards, including three-time All-Conference, three-time Scholar-Athlete and has placed twice at the state championships. Higgins helped Team Illinois at the NWCA/USA Wrestling Scholastic Duals to a national championship. He also has earned All-American status at the USAW Folkstyle Nationals and the Disney Duals.
"As well as being a big name, Nate is a wonderful young man who knows how to work for what he wants. We are excited to see what he can do in the future," Spates said.
He is the son of Patrick and Michelle Higgins and expects to major in computer science and engineering.
Muldoon was a highly-recruited wrestler out of Pearl River High School. He expects to compete next season at 133 pounds.
"John was our first commitment, which was special," said Spates. "He is a great young man with a big work ethic."
A fourth-place finisher at last year's New York Division 1 state championships, Muldoon has won a county championship twice, a section championship, and placed second at the Eastern States. He currently holds a career record of 103-18.
As a freshman, Muldoon was third in Section 1 after finishing the season with 25 wins. He completed his sophomore season with a record of 30-5 at 113 pounds and was second in his section behind the eventual state champion. As a junior, he moved up to fourth state-wide.
"He has done well in high school but we expect bigger things from him in college," said Spates. "We are looking forward to seeing John compete for the Cougars over the next few years."
Muldoon competed for off-season teams Iron Horse and Olympic. He led Iron Horse to the Pop and Flo in 2013 with a one-point victory in the opening match of the finals.
He is the son of John and Carol Muldoon.