Leavenworth's star wrestler Nathan Butler dives into his past, present and future

Leavenworth senior wrestler Nathan Butler accepted a full athletic scholarship to the University of Stanford in late October. The two-time state champion and three-time state placer is 17-0 so far this season and rated as the No. 7 recruit in the nation at 285 pounds by FloWrestling and No. 8 by InterMat. A 2012 FILA Cadet freestyle national champion, Butler is a two-time Brute national champion and a three-time junior Freestyle and Greco state champion.

To start, what set Stanford apart from the rest of your suitors?
Well, my final four were Princeton, Stanford, Penn and Brown. They were all great schools and I think I would have been happy at any of them, but what really set Stanford apart had to be the atmosphere. Not just of the wrestling team, but of the school as well.
It is a great school academically, but it has a laidback feel that I did not get at the other schools. As for athletics, Stanford expects to win at everything and I think that's a great thing to be around.

Does the prospect of moving to the coast and such a big university excite you?
Yes, I am very excited to move out to the coast.
Being a military kid I have gotten to move all over the country so moving away from Kansas will not be as daunting as it may be to some.
It will be a huge step in my life moving so far away from my home and family and although it will be hard, I think I will be able to adjust.

Was the recruiting process fun or overwhelming? What did you enjoy most about it?
The recruiting process was really exciting.
Getting calls from different schools from all over the nation made it feel like all the hard work I had put in paid off.
The best part had to be the recruiting trips and getting to meet all the different coaches and wrestlers and seeing some of those great academic schools I had only dreamed about going to.
The worst part had to be calling a coach to tell him that I would not be going to his school.

At Stanford, what do you plan on studying?
I want to study aerospace engineering with maybe minors in ancient history or physics.
Ultimately, I want to have a steady job and make my living doing something that I love.
Wrestling wise I have my goals set on winning a national championship and possibly having a run at making the 2016 Olympic team.

For aspiring wrestlers out there, what motivation can you give them to help achieve success such as yourself?
Well, as I have learned from all the guys that I looked up to as a kid, the best way to achieve success is through hard work in the classroom, on the mat or whatever you aspire at doing.
With the right amount of dedication, any goal that you want to achieve is possible.