Dadi Nicolas earned national attention this week after a three-sack, seven-tackle performance against Pittsburgh. Nicolas, available to the media this week for the first time in over a year, enjoyed wreaking havoc on Pitt quarterback Tom Savage.
“I had fun. It was one of the best games, funnest games I’ve played since I’ve been here,” Nicolas said. “It was a big blessing. I’m just thankful for getting the opportunity from coach (Bud) Foster putting me in the right position to make these types of plays.”
Nicolas was born in Haiti but moved to Delray Beach, Fla. during an adoption process when he was three months old. During the adoption his name was changed to Wedley Estime, but legally changed it back to his birth name, Dadi Nicolas, after he turned 18.
After moving to the U.S., the redshirt-sophomore defensive end never left Florida’s borders until colleges were recruiting him to play. Florida International, Florida Atlantic, Kansas and Western Michigan all expressed interest in Nicolas, but initially he committed to play at Minnesota.
Once Virginia Tech came onto the scene, Nicolas, who knew others from South Florida that went to Tech — like Jayron Hosley — changed his mind.
“A couple big homies from my city that came here prospered and went to the next level. They said they treated them right here,” Nicolas said. “I see what Virginia Tech had to offer and I love the campus environment. It was the right fit.”
Despite playing just one year of high school football, Nicolas, who primarily was a basketball player, came to Tech with the intentions of playing right away.
“When I got here, when I came up, I had in my mind that I wanted to play right away. As a football player, that should be your attitude. What kind of football player would you be, or what athlete, period,” Nicolas said. “You’ve got to be competitive. I didn’t care who was here, I didn’t care who was ahead of me. I just wanted to win.
“That’s not how it worked out, and that’s fine. The people that’s in front of me, they’ve taken me under their wings. Great people. I love ‘em.”
Being so new to football, Nicolas redshirted his freshman year in an attempt to gain better understanding for the schemes and concepts of Foster’s defense.
“This is a big D1 college football program,” Nicolas. “It’s complex, it’s hard.”
He took a step backward though, when he was suspended after being arrested for stealing a bike in June 2012. He was reinstated in August of that year. Nicolas chose not to comment on the arrest or how it might have set him back on the field, saying “I’m past that.”