In a hardly unexpected move, Mount Tabor (Winston-Salem, NC) linebacker Derek Nicholson has been working hard on and off the field throughout the summer. The 2004 version of Mount Tabor High School football will feature a stronger and faster version of its star linebacker.
“I’ve been working out, running, and lifting with the team, basically just trying to better myself for next year,” Nicholson said. He tallied an amazing 181 tackles last season as a junior. “I’m stronger and faster. I’ve only gained about 5 pounds…I’m 225, but I got a lot stronger. It’s a different 225 than last year. I’m down to a 4.5 in the 40 and I’m throwing up 350 pounds on the bench, 360 pounds in the hand clean, and 500 squat.
“I’ve been watching film too. To better myself, I try to pick 10 to 15 bad plays out of last year and see the things I need to work on. It helps me get prepared to have a better season this year. You can always improve.”
Nicholson, a four-star recruit, has loads of Division I-A scholarship offers to choose from. Though he is focusing more on his senior season than recruiting, he has been able to narrow his list to about 10 schools.
“I’m down to around 10,” Nicholson said. “They are (in no particular order) Oklahoma, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Michigan, FSU, Miami, Clemson, Georgia, UNC, and Virginia Tech. Right now, those are solid. I chose them because of a combination of them recruiting me the hardest, sending mail, good academics, and a good football tradition.”
While the list is solid for now, Nicholson says other schools could come into the mix during the Fall.
“The 10 could change, give or take a few,” Nicholson admitted. “It depends on how the teams do this season. Right now it’s an even ball game. A team who is out of the top 10 right now could come in, I could really like them and how they recruit me, and I could decide to take an official visit there. Anything can happen.”
Nicholson plans on making all five official visits before announcing his decision. He wants to take some unofficial trips for games during his season and make the five officials following his season.
“I’ll take some unofficials during the season and I’ll probably take my five official visits after the season,” Nicholson. “I haven’t scheduled anything yet and I don’t know anyone I’m definitely going to visit. I’m focused on my season first…recruiting will take care of itself.”
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