December 19, 2013

Nicholson watch is on

On Thursday defensive back Montae Nicholson of Gateway High School in Monroeville, Pennsylvania will make his college choice. The 6-foot-2, 202-pound prospect is expected to select from a final list which includes Michigan State, Florida State, Pittsburgh, Oregon and Virginia Tech. Nicholson has over 30 BCS scholarship offer in all.

Nicholson is one of the top uncommitted players in the entire Big Ten region for the class of 2014. Rivals.com rates him a 4-star recruit and the #1 prospect in Pennsylvania. He is also rated the #13 safety prospect in the nation and the #135 player overall by rivals.com.

Nicholson has been very thorough in his recruitment, having used all 5 of his official visits. He has indicated that he is looking for the school that fits him best from an athletic, academic and social aspect. Nicholson had the following to say about Michigan State when asked about the Spartans by Rivals.com recruiting analyst Adam Friedman.

"I think it was the atmosphere up there," Nicholson said. "It was really nice and I enjoyed myself. They are telling me I could play on both sides of the ball. It's play on defense first then we'll see about the offense. The players up there seem very happy about how things are going. It wasn't coach Narduzzi and the entire staff that I liked so him leaving wouldn't change my decision."

The fact that Spartan Defensive Coordinator Pat Narduzzi has publicly indicated that he is planning to stay at Michigan State certainly cannot hurt the Spartan chances with Nicholson. Coach Narduzzi is expected to sign a new contract in the near future which could make him the highest paid defensive coordinator in the Big Ten.

Though he is listed as a defensive back, it is possible that if Nicholson selects the Spartans, he will see some time on the offensive side of the ball too. Coach Dantonio has no problem with getting the best players on the field regardless of position. Wide receiver Tony Lippett, who led Michigan State in receptions this fall, has played extensively on both sides of the ball during his career as have several other Spartans such as Jamal Lyles, Riley Bullough and Lawrence Thomas.

If the Spartans land Nicholson, it will be the 3rd consecutive year they have been able to recruit one of the best players from the state Pennsylvania. In 2012 the Spartans signed Damion Terry out of Erie, Pennsylvania and in 2011 it was Demetrious Cox from Jeannette, Pennsylvania. Both Terry and Cox were Rivals.com 4-star recruits who could have gone anywhere in the nation.

Michigan State Offensive Line Coach Mark Staten served as the primary recruiter of both Terry and Cox and he is certainly hoping Nicholson becomes the next member of the "No Fly Zone".




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