Wednesday, February 16, 2011

the recruit: Demetrious Nicholson

Name: Demetrious Nicholson
Position: CB
Hometown: Virginia Beach
School: Bayside
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 170

ESPN: 81; four stars; #4 CB; US #92
Rivals: 5.8; four stars; #5 CB; VA #2; US #92
Scout: four stars; #3 CB;

Other offers: Michigan, Virginia Tech, Penn State, Stanford, West Virginia, North Carolina, Clemson, Boston College, NC State, Maryland, Rutgers, Connecticut, Louisville, Duke, East Carolina

In the collection of game-changing recruits UVA signed this month, there are a few with (slightly) more impressive offers. There are none with the kind of universal accolades that Demetrious Nicholson has.

Nicholson committed in December, a couple days before Christmas, after an autumn in which UVA was a heavy favorite.....which itself followed a summer in which UNC was favored instead. What fun, recruiting against programs sitting in the shadow of the hammer. Carolina actually was Nicholson's focus for about a year - they offered first, and they're of course a very similar school to UVA, only with NCAA sanctions breathing down their neck and no Mike London.

People - not just football recruits, either - always talk about "fit" these days when it comes to choosing schools. Sometimes it's crap: just recruit-speak from someone who's learned the right thing to say to a reporter. Or it's because they know better than to say "highest bidder." Sometimes it means something though. UVA looks like a great fit for Demetrious Nicholson, but Nicholson is a perfect fit for UVA. He's a true cornerback - the one position where there's been a crying need for signees for the last three years, and a fantastic one. He hails from the Tidewater area where London focused his laser sights, and better yet he comes from Bayside, which is always in the thick of contention in their district, turns out quality talent and which UVA has been doing a good job of getting their hooks into. (If Anthony Cooper ends up at UVA, which I think he will, it'll put the Bayside pipeline firmly into place with three years in a row of pulling a commitment from there.) And, Nicholson is a terrific student. A top-ranked football player enrolled in AP Calculus and earning a 3.5? Yes please.

I could bore you with the excessively long list of all-Something teams Nicholson placed on, from district level all the way to national - Nicholson makes two years in a row UVA has scored a Parade All-American. He's not just an all-American, he's one of Parade's "starters" - making him one of their top 25 players in the country. That, plus his selection as Gatorade's player of the year in Virginia - over Curtis Grant! - should give you all the idea you need about the kind of player we're getting.

In case you're not sufficiently blown away, here's one more. The three services all rank Nicholson as one of the top five corners in the country - and he's the only one who can say that. Nobody else is a consensus top-five cornerback.

So it's obvious like a bat to the face that Nicholson will never see a redshirt at UVA, and will be a three-year starter, if not four. Chase Minnifield has one side of the field all to himself, but the guy with the inside track for the other starter job probably punched and lied his way right out of it and off the team. The opposite corner from Minnifield will be totally, totally up in the air, and even if Devin Wallace wasn't a knucklehead, Nicholson would have been given every chance to unseat him anyway. And there aren't that many contenders for the job. It'll be a rocky go at first; freshman corners, especially ones that are slightly smaller than ideal, tend to be abused by experienced receivers and quarterbacks. S'ok: Nicholson will work his way back to earning those all-Something accolades, and sooner rather than later.

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