Catching up with Garrett Nicholson

Last year, BYU coaches all but wrapped up their in-state recruiting by the end of August. This year, the Cougar staff appears to be leading the in-state race once again. previously reported on the work BYU is doing with several prospects at South Jordan, Utah's Bingham High School, but Cougar coaches are not limiting their focus to the talent rich Miners.

One in-state athlete who meets the unique BYU ideal is West High School's do-it-all athlete Garrett Nicholson. BYU offered Nicholson his first full ride scholarship offer last year during his junior season. Unlike the early commits from Bingham High School, everyone will know who Nicholson is by the time football season begins next year.

"I'm doing really good," said the 5-foot-10, 170-pound Nicholson. "I'm just kind of kicking back today, but I'm getting ready to start working out again. I ran indoor track this year, and this year for indoor track I took fourth in the state, and I ran it at BYU. That was the first time I ever ran it so I didn't do that well. I did take fourth in state so I guess that's pretty good. Indoor I ran the 60 and in outdoor I ran the 100 and the 200.

"Prior to [football] pre-season I do a lot of track workouts and mostly lifting to try and get stronger. Competing in track helps me and doing track workouts are really tough and keeps you in shape."

Much like Chino Hills all-purpose athlete and BYU 2007 signee Steven Thomas, Nicholson plays multiple roles for West. Last season, Nicholson lined up at tailback and cornerback and even did special teams duty.

"For next season, I'm talking to my coach right now, and he also wants to line me up at receiver a couple of times," Nicholson said. "Other than that, my roles will pretty much be the same thing. I might play a little bit of safety on defense to see how that works out. We lost both of our safeties from last year's team, so there are a couple of new things I might try next year."

During region play, Nicholson scored nine touchdowns on offense and was honored as first team all-region, West High's outstanding back, and honorable mention all-state. With Nicholson's senior season still ahead of him, the Cougar coaching staff jumped on the versatile prospect early much like Bingham High School's Austin Holt.

"It was cool to get an early offer from BYU," said Nicholson. "I met Austin at a camp and I was impressed with his size, and he's a really good player. When BYU offered me, I was really excited, and I was also excited about the possibility of other scholarships coming. It was just exciting for me and my family, and I was really pumped about it."

Nicholson has sent out highlight footage of his junior year and received some interest from two college coaches.

"I sent some film out to a couple of schools," Nicholson said. "Coach Stubbs from the University of Louisville sent me a letter back, and I got a letter back from Coach Cabral from Colorado University, but as of right now I have one offer from BYU."

Nicholson was pleased to see BYU thump the Ducks of Oregon during this past season's bowl game.

"I was really impressed with BYU's season last year," said Nicholson. "I was really impressed with the job the coaching staff has done down there, and how they've really turned it around. It was exciting to see them really beat up on Oregon like that in the bowl game. They tore apart Oregon's defense and that was really exciting to see. "When I was down there, the coaches were really nice to me, and I had a really good time down there, and I like the campus. I get a really good feeling for BYU and the coaches and everything they're doing with the program and the direction it's going. I can only see it getting better from here."

Able to play various positions, Nicholson isn't quite sure exactly where BYU is recruiting him. The coaches told him he could possibly play different positions, but he ssuspects he'll probably end up at the cornerback position if committed to BYU.

"In the meeting I had with Coach Mendenhall where he offered me a scholarship he just said that I could play either spot at running back or corner, so I don't really know, but I'm pretty sure they're probably recruiting me for corner," said Nicholson.

However, if Nicholson were given the chance to choose where he would like to play at the D-I level, it would be on the offensive side of the ball so he would have the opportunity to score touchdowns.

"It would be a tough decision but I would probably have to say I would like to stay at running back," chuckled Nicholson. "I've been playing that all my life. I think that is probably where I would like to play if I could choose."

Nicholson's father knows BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall personally from when the two played together at Snow Junior College. As a former college player and a current assistant coach at West, Trey Nicholson knows all the ins and outs and tricks college coaches can sometimes pull with 17 and 18 year old high school kids.

"He's really been my main support," said Nicholson of his dad. "He's been through all this before so he knows about all this stuff already. He knows what to look for when coaches are talking to you and what they're really saying. He knows what they can and can't do when they're recruiting you. You hear about all these recruiting scandals and he knows what to watch out for with coaches and what can and can't be done. He is my main support when it comes to all of this."

The straightforward nature of Coach Mendenhall and his staff when it comes to explaining what BYU is all about will be right up the Nicholson's alley.

"I'm looking at location and academics of course," said Nicholson. "I'm looking for tradition as well, and that's really important to me because we have a big tradition at my high school, and I want the university that I'm at to be the same way. Tradition is a big deal and the coaching staff of course and things of that nature."

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