Nicholson Playing on Both Sides of the Ball

Cougar commit Garrett Nicholson is getting it done on both sides of the ball, leading West High School into the 5A playoffs this weekend. Although Nicholson will be playing cornerback at the next level, he's been punching the clock for just about every rep on the offensive side of the ball this season.

"I'm my team's leading rusher," said Garrett Nicholson. "So far this year I have just over 1,000 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns. I'm playing both ways and I feel I had a good season and I'm looking forward to the playoffs."

The 5-foot-10-inch, 185-pound Nicholson has used his speed and overall athleticism to get around opponents consistently during the prep season. He has also worked to get stronger for his senior year, and so far it's paid off.

"Oh, I'm definitely stronger," said Nicholson. "Over the summer I really worked hard in the weight room to put on some more muscle and I definitely think it's helped me."

Of course, Nicholson recognizes that his offer was earned in no small part due to his speed and overall athleticism. Nicholson posts a best 100 meter time of 10.85, and has runs a 4.43 forty.

"What I've noticed this year is that I feel even faster," said Nicholson. "I'm pretty confident that I could put up even faster numbers than I did last year. I feel that I'm quicker and faster all-around."

Nicholson used his increased speed and strength to run rampant over 5A powerhouse Highland High School earlier this season, in what he considers his best all-around game of the year.

"I had 172 yards on 17 carries and scored three touchdowns," said Nicholson. "Although I probably had better numbers against Murray High, Highland is a much tougher opponent, so I feel that was my best game."

During his game against Highland, Nicholson took constant note of current Cougar recruit Latu Heimuli, who plays defensive tackle for the Rams. Nicholson witnessed Heimuli often whenever he attempted a run up the middle.

"[Heimuli] was always free in the middle," noted Nicholson. "It seemed like every time I ran it up the middle he beat his block and I'd have to avoid him. Yeah, he's really good. I hope BYU can get him."

Of course, Nicholson was recruited as a cornerback, and will earn his scholarship playing cornerback while at BYU. Even though he's racking up the yards on offense, Nicholson hasn't neglected his defensive responsibilities.

"I don't have a lot of interceptions or deflections, but I have a lot of tackles," said Nicholson. "Teams don't seem to throw it my way much, so I don't have the best stats, but I feel I'm playing very well there."

Throughout the year Nicholson has kept close tabs on the Cougar football team and is excited about signing his letter of intent to join the team this February. Nicholson has seen most of the games and likes what he's seen so far.

"I wish they would have been able to bust the BCS," said Nicholson. "Both of their losses could have easily been wins and it was tough seeing them lose those games. BYU is a very good team and hopefully we'll bust the BCS after I get there."

Nicholson has kept in constant contact with Cougar coaches throughout the year, and Coach Lance Reynolds made the trip to watch him play against Murray. Defensive backs coach Jaime Hill is the coach Nicholson has kept the most contact with, and Nicholson earlier stated that Hill was one of the main reasons he committed to BYU in the first place.

"I talk to Coach Hill all the time," said Nicholson. "We call each other at least three times per month, or something like that. I love Coach Hill and I'm excited to play for him while at BYU."

Like most recruits, Nicholson will be making his way to Provo on January 11, when he'll be shown around campus, get the opportunity to meet his eventual signing classmates, and maybe even take in some snowmobiling.

"Yeah, it should be a lot of fun," said Nicholson about his impending official visit. "Right now I'm just getting ready for Sky View, who we play this Friday in the first round of the playoffs. That's my focus right now."

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