Quick Hits with Brandon Nolen

Thanks to the hard work of defensive coordinator John Lovett, New Jersey native Brandon Nolen chose the Tigers over several schools from the northeast this past February. Today we take a look at Nolen and his future position in the Clemson football program in this extensive report.

Brandon Nolen
Free Safety
Old Bridge High School (Old Bridge, New Jersey)
NR: N/A Rating: **

THE STATS: Brandon Nolen was a All-State First-Team performer and a Super 100 All-State pick by New Jersey Coaches his senior season. He rushed for 1180 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2002, including a long run of 94 yards from his starting tailback position. He helped lead his team to the semifinals of the playoffs in the Garden state and as a junior, he rushed for 1,200 yards and 23 touchdowns while averaging 6.7 yards per carry. He chose the Tigers over Wake Forest, Purdue, and the Wisconsin Badgers.

STRENGTH: Nolen's primary strength lies with his speed. He was an all-conference and all-area performer in track his junior season in the 100m, 200m, 4x100m and 2x200m. He also has a knack for making the big play and he uses his athleticism to overmatch weaker players. His fastest time in the 40-yard dash has been as low as 4.3 seconds.

WEAKNESS: Coming in as a true freshman, he'll need to continue to work in the weight room and establish himself in the offseason as a hard worker at the free safety position.

WHY CLEMSON? "For me, I've really always wanted to play football in the south and Clemson was my favorite school since back in the early summer," said Nolen. "Coach Lovett was my recruiter and I felt like we got along really well throughout the whole process. The coaching staff wants me as a safety I think, which really isn't a big deal because I feel like I make that transition once I get there. They may still give me a shot at running back, it just depends on how well I do once I get on campus."

HS COACH QUOTE: "Brandon is a terrific football player," Old Bridge head coach Robert DeMarco said. "He's been a three-year varsity starter for us and he's rushed for more than a 1,000 yards the past couple of years. What makes him so good is his vision and his cutting ability. He could make people miss and he has 10.7 speed in the 100-meters. Brandon is a true college tailback but I also think he could play defensive back at Clemson. He really is an explosive player with unlimited potential."

COACH BOWDEN: "He was a running back but we are probably going to move him straight to the secondary once he gets here. He's got a lot of speed and we'll be able to use him in a variety of different ways in the coming years. Coach Lovett did an outstanding job recruiting Brandon."

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