Nuckols could be one of the most valuable newcomers on the roster this fall if he makes the cut academically with the NCAA Clearinghouse (now called the Eligibility Center) and the CU admissions office still in his future.
As of the beginning of this week, he still hadn't filed his application for admission in Boulder. During a text message conversation on Wednesday with Scout.com, Nuckols said he had recently completed and submitted the application, but he graduated on June 18th and the process of reviewing his high school transcripts could go into August because of the late finish common for West Coast prospects.
Nuckols said he finished the final semester of his high school career with a strong performance in the classroom and he has no reason to think he won't qualify academically in Boulder.
CU already has lost one member of its 2009 class to ineligibility. Offensive lineman Shaun Simon is planning to enroll in a junior college this fall to take several classes and then join the Buffs in January. Simon is also free to sign with another program in the 2010 cycle. So he is no sure thing to be in Boulder in the spring, though he says he is committed to remaining a Buff.
Nuckols is needed in black and gold for depth if not much more in his true freshman season. CU has holes in its depth chart on the defensive line and coaches are expecting at least one of the four defensive line signees to contribute this season. Nuckols is well aware of the team's situation in the defensive front and has some big expectations as a true freshman this fall.
"Well I was told I wasn't going to be redshirted," Nuckols said. "So I'm expecting to be able to compete for some time, if not a starting job."
Nuckols said he is weighing 290 pounds and feels ready to compete and begin to prove himself at the college level. Breaking in to college ball as a true freshman in a league as tough as the Big 12 Conference is no joke, but it's a challenge from which Nuckols will not shy away.
"My view at it is that I'm going to compete with the best in the Big 12, and I won't be afraid to lineup with them every week," Nuckols said.