Coach Metheny: "They are getting a great young man, a high character kid, a great student-athlete (3.3 or 3.4 GPA), and he is a three sport letterman in football, basketball, and track. He is a three year runner-up in state in the long jump and Nickell will wind up being a four year starter on offense and defense for us here. We have been a back-to-back final four team and Nickell has been an important part of that. He is very explosive and he ran a 4.38 electronic laser time [in the 40 yard dash], he is a 24 foot long jumper, and a standing broad jump of about 10 feet 3 inches, so he has great explosion. Georgia is looking at him as a true wide cover corner, but he can also play wide receiver or running back on offense as well. He will be a punt return and kick return guy as well with a big upside."
Scout: Talk about him as a cover guy; does he get tested down there?
Coach Metheny: "He really doesn't because people what type of athlete he is and what kind of ball skills he has. When they have tried that side it has usually been a pass break-up or an interception, so he has not gotten a lot of tests there. He has gotten to go up against quality receivers though that have gone on to Virginia, Florida, and Tennessee. Nickell has done very against them and he has only given up one touchdown reception in his career. That was a five yard hitch with about 30 seconds to go in the game with us up 27-0 at the time. He is very proven with his ball skills on the defensive side."
Scout: What do you see as his biggest area needed for improvement as he goes to Georgia?
Coach Metheny: "It is hard to say. As far as ball skills, he is pretty special. He is the best cover guy I have had in 18 years of coaching. His read transition, his great recovery time, his breaking on the ball, and really good instincts [are strengths]. He has a feel for the ball and when it goes up in the air, even though he is only 5-foot-8 he usually comes down with it because he has a 38-39 inch vertical leap and he is quite explosive with great hands."
Scout: Everyone knows Georgia signed Carlton Thomas out of your program two years ago, so how do you keep getting this kind of talent in that small little town of Frostproof?
Coach Metheny: "I don't know – it has been that way for a long time. Alvin Harper was an all-state guy coming out of Frostproof who for the longest time held the state record in the long jump and he went on to be an All-American in football and track at Tennessee. Travis Henry came through and Carlton Thomas is just another one and now Nickell Robey just adds to the list. We feel very fortunate as coaches to be able to get these type of kids and they are special, they work hard both on and off the field."
Scout: Carlton Thomas is cousins with Nickell and I have not talked to Nickell much about what type of role if any Carlton played into his decision. Do you feel Carlton played into Nickell going to Georgia at all?
Coach Metheny: "I feel it was kind of a security blanket – he had somebody there that he could relate to and communicate with, but Nickell is a pretty strong-willed kid that can do for his own. I think it was just a combination of a lot things – I think Coach Richt and his staff made him feel super comfortable there at the University of Georgia and the academic people there do outstanding trying to make sure the kids do what they need to do academically. Overall he came back from his second unofficial visit up there and said he knew where he wanted to go. He knew it in his gut after being there the second time and he was ready to put it behind him and move forward. He will work extremely hard getting ready for his senior year and then go to UGA and do well there."
Scout: Did this (Robey's decision) surprise you at all? The timing, the school, or anything?
Coach Metheny: "It didn't really surprise me that it was the school he chose – I sort of felt for the last month that it had been Georgia-South Florida, but I really thought he would wait for mid season and take some official visits. We have talked about it in the past that when you know, you know and when he came back from his visit he knew in his gut that Georgia was the place for him. He felt comfortable and he felt that is where he needed to be."
Thanks to Coach Metheny for his time and answering our questions in the edition of Coach's Corner.
Chad Simmons is the Recruiting Analyst for the South Region and he can be reached at ChadSimmons@Scout.com.