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At 6-foot-2 and 230 pounds, Mount Tabor, N.C. linebacker A.J. Nicholson finished the 12-game senior season with 180 tackles, 14 sacks, and two interceptions. Inside the classroom, he's a full academic qualifier.
"Everything is going well," said. "I was at Florida State this past weekend for an unofficial visit. It went well. I really liked it there. I met AJ Davis and some wide receiver from Florida [Dishon Platt]. I also met with Bobby Bowden and Mickey something."
Nicholson has still only taken one official visit thus far.
"I went to Texas and it was very nice," he said. "The thing I liked the most were how nice the people were and how nice their facilities are. As a player, I really liked that."
So does Nicholson favor Texas or Florida State at this point?
"I've told people I really liked Texas and I really liked Florida State, but I will hold off on naming a favorite," he said. "I have never even been to some of the places I'm still considering, so I really can't name a favorite right now. I'm still considering five schools and they're all even."
The other schools he's considering are Miami, North Carolina, and Tennessee.
"I have the Shrine Bowl coming up and we leave on Saturday and the I won't get back until the following Sunday. So it eats up two recruiting weekends," he said. "I have Florida State scheduled for January 11, Miami for January 18, and Tennessee for January 24. I am going to see what we can do about the North Carolina visit. We'll have to move that up or down, I really don't know yet."
Nicholson was originally scheduled to visit Miami on November 23. He explains why he didn't make it.
"I wanted to go and everything," he said. "But we had to reschedule it. They were having a big game against Washington and they were in the hotel all day long. They had a big game to play and didn't need to be worrying about recruiting. I would have done the same thing. So they decided not to have any recruits come in for visits. I'm going there on January 18."
The All-American linebacker talks about each of his favorites, in the order I asked him.
"Florida State was my little team growing up," he said. "The highlight of my day on Saturday was meeting Coach Bowden."
"I really liked the people at Texas," he said. "Like I said, they have great facilities and they have a good program."
"North Carolina also has great facilities. My dad played there, and I've sort of always had Carolina Blue in me."
"I just really like the people [at Tennessee]. The coaches are really nice, and I'm looking forward to my visit there."
"Miami is Miami," he said. "I love their colors. I think it would be great to play in orange and green. I like Coach Hargreaves a lot and I like how aggressive they are on defense. That is my style. I have a real good feeling about Miami."
Nicholson also talked about his favorite player.
"It's always been Ray Lewis," he said. "Our styles are very similar and I think we have a lot in common on the football field.
A coach from North Carolina spent a night in Nicholson's house for an in-home visit last week. Texas was scheduled to visit on Sunday night, but it had to be rescheduled. Florida State coaches will be there on Wednesday, while Coach Hargreaves will be there on Friday.
A.J. Nicholson Interview
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