"I think a lot on the field," Nichols said. "I use my hands more aggressively than most guys in high school. I know what I'm able to do and I usually know what my opponent's doing. I've been starting since my freshman year."
The Pompano Beach (Fla.) Ely standout recently went to London to play in an All-Star game there. Team America won and Nichols was the Defensive MVP (6 tackles and three sacks). It's strong performances like that, including last year's game against St. Thomas Aquinas, that have helped put his name on the national recruiting map.
"Me and Sam Young battled last year," he said. "He came up to me after the game and said I was one of the best players he faced. I had a sack on him but he's a real good player."
Dontee Nichols is already getting recruited nationally. He claims two offers but says many more are getting close.
"Florida and Duke have offered me," he said. "I get hand-written letters from them. There are other schools that seem real interested and might offer soon. They are Notre Dame, Georgia, LSU, Ohio State, and Alabama. Coaches there all send me hand-written letters."
The talented big man has an early list of favorites that includes all of those schools and one more.
Nichols talked more about his interest in the Hurricanes.
"I like UM a lot but they're not really coming at me real hard yet," he said. "When Tyrone (Moss) and (Andrew) Bain come down they say the coaches are asking about me and stuff though so I'm sure they know about me."
Nichols plans on attending the Scout.com All-American Combine at FAU on May 13.