NC State's Tony Creecy and James Washington were solid, dependable running backs for the Wolfpack last year. The potential return of Mustafa Greene and the arrival of incoming freshman Shadrach Thornton will give the Pack additional punch at the position in 2012. However, the recent commit of 2013 running back Dakwa Nichols will give State a different kind of weapon down the road.
The Richmond County standout posted a blazing 3.97-second pro shuttle a few weeks back and that number accentuated Nichols tremendous body control and change of direction. He has the ability to make razor sharp cuts, leaving defenders grasping at air. And with 4.4-second speed in the 40, the rising senior boasts the speed to run away from defenses.
Before committing to NC State, Nichols had yet to receive the recruiting fanfare enjoyed by teammates Tyrone Crowder and Devante Covington. Some of that may have been due to the fact Nichols broke his foot in 2011, ending his season after rushing for close to 1,000 yards and 19 touchdowns.
However, Nichols decided he didn't need to wait for additional schools to get involved. He knew where he wanted to go shortly after landing an offer from NC State.
"I committed to coach Bridge and he was very excited," said Nichols. "He was almost as excited as I was.
"Me and my family talked about it and we felt like it was the best decision for me. Also, they have great academic standards and a great football team and it's close to home. The coaches made me feel at home when I was on the visit so it was just a great fit."
Offensive line coach Jim Bridge is one of the Wolfpack's top recruiters and his work was critical in landing Nichols.
"I got to know coach Bridge real well on my visits and he helped me out throughout the process.
"I wanted to go ahead and make my decision because I wanted to be able to focus on my senior season so hopefully we can win a state championship last year."
In addition to an off from Air Force, Nichols had also landed recruiting interest from Duke, Wake Forest and Appalachian State.
So what if any new schools decide to make a run at Nichols?
"I'm shutting my recruiting down. If I do visit anywhere else, it's going to be NC State. I'll be going up there again."
Nichols Gives the Pack a Different Weapon
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