2008 Intro: Nick Becton

WILMINGTON, N.C. --- Almost a week later, Nick Becton is still feeling the high of winning the NCHSAA 4A State Championship in basketball.

"I feel excited about making history happen," said Becton. "It's been awhile since we won a state championship so it makes it real special. We'll have a new banner to hanging up now and a championship ring."

The 2007 banner will join 12 others already hanging in Wilmington (N.C.) New Hanover's gym, but its the first title since 1968.

Becton, a 6-foot-7 285-pounder, started at forward for New Hanover averaging five rebounds-per-game.

Ending the nearly 40-year drought during his junior season eases the pressure to repeat as a senior for Becton.

"It has lifted the pressure a little bit, because since we already won it and we know how it feels - it's that much easier to get back to it," said Becton.

However, winning the title on the hardwood has created high expectations for the football team, which returns a lot of talent, including a solid offensive line anchored by Becton.

"We're kind of motivated to do the same thing with football now to put [New] Hanover on top in another sport," said Becton.

As a junior, Becton started at the most important position on New Hanover's offensive line – left guard.

"Our left guard is our main pulling guard," said Kevin Motsinger, New Hanover's head football coach. "When I first got here this past year, I thought he was going to be a left tackle or right tackle. But then I saw how well he moved [so we started him at left guard].

"But he also played right guard, he played right tackle, he played left tackle, and he also plays a little defensive tackle. We're not exactly sure [where he'll play on the offensive line next year, because] he can play any one of the five [offensive line] positions.

"If I had to put him right now, I'd put him at right guard and put him beside C.J. [Brown]. Our right side would be about as good as anybody's."

For his senior season, Motsinger will drop Becton in at defensive tackle at times. While this move goes against Motsinger's rule of not double-platooning players, he doesn't want to waste Becton's athleticism on one side of the ball.

On the collegiate level, Motsinger believes Becton is best suited for the offensive line protecting the quarterback's blindside.

"At that level, people are always looking for that left tackle and he is a left tackle," said Motsinger. "Athletically, he's got the reach and arm span, and he's got the feet, and he's got the intelligence.

"To play at a very high level [at that position] – no matter where you go – you've got to have feet, you've got to have the brains, you've got to have the arms – he's got all three."

However, Becton is far from a finished product.

"He's very raw," said Motsinger. "He's only played football for one year; he's been a basketball player.

"But, he is a D'Brickashaw Ferguson. He is unbelievable athletically for his size. His upside is just unbelievable. If he stays healthy and continues to grow, he has a chance to play football for a long time."

Additionally, Motsinger says Becton is "a high-character kid" and is "very coachable." In the classroom, Becton maintains a weighted grade-point-average of 4.9.

Basketball has actually assisted in Becton's development as a football player.

"[Basketball has helped] probably with my footwork and being able to stay in shape during the football offseason," said Becton.

Becton's potential alone has landed him scholarship offers from East Carolina and N.C. State, while schools like Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Duke, North Carolina, Stanford, and Virginia are showing interest.

While his basketball season has limited his time to travel, Becton has attended junior days at ECU and N.C. State. With his basketball season completed, Becton has more time on his hands and plans to unofficially visit Clemson, North Carolina, and Virginia.

Over the summer, Becton is looking to attend a handful of camps, but will be forced to work around his AAU basketball schedule.

Becton isn't claiming any favorites and isn't sure when he'll make a verbal commitment. He said he's just hoping recruiting doesn't interfere with his quest of winning a state championship in football and repeating in basketball.

Nick Becton Profile

Inside Carolina Top Stories