Practice Tour: Demetrious Nicholson

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. --- Demetrious Nicholson plans to take all five of his official visits before making a verbal commitment.

"[North] Carolina is going to be one of them, Stanford is going to be one, probably [Virginia] Tech, UVa – schools like that" Nicholson said. "I'm still thinking right now. But North Carolina and Stanford are definitely going to be two of my official visits."

Nicholson, a 5-foot-11, 175-pound cornerback, is working on scheduling an official visit to Stanford for the weekend of Sept. 4, Bayside High School's bye week. The Cardinal hosts Sacramento State that Saturday.

All of Nicholson's official visits will take place during the early part of the football season.

"I don't want it to be all late in December and still trying to take [official] visits," Nicholson said.

These official visits will go a long way in helping Nicholson make his collegiate decision.

"I want to see the depth charts of schools, because I don't want to go to a school and not at least have the opportunity to battle with somebody to start," Nicholson said. "I want to play as soon as I get there. I don't want to red-shirt and sit out for two years.

"I want to see how the atmosphere is [and] how the students are outside of football, what the players do for fun, and how the academic systems are ran."

Heading into Nicholson's official visits, UNC is the team to beat.

"They're still at the top," Nicholson said. "But since that investigation thing came around it messed up my train of thought a little bit, because I thought they were going to get into some trouble. But I've realized it's more of an individual thing than to affect the whole school or the whole team."

Nicholson has been favoring UNC since attending the Tar Heels' camp last summer.

"They were the first offer," Nicholson said. "They were the first team to believe in me. They offered me without evening seeing my highlight tape – they just saw me at camp…

"Carolina, I've been there the most – I've been there three or four times. I've been around the school. I've been around some of the players. I just love the atmosphere there and the school as a whole.

"Coach Butch Davis, he's legendary. He coached the Dallas Cowboys. [The coaching staff] has good connections with the NFL. They can help me get to the next level after college."

Since the spring, Nicholson has felt pressure to make a verbal commitment.

"I told [Nicholson] I'll tell them all if they can't wait, then go ahead," Bayside head football coach Darnell Moore said. "[Nicholson] needs to be sure that he's sure. I tell my kids ‘de-committing' is not in my vocabulary. Once you say ‘This is where I'm going,' that's where you're going. Don't come back to me ‘Oh Coach, I've changed my mind' – I don't want to hear it."

Although he understands why he was/is being pressured, Nicholson wants to take his time.

"It's a tough process to go through," Nicholson said. "You've got everybody telling you the same thing – you can come here and do this, you can come here and do that. You hear it over and over again. You don't know which way to look."

That pressure has contributed to Nicholson's lack of contact with any coaching staff.

"My God Dad gets on me about [calling coaches]," Nicholson said. "He's like ‘You've got to call them, you've got to get to know them.' I've just been busy. But I'm going to start to call these coaches and letting them know I'm still interested in them and let them know what's going on with me."

Nicholson has, however, maintained a steady line of communication with fellow recruits. In particular, he's developed a strong relationship with UNC verbal commitment T.J. Thorpe.

"I talk to T.J. all the time," Nicholson said. "He tells me everything that's going on at Carolina – he keeps me informed."

Additionally, Nicholson speaks regularly to Travis Hughes, who is in a similar position.

"[Hughes] asked me when I'm going to commit," Nicholson said. "I'm like ‘I'm leaning towards Carolina, but I'm not sure right now – I'm still kind of open.' And he said the same thing, so we're not helping each other."

Nicholson revealed that he and Hughes were part of a group of Tidewater Area recruits that discussed a package deal.

"At one point, before people started committing, we were talking about all coming to one school," Nicholson said. "But Clifton Richardson went to UVa, Caleb Taylor went to UVa, [and] ‘Da-Da' [Daquan Romero] went to North Carolina.

"Travis and I would love to play at the same school. We kind of grew up together, but we never played together. We knew each other since we were younger.

"‘Da-Da' and I talked about the same thing."

Nicholson is a four-star prospect and the 12th ranked cornerback in the nation by

"He has the whole package," Moore said. "He has great hips – he can flip his hips like nobody can. And he has a good backpedal – even as a freshman. He's gotten bigger [and] he's gotten stronger…

"Coaches aren't just satisfied with defensive backs who can cover. They want defensive backs who can make plays – and he can make plays. He showed that not only on defense, but on offense and on special teams."

Because of that last point, Moore believes Nicholson is the Old Dominion State's top playmaker.

"There aren't a lot of kids in the state of Virginia that can impact a football game like he can," Moore said. "He can shut your best receiver down, your best defensive back can't shut him down, and he impacts the game on special teams whether you kick it to him or not."

With his shutdown ability, Nicholson is typically in man coverage against Bayside opponents' top receiver.

"To have a corner that can [shut down one receiver], it allows you to do a whole lot of things on defense," Moore said. "… It allows you to do other things in terms of covering other guys and blitzing – that's a luxury."

Nicholson is a big piece, but certainly not the only piece, of Bayside's multiple pro-style offense. The Marlins also boost 2012 wide receiver Anthony Cooper, 2013 quarterback Deion Stitt, and 2014 wide receiver Quin Blanding, who is already 6-foot-2.

"If you want to know the truth, I think between [Nicholson and Cooper], I have the two best receivers in the state of Virginia," Moore said. "Other folks can say what they want to say. Nobody can go get the ball like Tre can and do what he does with it – and the same thing about ‘Coop.'"

On special teams, not only does Nicholson return punts and kickoffs for Bayside, he has a knack for blocking punts.

Demetrious Nicholson

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