Derek Nicholson has led his Mount Tabor high school team into the playoffs with an outstanding senior season.
"We start our playoffs this weekend," said Nicholson. "I have 148 tackles, 35 tackles for loss, 11 sacks and two interceptions on the year."
The talented linebacker prospect has also set two of his official visits.
"I'm going to Virginia Tech on November 27th and I'm going to Notre Dame on January 22nd," said Nicholson.
The North Carolina native has also started to narrow down his list of top schools.
"I'll be setting up official visits with Miami and Florida State," Nicholson said. "I'm considering North Carolina, Clemson, Georgia and Tennessee for my last visit."
Nicholson also attended the Notre Dame/Tennessee battle last weekend.
"It was a great game. I had a really good time," said Nicholson. "I got to see two of my favorites play each other which was nice. It's an amazing atmopshere there. There was a lot of defense in that game. I liked seeing that."
We asked Nicholson what he liked about the rest of his top schools.
"At Miami, I've never been there. I have a good relationship with the coaches there. They have a great tradition of producing great linebackers there. Their education is also one of the best in the south.
"With Notre Dame, the name speaks for itself. They have great academics and great athletics. I don't know much about the social life so I'll have to visit there and see. I think coach Willingham is doing a great job there and I've developed a great relationship with their coaches there. I really like them.
"Virginia Tech is a little closer to home. They have a good tradition there of linebackers, and for their defense overall. Everyone knows about their lunch pail. They play big-time football there and I felt comfortable around the coaches and players.
"I know the most about Flordia State because of my brother (A.J. Nicholson). I talk to him about every other day. I know a lot about the coaching staff there and the players, and I feel real comfortable with them there."
Many people speculate that Derek will follow brother A.J. to Florida State when all is said and done. We asked Derek about the speculation that he'll choose Florida State in the end.
"All I can say is this," said Nicholson. "A.J. didn't follow my dad at North Carolina because Florida State was the best school for him. I'm just looking for the right school for me. It might be at one of these other schools or it might be Florida State, but I'm looking at all of them for the right place for me."
Comments: Most do expect Nicholson to end up at Florida State. He does seem sincerely interested in the other schools on his list. As with all southern players, we just won't know until they visit Notre Dame. It doesn't sound like Nicholson will be making his decision any time soon.