Recruiting: Nigel Nicholas Loves OSU

Nigel Nicholas was a little surprised at what he saw when he visited Oklahoma State last month. But upon returning to his home in Rossville, Ga., just over the boarder from Chattanooga, Tenn., in northwestern Georgia, the 6-foot-4, 253-pound standout made the decision to commit to the Cowboys, and spend the next four or five years in Stillwater.

"I love the coaches, I love the facilities they are going to have and I love the culinary arts school they have. I fell in love with everything about Oklahoma State," said Nicholas, a four-year starter at tight end and defensive end for Ridgeland High School.

Nicholas was originally recruited as a tight end by the Cowboys but "when I showed them my film, they asked me if I would mind playing defensive end to start out," he said. "I really like playing defense more, so that was fine with me."

Nicholas said his status as a freshman depends upon "how good I am. If I can come in and beat out some of the redshirt freshmen defensive ends, then I expect to start. But if not, then I'll probably redshirt. It all just depends on how good I am."

He has been plenty good enough for the Ridgeland High basketball team this season, leading the 13-0 Panthers in both scoring (12.2 points per game) and rebounding (15.0).

The 253-pounder with the skills to dominate on the basketball court is one reason that new Duke head coach David Cutcliffe has placed some calls to Nicholas in recent weeks. Nicholas originally committed to Duke last summer but reconsidered after the firing of Ted Roof and the staff that he thought he'd be playing for in Durham, N.C.

"Coach Cutcliffe has called me twice, and asked me to give him a chance," Nicholas said, "but I told him that my mind was made up and I was going to Oklahoma State.

"On my visit to Oklahoma State I couldn't believe how great the facilities are going to be. Plus, I got to see the apartments (that I'll be living in) and those were really nice too. Plus, they have a culinary arts school and that's what I want to major in, and Duke doesn't have one," he said.

"I want to be a chef, and I want to minor in business so I can own my own business one day," said Nicholas, who says he has been hooked on cooking since he entered the kitchen to fix some ramen noodles when he was 9 years old. He claims his speciality these days are sauteed shrimp, pork chops and hamburgers.

"I really like cooking but the thing that I like best about it is I like to eat what I cook," Nicholas added with a laugh.

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