Nichol: 'This is the program for me'

On Thursday night, Oklahoma received the news that Lowell, Mich. four-star quarterback Keith Nichol had switched his commitment from Michigan State to the Sooners. See inside for Nichol's Friday morning interview with on his decision, as well as video of him in action.

Below is a transcript of James Hale's Friday morning conversation with Lowell, Mich. quarterback Keith Nichol about his decision to commit to Oklahoma.

Nichol was a two-time Class A (largest class in Michigan) Player of the Year twice who led his team to a 33-3 record in three seasons as the starting quarterback. The 6-foot-2, 195-pounder threw for 9,300 yards and 131 touchdowns during his career.

JH: So why did you make the switch from Michigan State to Oklahoma?

Nichol: I saw right away this was a very special place to go to school and play football. I saw that it was a great program I thought the town was great. There were great people that I met and I just couldn't find anything wrong with it. It was almost overwhelming how perfect everything is.

This has nothing to do with Michigan State. I could still go to Michigan State and be happy, but when you look at all the circumstances it's hard to beat Oklahoma. It's not just football, it's all the other areas as well.

JH: What were some of the other keys to you making your decision so quickly?

Nichol: I learned a lot about all the players. I got a chance to hang out with the players, go to their meetings, talk with the coaches. And what I found is Oklahoma is very close football team. The people sold me on Oklahoma as much as anything.

My host was Malcolm Kelly. I couldn't believe one their star players was so humble. I said to myslef if the star receiver can be this nice and be this humble, then this is the program for me.

I had lunch with coach Stoops, Kelly, Josh Huepel, Brent Venables, and all of them just seemed so humble. Here's Josh Heupel, a Heisman runner-up and you wouldn't even know it just talking to him. And coach Stoops has a great family and just loves life.

JH: I heard you also had a meeting with the offensive linemen?

Nichol: Yeah, I'm already trying to get them on my good side (laughs). I learned young that you have to have a good offensive line.

JH: Tell us about about what kind of quarterback you are?

Nichol: Coach Dean has always had the philosophy that we take what the defense gives you. That's why I have so many rushing yards. I pride myself on being able to run the football, but I like to throw the ball too. I think I can throw all the passes and all the routes.

I've been in involved with an offense that takes what the defense gives you, and I from what I've learned about Oklahoma that's what they try to do too.

What was it like to hang out with coach Stoops?

Nichol: It was just awesome, because he is from up North as well. He made me feel so much at home a 1,000 miles a way. He's a good example of of what a person from up North can do at Oklahoma and be happy at Oklahoma.

JH: OU gradudates their starting quarterback and you will be enrolling in January and be able to go through spring practice. So talk about your intentions to compete for the starting spot.

Nichol: I am a competitor so I want to come in and compete, but I have been given no gaurantees. I am going to come in at semester and hope to quickly get my name on the depth chart.

Once I get on the depth chart, I can start trying to work up that depth chart. Sure, I have goals. I want to be the starting quarterback, but I realize that's not going to be easy.

JH: How hard do you think it will be for you to learn the offense?

Nichol: When I was hanging out with a lot of of the offensive linemen they told me it was pretty easy (laughs). I don't think it's going to be all that easy, but I've been involved in a pretty sophisticated offense in high school.

I realize OU's will be more complicated and that's why I'm coming in at semester, I'm going to try to learn it as quickly as a I can. I watched film with coach Wilson and he was so easy to talk to that I already feel that I have an idea what the offense is about.

JH: You grew up in Michigan and were committed to the Spartans for quite some time, so how do you think your friends will feel when they hear about your decision?

Nichol: My friends are going to be incredibly happy for me. They know that Oklahoma is one of the elite teams in college football and if that's where I want to go, they are going to root for me and be happy for me. I think everybody is going to be real happy.

JH: Have you told new Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio about your decision?

Nichol: Yes, coach Dantonio understood. He's been involved in football for a long time. He wished me luck and said I made a great choice.

He and coach Stoops are great friends. He understood this is just college football and I had to make a decision for myself. He told me if I changed my mind to call him and he'd still have a scholarship for me.

So did you feel at home with the weather in Oklahoma?

Nichol: (Laughs) Well, the players were kidding me that they had this snow storm just for me. To be honest, we would be going 70 miles an hour (driving) on the road and our schools wouldn't be closed down (in Michigan).

I started just to bring a sweatshirt, but brought a light jacket instead. That's all I really needed.

* When we asked Nichol's father about his sons' senior stats he replied, 'We're not stats guys.'

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