Superstar NC LB Still Open-Minded

A.J. Nicholson is one of the top MLB prospects in the nation and has around 30 scholarship offers to prove it. He talks about the recruiting process and Penn State's involvement.

Name: Ahmad Jamil "A.J." Nicholson
Position: ILB/RB
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 230 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.6 seconds
Bench Press / Squat: 370 pounds / 520 pounds
School: Mount Tabor High, Winston-Salem, NC
Offers: Around 30 offers

According to A.J. Nicholson, he plays RB for about 25 % of the his team's offensive plays, "just when we need a big play".  The majority of A.J.'s big plays come on the defensive side of the ball, where the ILB racked up over 160 tackles and 6 sacks last season.  This season, A.J. has already recorded 90 tackles and 4 sacks in 6 games.  His efforts on both offense and defense have helped Mount Tabor put their abysmal 2000 season and 1-8-1 record behind them.  They are 4-2 this season under Heach Coach Bob Sapp, who returned to Mount Tabor this season after leaving previously to coach for another school 2 years ago.

A.J. has around 30 scholarship offers to play MLB at the collegiate level.

"I don't really have a favorite yet," he explained, "but, I like Florida State, Miami, Florida, Texas and North Carolina.  I have schools that I like, but I don't have a particular favorite yet."

Tennessee, Notre Dame and Georgia round out A.J.'s top 8.

"They're all more or less the same, because I'm just focusing on the season right now.  I'll worry about narrowing it down when the time comes."

A.J. had previously committed to North Carolina, but later decided that he wanted to get back into the recruiting process and take all of his official visits.  He has 3 official visits scheduled so far.  He will visit Notre Dame on 11/3, Miami on 12/15 and Florida State on 1/10.  He has taken unofficial visits to Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, East Carolina, Wake Forest, NC State and Florida State.  He is also planning to take an unofficial visit to South Carolina.

Penn State was recruiting A.J. prior to his commitment to North Carolina, but apparently is not any longer.

"I heard from them early, but after that commitment, and later my decommitment, they haven't spoken to me any more.  I got a whole lot of letters [from PSU].  They [the PSU letters] slipped off when I committed and never picked up after I decommited.  I like Penn State, but they haven't shown a whole lot of interest in me since then.  I was interested in them earlier this summer.  They were going to be part of my top 6.  I already had it planned.  But, I guess that wasn't meant to be."

A.J. said he would still be open to taking an unofficial visit to Penn State, if PSU got back into the picture, to see what it was like.  He maintains that he is still "very open" in the recruiting process right now.  He is looking for a good situation where he would have an opportunity to play early.  He has been looking at team's depth charts to identify schools needing linebackers.  It appears to A.J. as though FSU has more of a need at LB than Florida or Miami.

A.J. will probably major in business, and would like to someday own a hotel.  He will wait until near signing day to make a final decision.


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