Nicholls Believes In What USC Is Building

Blanche Ely (Pompano Beach, FL) 3-star defensive tackle Dontee Nicholls announced his commitment to Steve Spurrier and the South Carolina Gamecocks on Wednesday. The 6'2, 290 pound Nicholls chose the Gamecocks over offers from Louisville, Rutgers, West Virginia, and Arizona State.

Nicholls stated that he chose the Gamecocks because he believes in what Coach Spurrier is building at South Carolina.

"I committed to South Carolina today," said Nicholls. "I'm looking forward to playing for Coach Spurrier. He's a legendary coach and former Heisman winner. I just think that'll be a wonderful experience. The things he did at Florida winning six SEC titles over there, and now trying to at South Carolina, I really believe that he can do it just like he did in Florida."

The standout defensive lineman said that his comfort level in Columbia also played a role in his decision to commit to USC.

"There's such a rich background in Columbia, South Carolina. I've got some family up that way, so I'm comfortable with the area. I'm a southern boy myself, so I just like the south. Plus it won't be inconvenient getting back and forth to home."

Nicholls, who made an official visit to USC on December 2, said that he knew South Carolina was the place for him after making that visit to Columbia.

"I kind of always had it in the back of my mind. As soon as I went on the visit, I felt the relationship between the players and how they interact with each other. It's a good group of guys up there, and I think I can spend the next four years there. Ever since my visit, I pretty much had an idea that South Carolina was where I wanted to go."

Nicholls said that the USC coaches have made it very clear that he will have the chance for early playing time as a Gamecock.

"They said there's a real big possibility for early playing time. They're losing a few defensive tackles, and a lot of spots will be opened up with not enough players to fill them."

The talented Sunshine State prospect also likes the idea of playing in the storied Southeastern Conference.

"Personally, I believe that the SEC is the best conference out there. As far as opposed to the ACC, the Big East, Big 12, and all that, I think the best football is being played in the SEC."

According to Nicholls, the passion and support of the Gamecock fans is something that he is excited to experience in the coming years.

"I'm very excited. That's what really caught my eye. Columbia, as a city, you can feel the spirit of the fans, the school, and the players. You can feel the intensity level of making it to a bowl game or winning a championship there. That's something that anybody would want to be a part of."

When asked if he was considering taking any other visits, Nicholls said that he has not decided one way or the other.

"It's a possibility that I might take some more visits, but I don't really know yet."

In what is a popular trend among recruits these days, Nicholls acknowledged that he is working fellow Sunshine State prospect Josh Bynes to join him at South Carolina.

"I keep in touch with Josh Bynes, the linebacker from Boyd Anderson High School. He's thinking about coming up there."

Lastly, Nicholls wanted to share a message with all of the Gamecock fans out there.

"Tell them that I believe in winning, and I believe South Carolina is the place to be."

Nicholls totaled 64 tackles and 4 sacks this past season while facing constant double teams. He becomes the Gamecocks 18th commitment for the 2007 recruiting class.

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