"Ivan is the little brother of Stephen Nicholas who played for South Florida and was one of the best kids I ever had in the league, and he's now playing for the Atlanta Falcons," said former Coach Randy Glass. "Ivan is in the same mold as Stephen. They come from a real good family and an athletic family, that's one thing for sure with those guys. Ivan character wise is a great kid, and athletic wise he can do it all."
Last year Nicholas had 98 tackles, 4 interceptions, 7 sacks, 3 forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. What makes him so productive?
"Ivan is 5'11-190 pounds and he's a very good ball player, a very athletic kid. Sideline to sideline, the kid is just a monster, and besides his speed he is strong and makes plays. He doesn't quit"
What positions did Ivan play for you last season?
"Ivan played mostly inside linebacker for me last season, but I think they new coach is going to have him at outside to utilize his speed."
With very solid numbers and a brother who was a college star and now plays in the NFL. Why hasn't Ivan gotten much media attention?
"I don't know really. Maybe the fact that he didn't go to many camps and things like that, and that's one of the ways kids gets exposure. Another thing is Jacksonville has got so many schools, so many big name schools with big time recruiters that schools like ours and our players get over looked."
We also got to talk with Ivan's new head coach at Lee high school, Myrick Anderson, who is very familiar with the Nicholas family.
"I've coached five of the eight boys, so I've been around awhile, said Coach Anderson. "I've coached Stephen, and coached Ivan as a freshman. Compared to Steven, Ivan's not as big, but a little more athletic then Steve was."
What positions do you see him playing this season?
"I coached him as a freshman and he played outside linebacker for me. This year he's going to rove around and play all over the place. He's probably going to start at strong safety for us, because we got two good linebackers and against teams that throw the ball, Ivan can cover all that."
Since you've know the Nicholas family so well. What do you think Ivan brings to the game?
"Ivan brings a lot of enthusiasm, and has knowledge of the game. He'll sit there and watch film and evaluate himself. He's just an all around athlete, and a leader. He's a kid that you tell him something and he gets it done. He brings everything you want as a leader, on and off the field."
Stephen was an incredible player and had a great college career, but you actually think Ivan is a better athlete then Stephen was?
"To me he is. Stephen was bigger and I think Ivan is just as athletic as Stephen if not more. I just think Ivan has better footwork then Stephen had. I think he'll be an outstanding safety once we can move him to strong. Ivan is a monster player and he's going to play a lot for us"
How was the experience at the USF Sling & Shoot for the team and for Ivan?
"We didn't do as well as we liked, but we played pretty good, and I was real proud of them. That was the first time Ivan ever played in a 7-on 7- format like that, and I think he more then held his own. In a game with pads on he is a totally different player. On Friday Nights when they turn the lights on, players will run away from him
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