"They don't want me playing both ways because they don't want me to get hurt," stated the SMU 2010 SMU commitment. "They really needed a quarterback, so I volunteered for the job."
"That is the type of kid he is, and that stands out more than anything," said Airline Head Coach Mike Green told KLSA-TV. "He is sacrificing to make the team better. He is just a special kid. He has a great family, great grades, you don't have to worry about him getting in trouble. He has just been a special player for us."
The Vikings started 1-0 after winning a 21-12 battle against Haughton last Friday night. Nichols shined his debut, rushing for over 90 yards and passing for 50. While the numbers might not be those of a future D-1 quarterback, the senior controlled the clock and offense, hammering out over 70 plays. The Vikings held the ball for all but 1:07 of the first quarter and then for almost 8 minutes of the final quarter to keep the Bucs at bay and earn another win in the Bossier Parish rivalry.
While he might now be the offensive general for Airline, he admits that he does miss playing safety. After six interceptions and 86 tackles last season, you can understand why. So when he heard his name in the second half being called out to contribute on defense, Nichols became very excited.
"I started at quarterback only, but I got some reps in the second half as a safety. One of our safeties got hurt, and they needed me to come in and help shut them down," said Nichols. "I felt really comfortable in the time that I got on defense last night. I do really miss playing safety. As the season goes by, I could see it happening more in certain situations."
Saturday night, Nichols made the trip to Dallas to witness "sellout 2009" and a victory against Stephen F. Austin. After committing to SMU in June, schools didn't right away back off the Scout.com 129th safety. Now, Louisiana Tech is the only school trying to convince him to change his mind.
The sacrifice of switching positions and his great work ethic in the classroom, earned his the KSLA Dodge Chrysler Jeep Athlete of the Week in late August. He currently has a 3.5 GPA.
We will be following Nichols every week during the prep season and we will get his reaction to his most recent trip to SMU next week.