Junior report: Mike Nichols part 2

In part 2 of IT's Mike Nichols report, we look at the Westbury QB's junior season stats, accolades, what camps he's been to and which ones he plans on attending, what he's working on to improve his game, whether he wants to play basketball or football on the next level, which schools currently make up his top five in football, and more.

Let's look at the stats Nichols had in his first year under center....

Passing: 1,481 yards, 19 TDs, 8 INTs (4 in one game)

Rushing: 410 yards, 4 TDs, (23 total TDs)

Accolades: 1st-team all-district in both football and basketball.

Those numbers might not exactly jump off the page, but the Rebel standout gets another spring and a senior season to showcase his talents. With only one year of high school football as a QB under his belt, Nichols may have the most upside potential of any other signal-caller in the Lone Star State, although you could also make the same claim for North Shore's Bobby Reid (who is a bit further along in his development). That said, the Westbury head coach will implement a heavier passing attack this fall, providing Nichols an opportunity to add more stat-power to his resume.

"I've really been working on my skills as a passer," Nichols told IT. "I've also hit some camps (Steve McNair's passing camp, a U of H passing camp, LSU camp) and will be hitting as many as I can this year. I've been taking as many tips and pointers as I can. I have to get better and I'm working hard to do just that. Coach said we will live and die by the pass this season, so I'm excited about that."

LSU's under-the-radar secret is definitely out of the bag.

One thing is certain, Nichols will have arguably the top wide receiving prospect (George Walker) in the Houston area to throw to and that can only help.

"My main buddy is George Walker," Westbury's standout QB said. "I feed off of him and he feeds off of me. And we've been working on things to better ourselves. We're like brothers. We played football together back when we were in middle school."

Where the bluechip prospect has been more prominently noticed is on the hardwood.

"Most of the attention I've received has been about playing basketball," said the Westbury center, who averaged 23 points, 12 boards, 7 blocks and 3-4 assists per game. "But recently, I've been getting mail from LSU, Arkansas, SMU, Wisconsin, Missouri and Michigan State."

So does he want to play basketball or football?

"I want to play both in college because I think I'm talented enough to do both," Nichols said. "Plus, I don't want to put all of my goods in one basket. But I believe my future is going to be in football. Because that's what's in my heart. Football is my favorite sport and that's what I do best, but I'm still getting more attention in basketball right now."

Expect that to change in the days and weeks ahead.

With a 255-pound bench and a 300-pound squat, despite the fact he goes straight from football into basketball, he's already got adequate strength for his position. With basketball season over and a spring and summer ahead, he's looking to raise those marks.

Asked to describe his game, Nichols said: "I think overall I'd describe my game as being the leader of my team. And they (teammates) believe in me. They feed off of me. If I'm doing right and they follow me, then everything will be straight. And I would say that my game is about strength as well as my having both the physical and mental toughness to get the job done."

Camp Agenda: "Air" McNair's passing camp, U of H passing camp, Nike Camp and as many other camps as he can attend.

SAT: Will be taking the test in April to get fully qualified.

Football scholarship offers: None

Top Five: Texas, OU, Miami, Texas Tech and Marshall. He also likes Texas A&M and Baylor.

Nichols wanted to make it clear that he would like to receive some attention from the schools in his top five and from A&M and Baylor. He also told IT that he's interested in any school wishing to seriously pursue him. At this point, he's only getting feelers.

The Westbury standout breaks down Texas, OU, Miami, Texas Tech, Marshall, A&M, Baylor and Houston in IT's Inside Scoop.

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