JR OL Prospect Brandon Nicolas

The accolades poured in for <b>Brandon Nicolas</b> after his junior season at Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei. Considered one of the best lineman on the west coast in the 2004 class, he already has a list of his early favorites...

Brandon Nicolas, 6-5, 260, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei, is at or near the top of the early list of elite lineman in the west coast class of 2004.


He certainly has received enough accolades as a result of his junior season. He was named a Student Sports Junior All-American, a member of the Cal-Hi All-State Underclass First Team, All CIF-Division I First team, The L.A. Times All-Star First Team, and Serra League Lineman of the Year, among others.  Many believe he could be the best linemen ever to come out of powerhouse Mater Dei.  Nicolas said that he graded out "in the 90s" during his games this year, and that his strengths are, well, his strength, endurance and his speed. 


Nicolas, while he's named on many recruiting lists as an offensive line prospect, said he's received almost as many honors as a defensive lineman, playing both sides of the ball for Mater Dei. And even though he said he'd play wherever any coach wants him to play, he prefers playing defense. "At this point I'm not sure if college programs are looking at me for offense or defense," he said.


Even though it's early in the recruiting process, Nicolas said he hasn't received a scholarship offer yet, but he's hearing from "a good share of schools."


He said he doesn't have an early favorite, but does have a list of favorites. "My top schools would be Michigan, Notre Dame, Colorado, Ohio State, USC and UCLA," Nicolas said. "But I want to look at many different schools before I decide."


Having moved to Southern California from Cleveland, Ohio, two years ago, Nicolas said he's now well-acclimated to life in SoCal. "I really like it here," he said. "The weather is great. But I still would go back to the midwest for school. If it we're right, I'd have no problem going back." He still has quite a bit of family back in Ohio.


Growing up you would have thought he was an Ohio State fan, and he said he was, but he that his favorite was Florida State. "They were really big.  Now, I don't know. I'm not as high on them anymore."


He said his parents don't have a preference if he stays close to home, or a preference for school.  He did say that other issues will be bigger factors.  "The facilities, the academics, the coaching and probably playing time" Nicolas said are important.


Nicolas said he has about a 2.9 cumulative GPA and plans to take the SAT for the first time in May. 

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