One of the top, if not the top, rated safeties in the junior college ranks this year is Donte Nicholson out of Mount San Antonio JC in Walnut, California. Nicholson is a hard hitting wrecking machine who always seems to be around the ball. Donte is 6'2", 208 pounds with 4.48 forty speed. He also has a 33" vertical, can squat 420 pounds, and has done 13 reps of 225 pounds, which compliments his physical style of play. He has become much more powerful and explosive during his time at Mount San Antonio.
Nicholson originally signed with the University of Washington out of high school, but was not able to qualify academically. He starred in high school for the CIF champion Diamond Bar team in 1999 where he was a teammate of Trojan recruit Dominic Robinson who eventually signed with Florida State. Donte still keeps in touch with Robinson, and mentioned that Dominic is supportive of any decision he will make regarding his commitment. Donte sat out the 2000 season, but came back with a vengeance in 2001. He had 86 tackles, 4 interceptions, 3 forced fumbles, and 2 fumble recoveries last fall. He was named Defensive Player of the Year for his conference as well as being a Freshman All-American and his team's MVP. At Diamond Bar, Donte also ran track(100 meters and high jump), and played basketball. He is playing strong safety in junior college, and is being recruited at safety by USC. He wears #15, but would like to wear #5 in college.
USC is just one of the several schools which are recruiting Nicholson. The other colleges which comprise his short list are: Washington, Oregon, Oregon State, Arizona, and Oklahoma. He is open to all of them right now and is not planning on making a decision until later December. Donte is planning on making an official visit to USC on 12/6/02. He also has visits set up for Oregon on 12/15/02, and Washington. Donte is on schedule to graduate with his AA in December, and would like to enroll at the college of his choice for the spring 2003 semester. He will have 3 years to play 2.
In regards to USC, Donte mentioned location as a big factor as he is a Southern California guy and plans to live in So Cal after finishing his football career. He has been in contact with several of the SC coaches with Coaches Carroll, Burns, and Sarkisian being three who were mentioned. He loves the fact that Coach Carroll is a defensive specialist. Nicholson also knows many of the current SC players. He played Pop Warner football with Marcel Allmond, and basically knows most of the players on the SC defense. Former SC linebacker Austin Jackson is playing on Donte's JC team right now. He was at the USC/Auburn game at the Coliseum on September 2nd. Donte would like to have a major with something to do with sports in college. He is also a car nut, as he loves working on them for a hobby. He is currently working on a racecar with his brother. As a side, he is one of the nicest kids you will ever meet and will be a great representative of the college he chooses both on and off the field.
Recent Update: Donte visited Oklahoma recently and had a good time. Oklahoma might have a slight lead at this point just because he has tripped there. He will be making a mid-week visit to Washington on November 19th. Donte will be tripping to USC on December 6th. He will also be attending the USC/ASU game and the USC/Notre Dame game. Donte has been watching all the games on television. In regards to the Oregon game, "the defense is playing unbelievable right now." "I love the attacking style of play." "I am playing in the cover two style of defense that SC is running, so the transition to what Coach Carroll likes to run would be a little easier."
Stats update: 60 tackles, 4 sacks, 2 forces fumbles, on fumble recovery, and one interception. Teams are audibling away from my side. "The coaches have been kidding me that the other safety is getting all the tackles. Right now we are 3-4, but the defense is playing really well. We have three games left and will try to get into the playoffs."
Donte mentioned that he has three finalists for his commitment in USC, Washington, and Oklahoma. He has also mentioned Oregon in the past. All three of his finalists are equal and he wants to take all the trips he has scheduled before making a final decision. He was a bit miffed at the report of a commitment from a local newspaper last week, but again wanted to say he is taking his trips before deciding. WeAreSC.com will get an update from Donte after his official trip to USC in early December.