Though somewhat undersized at 6-1, 190, the dual-threat Nickson appears otherwise almost perfectly suited for the Jay Cutler prototype of quarterback necessary to operate the Vanderbilt offense. Nickson becomes the 19th commitment for head coach Bobby Johnson's recruiting class of 2004.
Called "a born play-maker" by high school coach Wayne Grant, the signal-caller from Pike County High School in Brundidge, Ala., received the state's highest football honor from Alabama writers and broadcasters after leading his team to a 14-1 record and a Class 3A championship. Named the MVP of the championship game played at Birmingham's Legion Field, Nickson finished the 2003 season 181-of-319 passing for 2,963 yards and 42 touchdowns with only nine interceptions. He rushed for 1,488 yards on 230 carries and scored 25 touchdowns, including an interception and punt return. He set a new state record by accounting for a staggering total of 67 touchdowns.
Nickson has a 4.0 grade-point average and is a candidate for valedictorian of his class at Pike County High School. He plans to major in business.
The commitment is an important one for Vanderbilt, which will go through spring practice with only two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster. Jay Cutler and Steven Bright plan to return for their junior and sophomore year respectively in 2004, but redshirt freshman Lance Parker of Bryant, Ark. left the team after his first semester of school.
Verbal commitments are not binding. National signing day is Feb. 4. For a complete current list of Vanderbilt commitments for the class of 2004, click here.
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