Tremendous Potential

Even though he has played just one year of organized football, Evanston's Nickcaro Golding is continuing to pile up offers from top-flight schools. With more than 15 offers to date, the fast-improving defensive end prospect has identified a handful of favorites.

Golding, who paid for the trip from Illinois to West Virginia for WVU's one-day rising senior camp last month, counts the Mountaineer as one of his favorites. Although West Virginia is a fair step from his home, Golding was immediately captivated by West Virginia's performance last year.

"I just liked the school," said Golding, who reminds some observers of Renaldo Turnbull, another raw defensive end prospect that became a pass rushing terror at West Virginia. "I watched them a lot this year, and I wanted to see what it was like there. When I got the camp information, I decided I wanted to go. It was everything I thought it would be."

Golding put on an excellent performance at the camp. He used his outstanding speed and long arms to defeat most of his opponents during one on one, and displayed outstanding footwork in drills. In turn, he liked what he saw of West Virginia's program.

"I'm looking at the coaches, and the people there, and the academics," Golding said of the qualities he will be evaluating as he narrows down his choices. "West Virginia was really good in those areas. I really like Coach Jones – he's cool. And Coach Rodriguez is very good to talk with."

Golding wasn't very interested in football until last year, when Evanston Township defensive line coach Ryan Healey began badgering him to come out and play.

"I owe everything to Coach Healey," Golding related." It's all because of him that I'm playing at all. He kept telling me I should take a shot at playing, and I finally did."

Golding played so well that he earned all-league honors, but that didn't satisfy him. He admitted that it surprised him to be able to play at such a high level so quickly, but that he didn't think he did as well as other people thought.

Of course, enough of those others – including coaches and recruiters – thought enough of Golding to make scholarship offers after watching him play just one season's worth of football. His big frame (6-5) and long wingspan, combined with excellent speed, make him a great defensive end prospect. To date, he has offers from Kansas State, Illinois, Purdue, Iowa State and New Mexico as well as West Virginia, and is expecting offers from Iowa and Michigan shortly. He also has numerous offers from MAC schools as well, but at this point it appears Golding will wind up at a BCS conference school.

Golding plans on making his decision after the season, and will likely take all of his official visits. However, one school holds an edge at the moment.

"West Virginia is on the top of my list right now," said Golding, whose unique first name came from his aunt. "Purdue, Iowa and Michigan are my other favorites."


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