Nicol will walk-on at Washington

Injuries can have an unknown positive effect on a player's career. Take former Orange Coast CB Cory Nicol (5-10, 175) for example. He was one of the best cover-corners in the Juco ranks in 2005, but a groin injury sidelined him for the 2006 season and without any scholarship offers he's decided to play the his remaining college years at his childhood favorite and hometown school.

"I decided to walk-on at Washington," Nicol told recently. "They are the school I've liked since I was a little kid and I grew up around there so it just made the most sense."

During his freshman season Nicol was a the shut-down corner for a talented Orange Coast squat. He posted over 40 tackles and had three interceptions and 15 passes defensed.

"I feel I can cover anyone at anytime," Nicol said back in May of 2006. "I have good quickness and I think I'm strong enough to deal with the bigger receivers."

In the spring of 2006, Nicol put up impressive testing numbers - a 4.42 forty time, a 36-inch vertical and 10 reps of 225 pound - but he also tore his groin muscle and the injury was so bad that it kept him from playing in the fall.

After sitting out the season, Nicol took three visits hoping to decide which school he would walk-on with.

"I went to Washington, Washington State and Boise State and checked all of them out," Nicol said back in January. "I liked all of them, but I think I'm going to head to Boise State because of the opportunity to play there."

However, Nicol had a change of heart. After thinking on it over the past few months, the talented corner decided his heart was really at Washington and he began to realize his dream this June when he enrolled for summer courses at Montlake.

"Washington is always where I wanted to be, but when they were recruiting my friend Matt (Tuiasosopo) they really didn't recruit me so I figured they didn't want me," Nicol said. "Coach (JD) Williams told me that isn't the case now and that they need me and that I have a good chance to get some playing time and possibly earn a scholarship.

"Boise State has a great program over there and I liked the coaches a lot, but I just felt like this is where I belonged."

Nicol was told by several WAC and Mountain West schools that, if he were to return to Orange Coast this fall he would have scholarship offers waiting for him, but he said he's happy he's a Dawg is set on wearing the purple and gold this fall.

"The stadium, the history, my family being able to watch, that's really what made the decision easy for me," Nicol said. "I've been taking summer courses and going to the 7-on-7's and the players here are really determined to win and to bring this thing back to where it is supposed to be.

"Guys like Jake Locker are why this team will be back sooner than people think. He's bigger than most linebackers -- it's crazy.

"All of the guys are working hard and now it's just a matter of getting out there and competing and making the plays when we have the chance. I can't wait to get out there for real and get started."

After a year of rehab, Nicol says his injury is in the past and he's as quick, fast and strong as he's ever been.

"Oh I don't even feel anything there anymore," Nicol said. "I'm not even concerned with it and I've been cutting and pushing off and all that this summer so I'm fine now."

Nicol will have three years to play three starting this fall.

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