Winston Salem (N.C.) Mt. Tabor linebacker Derek Nicholson returned home from the Shrine Bowl this past weekend with the Defensive MVP award and a narrowed list of schools. So who are his finalists?
"It's down to Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Miami and Florida State," said the 6-foot-0, 220-pounder. "I won't take a fifth visit, my schedule doesn't allow it between the Shrine Bowl and the U.S. Army All American Bowl. I'm comfortable with these four schools."
Nicholson has already been to Virginia Tech and North Carolina and will visit Miami on Jan. 21 and Florida State on Jan. 28. He hinted at which visit he liked better out of the two he's taken.
"Virginia Tech, I got a really good feeling from them," he said. "The people there were just great and it felt like home. It was my first visit, but it really set the bar high. North Carolina was a great visit too."
However, most people expect Nicholson to commit to Florida State in the end, for different reasons.
"I've heard that so much," he said. "Because it's my last visit and my brother (A.J.) goes there, everyone expects me to follow. I need to make the best decision for me and not for any other reason so that's what I'm basing things on. To think I'll pick a school to follow my brother is crazy."
Nicholson was recently named the Defensive MVP of the Shrine Bowl this past weekend.
"It was a great experience," he said. "I got to meet a lot of other players and play against the top competition in the area."
As for when a decision will be made, Nicholson expects it will be late.
"Probably around Signing Day," he said. "I'll probably do it at my school."