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Tuesday, May 21, 2013
4-star ATH Nicholson prepares for visits

By Jared Shanker

Not much has developed recently in the recruitment of four-star athlete Montae Nicholson (Monroeville, Pa./Gateway), but that figures to change in the coming weeks.

The 6-foot-2, 195-pound receiver/safety has not made too many recent recruiting visits, but he will begin doing that this summer before working toward a decision.

“I’m in the same place except it’s closer to summer, so I’ll take a bunch of unofficial visits and see which ones are best for me,” Nicholson said, “and then as soon as I can take my officials I will and my decision will be after I take my officials.”

Over the next few months, Nicholson wants to visit a handful of schools outside the region. He already visited locals schools such as Penn State, Pittsburgh and West Virginia, so he is using his summer vacation as a means to visits the likes of Florida State, Georgia Tech, Oregon and Stanford. Michigan State and Nebraska could land unofficial visits as well.

Nicholson is beginning to see much more interest on the offensive side of the ball, and the Ducks are recruiting him exclusively as a receiver. Oregon has landed a couple receivers from the Great Lakes region over the last few years in Lavasier Tuinei out of Indiana and Dwayne Stanford II out of Cincinnati.

“I just like what they stand for,” Nicholson said. “I talk to Coach [Matt] Lubick over Facebook and I call every now and then. He’s a great guy. Even though Chip Kelly left the program it’s still going strong. No one went with him, and it shows how strong their program is.”

Florida State is recruiting Nicholson as an athlete and will let practices and the depth chart decide where he will ultimately end up. With Sal Sunseri now an assistant coach in Tallahassee, the Seminoles have a strong foothold in the Steel City. Sunseri’s roots are in Pittsburgh, where he helped land quarterback J.J. Cosentino and has the Seminoles high on Shai McKenzie's list.

Nicholson said Florida State is one of the schools he talks most with, whether through Facebook or on the phone.

“I talk with them all the time,” he said. “It’s casual now. They want me to come down and said I can be a big asset to them. We keep it casual, personal. We have that relationship, Coach Sal and I.”

In his second year as coach and second full recruiting class, Pittsburgh coach Paul Chryst is working hard to build a fence around the WPIAL, which consists of the Pittsburgh-area schools. In order for Pitt to become a contender in the ACC, Chryst has to lock down Western Pennsylvania’s premier talent, which includes Nicholson.

Assistant coach Matt House and Nicholson talk fairly often, and House continues to harp on the opportunity Nicholson has to be the hometown hero. Nicholson lives about 15 minutes from the university campus.

“That message is definitely still there. It does make a lot of sense because I am here and everybody, the fans already know me,” Nicholson said. “It wouldn’t be the hardest thing but wouldn’t be easy to relocate and get the support of another city’s fans.”