December 23, 2003

Shutdown Fla. CB Catches Pack's Eye

Shutdown Fla. CB Catches Packís Eye

Immokalee (Fla.) High School athlete McIntosh Nicolas rates among the top players in the Sunshine State, earning a ranking as the No. 7 cornerback in the land from The 6-3, 180-pounder won the 100- and 200-meter titles in Florida as a junior, using his 4.3-second speed in the 40-yard dash.

Nicolas has parlayed his natural skills into recruiting attention from some of the countryís top programs. He has set up official visits to Florida, Florida State and Pittsburgh, and could be planning a fourth trip to Raleigh and NC State.

"Weíre talking about setting one up," said Nicolas. "Theyíve been showing me a lot more interest in the past few months and weeks.

"I like their offense, and they have a lot of kids from Florida. I know they recruit a lot of people from Florida."

The Gators and Panthers are targeting Nicolas as a receiver, while the Seminoles see him as a defensive back. He said that Wolfpack assistant Chris Demarest has told him that he could get a shot on either side of the ball with the Pack.

"Heís a defensive backs coach, so he wants me as a cornerback. But they would let me try to play on both sides," said Nicolas. "I would try both if I can, possibly."

Nicolas is a soft-spoken youngster who lets his play on the field speak volumes.

"I just want to shut receivers down," Nicolas said. "I like pressing, but I donít do anything fancy -- I just play the ball very well and try to keep the opponent away from my side of the field."

The youngster aims to study veterinary medicine in college. He said that his biggest challenge now is to narrow the number of schools after him and make good decisions about who to visit and who to keep on his shot list.

"Iíll probably just have to sit down and think about it," Nicolas said. "Iíve been offered to go to a lot of places, and itís been hard picking. I want to make sure I pick the right schools."

Nicolas said that State has put itself in the running, and heís working to familiarize himself with the program.

"Iíve seen that a lot of their receivers are big and fast," said Nicolas. "I know a little about their receivers and running backs, and Iíve watched a few of their games the past couple of years.

ďI saw that they beat Florida State two years in a row, and that kind of caught my eye."

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