January 11, 2011

Clayton Nicholas starting to gain suitors

The 2012 quarterback class in the state of Texas includes a number of talented signal callers who are just now emerging as names to watch for. One of them is Abilene Cooper quarterback Clayton Nicholas, who was a unanimous first team all district selection in District 3-5A. The 6 foot 3, 205 pound Nicholas completed 66% of his passes last season for 3,003 yards (nearly ten yards per attempt) with 30 touchdowns versus just seven interceptions. His big game was against defending state champion Abilene High when he was 27 for 30 with 350 yards and two touchdowns. Nicholas also has the height and arm strength that recruiters crave at the next level and he's hearing from a couple of schools in particular right now.

"I have been invited to the junior day at Texas A&M," said Nicholas. "It's up to my dad. I think we might go to it. I have been invited to Texas Tech's too. My coach and I were are supposed to go over what camps to go and over what junior days to go to."

"I'm just hearing from A&M and Tech and a little bit from SMU and Rice. Coach Walters from A&M came by and looked at my film. Coach Brown who is offensive coordinator at Tech has been by and so coach Fuentes from TCU."

Nicholas participated at Army All American Combine in San Antonio this past weekend. There, he didn't get many reps but he did get some advice from the instructors who were there.

"They said that I had accuracy and good mechanics, good arm strength, and footwork moving throughout the pocket," he said. "They wanted me to work on keeping my eyes down field, my speed and my agility. Richard Bartel (backup quarterback with the Phoenix Cardinals) and I talked a little bit. He said I was pretty good."

Nicholas played in a spread offense last season but is considered to be more of a pro style quarterback.

"I would say that I am more of pro style, drop back quarterback," he said. "We ran the spread and we ran the zone read but we had a lot of throwing reads down the field. We had some players around me that could play. We had two good running backs and we had three guys going to Texas State that blocked for me so I had all day to throw. All of that is going to have to change this year. Our conditioning coach has been working on me to get my speed down."

Nicholas is looking for a school with history and academics, especially because he wants to be a coach after he graduates. Location is not a factor to him and he currently has no favorites.

"None right now," he said. "Just anyone that will take a look at me."

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