August 30, 2011
Junior Tristan Nickelson has Michigan on Top
League City (Tex.) Clear Falls offensive lineman Tristan Nickelson is just a 16-year-old high school junior, but you could hardly tell by looking at him. At 6-7 and 282 pounds, he's already the size of some college linemen. That size has plenty of suitors interested, including such high-profile programs as LSU, Ohio State, and Notre Dame. However, one school stands above the rest.
"Michigan is kind of a clear cut number one," says his father, Ron, "Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, and Auburn are kind of right there, too."
Tristan is focused on a career in engineering. Growing up in the Houston area in close proximity to NASA's space programs had his eyes on the sky from a young age.
"We thought he'd be an astronaut before we realized he wouldn't fit in a rocket. He asked, 'If i want to get a great engineering degree and win a national championship, where can I go?' Immediately I thought of Michigan," said Ron.
It's the combination of academic excellence and a historically powerful football program that dad likes about Michigan. It may have been the helmets or uniforms that originally opened Tristan's eyes, according to his dad. Either way, father and son both hold the maize-and-blue in high regard. It seems the interest goes both ways, as well.
"They've been one of the few schools that have really watched these new NCAA rules really carefully," said Ron. "I've talked to coach, but I had to call him. We received the invitation for the [2011 Michigan summer] camp, but they can't really send him things until September first now."
On top of the summer camp invitation, Michigan also invited Tristan to the night game against Notre Dame next weekend. Unfortunately for both parties, the timing never worked out for Tristan, and with his high school season under way, he won't be taking many visits until November.
"I still think we'd need to make a trip to Ann Arbor and meet with the coaches and the engineering folks," said Ron.
Michigan is at the top of the list, but don't expect a commitment before he sees campus.
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