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January 31, 2005

Nicholson joins brother at Florida State

North Carolina lost out on its biggest remaining target from the class of 2005 Monday night.

Derek Nicholson, a 6-foot-0, 220-pound linebacker from Mt. Tabor High in Winston-Salem, N.C., announced he was going to Florida State live on ESPN News minutes ago.

"Next year, I will be attending Florida State University," said Nicholson as he put on an FSU hat.
Nicholson, who is ranked the No. 30 prospect in the nation by Rivals.com, had dozens of scholarship offers from Division I-A programs, but recently cut the list of schools he was considering to FSU, North Carolina and Texas.

In the end, the choice appeared to come down to the Seminoles and the Tar Heels.

"I was waivering between all three schools and going back and forth, especially between UNC and FSU," Nicholson said. "I prayed and prayed about the decision and asked God to give me a vision on which school I should go to. Florida State was the school."

Nicholson's father, Darrell, played linebacker for UNC with Lawrence Taylor in the late 1970s and early 80s.

Nicholson's older brother, A.J., will be a senior linebacker at FSU next season. He has started the last two seasons.

Derek thinks he could earn playing time next season.

"I plan on not redshirting," he said. "There are talented players there but you aren't good if you don't have talented players. The best three linebackers will play and the best three behind them will play, too."

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