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January 5, 2005

Q & A with four-star linebacker

One of North Carolina's most coveted recruits from the class of 2005 was the featured guest on Fox's Countdown to Signing Day Wednesday night. Mt. Tabor High linebacker and four-star recruit Derek Nicholson, who has narrowed his choices down to Florida State, Miami, North Carolina and Virginia Tech was asked a variety of questions. Here's the entire Q & A:

What is it like to grow up in a family full of great football players?

"Well, it's a good experience, especially being the youngest. My two older brothers have been there and so has my father. It's been great to be able to learn from their mistakes and dwell over the positives."

How did your senior season go?

"It went well. We didn't win a state champ which was our main goal. But, individually it went well."

What are your weaknesses and what do you need to work on the most?

"Every player needs to work on a little bit of everything. I need to get faster, need to tackle better, and be a better all-around athlete."

Who is the best linebacker in your family?

"Only time will tell, but of course I'm going to say me. We talk a lot of trash and talk about who had the biggest hit."

What do you like about North Carolina?

"Carolina is the in-state school. I grew up watching them and my dad played there. I grew up a Carolina fan and that Carolina Blue color looks mighty good. Carolina is a good school, too."

What kind of impact did the Tar Heels turnaround have on you?

"That tells you they are getting better. It is a good school and one of the four options I'm looking at."

What do you like about Florida State?

"They have good family-oriented people there, and the one thing that stands out is that they are Christians. They believe in God and aren't afraid to tell you. They have good tradition there and they play big-time football in Tallahassee."

What kind of advice does your older brother A.J. (outside linebacker at FSU) give you?

"The main advice he gives is to do what's right for Derek. (A.J. and my father) say that whatever decision I make will be best for me."

What is it you like about Miami?

"The Hurricanes probably have the best linebacker tradition of any school in the country. They have produced Ray Lewis, Dan Morgan and Jonathan Vilma. And now that they are in the ACC they are more local than in the past."

What is it that stands out about Virginia Tech?

"The people there all get along and are together. It doesn't mater if they have role players or All-Americans they always seem to have a great season. They are a young team on the rise.

When do you expect to announce where you are committing?

"Either the day before Signing Day or on Signing Day."



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