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BREAKING: Florida State lands four-star linebacker from West Coast

The Seminoles have secured one of the top linebackers in the country over Oregon and UCLA.

Florida State's success on the football field is beginning to translate over to the recruiting trail. The Seminoles entered the season with a few top prospects wanting to see the program make progress under third-year head coach Mike Norvell. That's been the case thus far with FSU out to its first 3-0 start in seven years.

On Tuesday night, four-star linebacker Blake Nichelson announced his decision live on 247Sports' Youtube. 

READ MORE: Mike Norvell provides injury updates on Jordan Travis, Jared Verse, others during Monday presser

Nichelson elected to commit to Florida State over Oregon and UCLA. The Ducks made a late push, hosting him for an unofficial visit over the weekend, but it wasn't enough to beat out the Seminoles.

FSU's coaching staff has made Nichelson a priority over the last few months since offering him a scholarship on May 3. 

The Seminoles hosted the California native and his family for an official visit on June 17. At the time, it seemed like Florida State was on the outside looking in but getting a chance to check out the school and meet the coaching staff in person changed things.

Florida State's chances only grew when Nichelson returned to Tallahassee in late July for a multi-day unofficial visit on his own dime. He was able to view multiple preseason practices from the sideline and was a consistent presence at the Seminole Showcase.

General Manager of Personnel, Darrick Yray, has been instrumental in this recruitment. He was attached at the hip with Nichelson and his family throughout their time at Florida State during previous visits. Yray, like Nichelson, is also from Manteca, California, so the two have developed a strong relationship.

Norvell and linebackers coach Randy Shannon picked up where Yray left off. Shannon was recently out west to watch Nichelson play a game while he's really clicked with Norvell's style.

Previously, Nichelson commented on how involved the head coach is during the recruiting process following his last trip to Florida State in late July.

"A lot of head coaches, they just talk to you a couple times, not really involved with you," Nichelson said to NoleGameday's Dustin Lewis. "I've noticed him, as a head coach, he's very involved with everybody and the recruits and kind of just there for you."

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One of the main factors in his decision was finding a program where he felt comfortable around the people. During his past visits to Florida State, Nichelson was recognized by fans around town.

"I feel like the people around FSU, honestly, or just around town. Like I got recognized by some people, and that has never happened to me," Nichelson said. "Especially being this far from my hometown. Getting recognized by FSU fans in general is just different. You can just tell the people are different.”

The West Coast Nole becomes the 15th addition for the Seminoles in their 2023 class. The haul moves from No. 22 to No. 17 in the country with Nichelson on board according to 247Sports. He is the second linebacker pledge, joining three-star DeMarco Ward, along with eight other commits on the defensive side of the ball.

Nichelson is already familiar with a couple of members of the class. He spent some time with defensive tackle KJ Sampson, defensive end Keldric Faulk, and offensive tackle Lucas Simmons during the Seminole Showcase.

"I kind of got to talk to them, just see how they like Florida State and really what got them to commit here," Nichelson said. "Building those relationships like that are really important to me because those are the people, if I was to go here, that I would be playing with."

A two-way player for Manteca High School, he is also a productive running back. Through four games of his senior season, Nichelson has recorded 10 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 forced fumble, and 3.5 sacks on defense while adding 54 rushes for 872 yards and ten touchdowns along with 9 catches for 164 yards and four more scores on offense.

As a junior, he racked up 49 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 7 sacks, 3 forced fumbles and an interception on defense. He also rushed 208 times for 2,231 yards (10.7 YPC) with 36 touchdowns while catching 19 passes for 381 yards and seven more scores. Nichelson averaged 171.6 yards on the ground and nearly three rushing touchdowns per game. He had 12 contests where he broke the 100-yard rushing mark.

The 6-foot-3, 200-pound is regarded as the No. 132 overall prospect, the No. 11 LB, and the No. 11 prospect in the state of California in the 2023 class according to 247Sports.

Stick with NoleGameday for more coverage of Florida State football throughout the summer.

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