Addison Nichol has been on the recruiting scene since 2018. He picked up his first offer in January of 2019, and he is now one of the top recruits in the country, regardless of position. The 6'5", 305 pounds prospect from Greater Atlanta Christian (Ga.) is working through school and recruiting and he discusses all of this and more here. You can watch him discuss it in the video above. Below is a full transcript of the interview.
"I am just trying to keep a schedule, keep everything in time—trying to keep the week for mainly as much school as possible, maybe a call here and then, and keeping the weekend as a focus for getting most of the recruiting done," Nichols said on balancing his day-to-day. "Keeping that schedule allows me to focus on work, get my work done, keep my grades up, and have a good relationship with the coaches."
With over 30 offers, Nichols is hearing from a variety of schools. "Probably UGA, Ohio State, Tennessee, Florida, and USC. Those would probably be the five biggest," he said.
On Ohio State: "I feel like with their style of play, at GAC, we kind of ran a little bit of similarities with it. Their offensive line, I feel like physically, I have a resemblance of what they have and use. They send a lot of kids to the NFL for sure. It is a really impressive program, and I am excited to get up there and see the place in person."
On USC: "It is just something different. I have never been past Texas. The area is what they talk about when I get on a call with them. Every time I get on a call with them, they are always outside. Here in Atlanta, it will be like 40 and rainy, gray and cold, and they'll have sun, 70 with a light breeze. Just a beautiful area. Beautiful place. USC is a really high academic school as well. I just feel like they have a lot to offer."
On Florida: "For one, their academic program is really good as well. They have a really good business program. I got to speak with the head of their academic department. I feel like it is a good place. I feel like their program is run really well. They had a great season last year, and I feel like they will be able to come back and do it again. I think these next few years they have some really high potential."
On Tennessee: "I just really like how personable they are. Since the beginning, I could just tell it didn't seem like they were reading off the script, just going over the same questions, alright, going off the list and seeing who they had to call. He genuinely cared, and I could see he wants me. It seems more genuine. Coach Elarbee calls my grandparents. That is something really cool. They put more effort into it —more effort into trying to build that really close connection and relationship instead of just, 'hey, come to Tennessee, we want you, you are good,' and kind of going to the next guy. It is really just kind of getting to know each other and know my family, so I have really liked that and appreciated that from them."
On family ties to Tennessee and the Vols prioritizing this: "Family really isn't going to have a big effect on my decision. I have kind of told myself that since the beginning. I don't want that to really affect anything. My parent and grandparents haven't really pushed for anything. When I was growing up, we didn't really have a football team where it was like 'gotta go here, gotta go there.' It is not something where I am looking for them to say 'go here or there,' but it is definitely a factor I am taking into my decision—seeing how they are trying to connect with my entire family and my grandparents. It is one of the things I am adding to the list. It's not a family matter, it's just he is putting in the effort and stuff like that."
Nichols has maintained for a while that he would like to commit before his senior season, but given the stronghold, COVID-19 restrictions have on the recruiting world, he is unsure of when a decision might come.
"It's got to have a feel," Nichols said on finding the right fit. "Say you are looking for a house, and this place doesn't feel right, so you go the next, and this place just feels good. You take that; then you look at the things like academics, what is their business program like, how can that help me if football doesn't work out? How can this degree help me? How do I get along with the staff and players? If I don't get along with the staff and players, I am not going to enjoy my time there. That is why the visits are the biggest things for me— getting to meet the people, seeing how we interact with each other, seeing the place, feeling around like walking into the new house, and seeing if it is good for me."
Since arriving on the recruiting scene in 2018, Nichols's game has only continued to improve, and he took a step forward in 2020 from a mental standpoint.
"I would say probably attention to detail. Last year and the year before, it was really just trying to bully kids with the basics, whereas this year, I took more of an emphasis on feet placement, hand placement, head placement, being able to use leverage over just straight manpower," he said on overall improvements. "I feel like being able to learn that early will help me in college. I feel like being able to learn that now, being able to grow my mental vocabulary of knowing where to step, how far to step, where to put my hand, where to put my helmet to be able to get that leverage to use that body to cut him off instead of running along with him. That is probably the biggest thing I grew on this year."
With one last ride left for him at the perennial Peach state powerhouse, what is left?
"Winning state is always a goal. That is something I feel we have the possibility to do. We have a really good group of kids coming back this year," he said. "For me specifically, I would say just being a little more conditioned. At the beginning of the season, I got COVID-19, and it took all of my endurance from me. Literally, the beginning of the season, the first of August, and I had worked all summer to build it up. This was probably the best I had felt after Summer, and it was gone like that. I wasn't able to finish super well because I didn't have the endurance I had the previous years. This year, this year put in the same effort and used that same effort and technique to have a dominant senior year."