Powerful Pennsylvania ATH Has OSU Coaches Hoping He Returns Home
By Michael Chung
Pennsylvania has always been an important recruiting ground for high school football talent, especially for schools in the Midwest and along the East Coast.
Former Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel made Buckeye in-roads in his neighboring state to the east, consistently pulling out top Keystone State talent during his decade of Big Ten dominance.
Longtime recruiting grounds for Penn State and Pitt, Ohio State has been able to consistently recruit a number of top players out of Pa. Urban Meyer may have spent most of his coaching career in the South or out West, but he’s well aware of the fact there are big time players in Pennsylvania.
One of his first big “gets” as the new head coach of the Buckeyes was 5-star defensive end Noah Spence out of Harrisburg, and now Meyer is going after is Monroeville, Pa. ATH Montae Nicholson.
Nicholson can play WR, S and CB, but the Buckeyes are looking at him specifically as a safety in the class of 2014. He is originally from Ohio, but Nicholson is currently being coached by Don Smith, who played under Jacky Sherrill at Pitt. Coach Smith’s teammates were Dan Marino and Ohio State’s favorite ESPN commentator: Mark May.
Montae has some great tutelage from an experienced coach. Do the Buckeyes have a chance at this athlete or does Pitt hold the advantage? He talked to The-Ozone about his recruiting situation.
Ozone: It was reported that you were surprised by an OSU offer, is this true?
Montae: I knew it was coming but did not know when; the timing is what surprised me. I called just to talk to coach (Luke) Fickell one day and he offered me. I have also talked to coach Meyer and the secondary coaches. They tell me I would be a great asset to the team and want me to be a Buckeye.
Ozone: You visited Ohio State, tell me about the visit?
Montae: It was fantastic! I sat at 50-yard line for a game, visited the recruiting room, went to locker room, saw Corey Brown, Noah Spence, and talked to coaches. Noah and Corey say it is great at Ohio State.
Ozone: Who are your top 5 schools?
Montae: I do not have a top 5 right now, but I am very interested in Ohio State; I was born in Columbus and Ohio State is a top school. Right now, the schools that offered me, I am interested in and weighing my options. Michigan, Pitt, West Virginia, have all offered but there is no leader.
Ozone: You are listed as a WR, CB, and S; which is your best position?
Montae: It depends on which coach you ask. I think I am a better safety than cornerback but I have not played corner much. Coach thinks I can be a good corner later on.
Ozone: Which coaching staff would you say you are closest too?
Montae: I am not really sure. Coaches have been in contact with my coaches. I have not formed a strong relationship with any particular college. Coaches from Pitt, Michigan, and OSU are the ones I am probably closest to.
Ozone: Did you grow up a Pitt or Penn State fan?
Montae: I am not really sure, my DB coach went to Pitt and head coach played at Penn State. I followed Ohio State and Oregon as a kid.
Ozone: Do you think young men still dream about playing for Penn State?
Montae: They look at it the same, it is a great institution, it is disappointing but they will fight through it.
Ozone: What are your strengths? Weaknesses?
Montae: Size and speed are my strengths. Weakness is learning the game. I did not play much last year because there were D-1 players in front of me who were seniors.
Ozone Quick Hitters with Montae Nicholson:
Best cheese steak in PA? Rudy’s subs
Favorite Song? Do not have one, listen to variety, I like to listen to Big Shawn, Drake, to name a few.
Favorite Pregame ritual? Pregame movie, we all watch a movie together or sleep or hang out.
Favorite meal? Lasagna, and barbeque chicken
Do you have any pets? No, I would want a dog, I also like birds, and my mom thinks I am crazy but I like birds of prey like Falcons and Eagles.
*Thanks again to Montae for taking the time to talk with us. You are very blessed to have someone like coach Don Smith in your life. Blessings on you as you discern which school is best for your education. We hope to check-in on you again after you start making visits. Have a great season.