Down deep inside, golf is still a passion for Addison Nichols, but the 6-foot-5, 310 pound offensive tackle out of Norcross (Ga.) Greater Atlanta Christian knows football is where his future is. The newly minted four-star on Rivals.com started playing golf at the age of three, then continued to work on that sport until middle school. In 7th grade, Nichols gave football a shot, and now, almost four years later, the sophomore has over two dozen offers and bright future on the gridiron. Recruiting and now handling school at home due to the Coronavirus has not been too much for this top 2022 talent.
"I really like the online schooling we are doing now," said Nichols. "I can get up later, I don't have to worry about traffic getting to school and it has been great so far. We have been going to school online like our regular school days, but now we are starting to take Wednesdays off, so it is good. "I have been talking to college coaches about every day too. I handle those at night, once school is over and things have been going good. It is definitely different, and a lot more than usual, but I can say everything is going well."
Before the ban on visits and around the February dead period, Nichols took visits to Auburn, Georgia Tech and Tennessee. He actually tripped to Knoxville twice, and the Vols have positioned themselves to be in this race to the end.
"Tennessee is definitely a school that has made a strong impression on me already. I visited twice this year, I was at a game last year and I really like it a lot up there. I like the campus, I really like the effort they are putting in recruiting me and they have a great business program. "My mom went to Tennessee, my grandparents live six to seven miles from the campus and I am really liking Tennessee right now."
That visit down I-85 to the Flats helped the Yellow Jackets too. "Going into the visit to Georgia Tech, I honestly did not have too much interest, but that visit really changed things for me. I The academic program is fantastic, I learned about their intern program and the visit definitely changed my opinion of Georgia Tech."
The other in-state school, Georgia, had Nichols on campus for three games last fall. The communication hasn't been the same since Sam Pittman left for Arkansas, but he wants to return to Athens to meet Matt Luke and get a true opinion on the Bulldogs. Another school Nichols mentioned when speaking on who has impressed him early, outside of Tennessee, he mentioned Duke.
"I have visited Duke once and I was very impressed," said Nichols. "I know if I leave that school with a degree and the NFL doesn't work out, then I am set. I also like the campus and when I was there, I had that at home feeling. It is a school I want to visit again."
"I have always wanted to commit at the end of my junior year, so around next May, that is when I am thinking I could make my decision," said Nichols. "I know I want to go into my senior year with my commitment and not have to worry about recruiting. It is still fun now, but I want to be committed next year, then focus on graduating early the first semester of my senior year."
Greater Atlanta Christian 2022 offensive tackle Addison Nichols is a top 100 player on Rivals, and he played to that ranking in the season opener. What stood out as much as anything in his performance was his strength and finishing his blocks. He took one Denmark defensive lineman 15 yards down field and finished him on a long run play. The four-star had a handful of pancake blocks as well in a very impressive performance.
Sept. 1 came last week, and that opened up communication with prospects in Nichols' class, and he said Georgia was first to reach out to him. He has ties to Tennessee, and the Vols are viewed as the favorite early.
Rivals Top-100 player Addison Nichols will have his choice where he wants to play football at the next level. The Norcross, Ga. native has nearly 30 offers on the table right now with about 10 programs in serious consideration. Tennessee made the listing and will be eying for the four-star’s services for the next few years. “I speak with Tennessee pretty frequently,” Nichols said. “I’m in contact with coach [Brian] Niedermeyer and coach [Will] Friend most of the time, but I also talk to coach [Jeremy] Pruitt almost every week.” Tennessee initially offered the Greater Atlanta Christian product in the spring of 2019 and Nichols has connections to Knoxville. “My grandparents actually live three doors down from [men’s basketball] coach Rick Barnes,” Nichols laughed. “I try to keep my family out of the decision-making process, but if I end up at Tennessee, that would be huge.”
“I’m impressed with what they are doing. Trey Smith and Cade Mays are playing well and their effort is incredible,” Nichols raved. “I was watching one of their games this season and I saw two offensive linemen downfield blocking that created a touchdown. “They are living up to what they have been talking about in running the program. I’m impressed.” The play the four-star referred to was Wanya Morris and Brandon Kennedy pulling to kickout a corner and safety on a screen pass to Eric Gray out of the slot. “It’s a great honor to play the blind side. I try and give my absolute best every single play,” Nichols said. “Pass blocking is fun because it’s usually a 1-on-1 where either guy could win. Pass blocking takes a lot of technique and you have to keep your feet and shoulders square.”
“This was the season where I was supposed to go out and take part in a lot of visits. I was then going to use the spring for my five officials,” Nichols said. “I wanted to get everything out of the way before my fall semester. I may still cram all my visits in before then, but it really depends on when they open things back up for us. “A summer commitment is still most likely for me, but I don’t want to rush it. If it happens to go into my senior year, it is what it is. I need these visits and to connect with coaches and players on campuses. Texting and calling doesn’t give you the full experience.” “The shutdown prevented a lot of growth for me, but I’ve improved from last year. It’s noticeable,” Nichols concluded. “I feel like I’m playing well, but we all needed those two weeks of spring football and some of the workouts that were cancelled over the summer. I’ll continue to work.”