An Interview With Montae Nicholson Comment Count

Brandon Brown August 9th, 2013 at 11:23 AM

montae nicholson

Michigan’s 2014 class only has about 3 or 4 spots remaining and one of them figures to go to a member of the secondary. There are still several uncommitted defensive back prospects on Michigan’s board, but only a few of them look like realistic options at this point. Perhaps the most realistic option is S Montae Nicholson. Nicholson is a consensus 4-star prospect out of Pennsylvania and he recently cut his list of schools down to 12, a list that includes the Wolverines. I talked with Nicholson and he may have been the most impressive young man I’ve spoken with to date. 

What has your summer been like? Have you participated in many camps?

Not a lot. I was at the Rivals 100 and The Opening. I obviously went to the camps to get to both of those camps. I went to the Columbus NFTC and I went to the Rivals camp while they were on tour over here.

Speaking of the two main attraction camps, the Rivals 100 and The Opening, how do you feel like you performed among some of the best prospects in the country?

Honestly the Rivals 100 wasn’t my best camp. I mean I did alright but it was definitely  not my best showing. At The Opening I definitely feel like I performed well for as many times as I got the ball. I had a couple of interceptions and a few touchdowns. I think what really set the tone for those camps was just how I was feeling and the amount of fun I was having. Honestly I didn’t know the guys out at the Rivals camp, but a lot of those same guys were at The Opening and when I started talking to them more and having a little more fun, I think that really elevated my play.

Cool, that actually leads me into my next question, you seem like a pretty quiet kid. Obviously you are highly ranked and coveted by a lot of schools, but you seem to stay out of the spotlight. Is that part of your personality and by design?

It is both actually. I’m not really on social media, I don’t like it much. I’m not really that kind of guy that’s just out there all the time. I have a few friends, I don’t really go everywhere, I don’t need to do all of that, I just stay to myself.

A lot less stress that way huh?

Oh yeah, definitely.

Well I know you’ve been busy with a few camps and you told me earlier that you’ve been working this summer too, what’s that all about, what do you do for work?

I teach little kids how to fence. (Laughs)


Yes. It’s a little summer camp thing. They would be there all day and I would just come for my sessions and I would teach them how to fence. They would have little tournaments. It was a program called Summer Dreamers. You know how they preach, like, kids lose a lot over the summer? I was part of a program where the kids would do some work and whatever they did work-wise, they got to choose whatever they wanted to do as a reward. There was fencing, there was a group called Club Adventure, Imagination Exploration. So I was part of the fencing group and the kids would fence each other and then at the end we chose two to fence in front of the whole camp and they went at it! (Laughs) It was fun, some of the kids really loved it.

That is really unique and interesting, I did not know that about you.

Thank you.

Well with your football camps and teaching fencing to kids, how has your recruitment been going this summer? Any time for it?

It’s going pretty smoothly.  There’s nothing really big happening, just pretty much taking things as they come. I haven’t really been anywhere because of my busy schedule, so recruiting-wise it’s been a really easy summer.

We talked about this a little before but discuss your top group again.

Yeah I recently cut my list down to 12. There’s Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Florida State, West Virginia, Penn State, Pitt, Temple, Oregon, Stanford, Miami, Michigan, and Michigan State.

I’m not trying to get you to rank those or anything but out of those 12 who do you think you hear from the most, or do you have the most contact with?

Well I’m in contact with all of the schools constantly over Facebook, but mail-wise would be Penn State, Pitt, West Virginia, Florida State, and Michigan, and The U, they probably send me the most mail. I mean the other schools all send me mail too on a day-to-day basis, but the other schools I just named, they send me like piles and piles of mail. (Laughs)

Yeah, I’ve seen pictures on Twitter and stuff that recruits post showing off the heaps of mail from schools, it’s pretty crazy.

(Laughs) Yeah, like I said I’m not really that guy to do all of that, but if I did it would probably cover the floor of my game room and it’s a pretty large room.

Well being a Pennsylvania kid, you mentioned Pitt and Penn State in that persistent group, is there any pressure to choose one of those in-state schools?

I mean there is pressure, but not from anybody close to me. Not from my mom, my teammates, my coach. But you know, like the public there is kind of that pressure to stay home, and “be the hometown hero” and stuff like that. It doesn’t really affect me or anything, but it’s there.  At the end of the day I’m going to choose the best fit for me.

Let me shift over to Michigan a little bit. You listed them in your top 12, they contact you a lot via mail. What do you like about Michigan, how much do you like them?

Oh, very much actually. You know they were one of my earlier offers and that’s one of the reasons they are in that top 12, it just shows me how much I mean to them and how much they want me to come play for them. I really do appreciate that, it just shows me that if I was to go there it wouldn’t be just because everybody else wants me, it shows me that they were interested in me early, which proves that I would mean something to them.

I know you’ve been to Michigan, but how many times and for what events?

Yeah, I’ve been there 3 times actually. I was there for the BBQ, for the game against Michigan State, and for camp.

Is another visit this fall for an official something you’ve thought about?

Hopefully. I’m not really sure right now, I have to look at my schedule and their schedule to see how things matchup.

So you’ve got your top 12, are you planning on cutting that down again anytime soon and will that next group be the schools you take official visits to?

Yeah, hopefully I can get it cut down before my officials, but that is going to be a very difficult task. I’d probably like to get my list down to 5 or 6 with those officials in mind. I don’t really know when that might happen, I have to sit down with my mom and talk about it and then go from there.

Once that part of the process happens, and you’ve got your top 5-6, you’ve got some officials lined up or possibly taken, when does a decision come for you? Obviously you can take until February if you want to, but how do you plan on handling that as you think about it right now?

I mean probably towards the end of my season if not after. It really all depends on how our season goes.

When I look at your top group, you have a pretty wide range of schools when it comes to style of play, distance from home, you have some very high-level academic schools in there. What is going to make School A better than School B once you start thinking about a commitment?

Well when I cut it down to 12 it was pretty much the schools that I kept in contact with the most. There were other schools in there that offered me early that just really didn’t talk to me too much anymore, and there was no point in keeping those schools in there just to say I have so many offers.  That doesn’t really matter to me, I just wanted to cut it down and figure out what I really need. As far as how I’m going to cut it down after 12…ugh, it’s going to be really, really difficult. It’s just got to be the best fit for me. It could really come down to something very simple because all of these schools are great schools and they’ve all been in contact so much that it really could just come down to something very simple.

Montae finished our conversation by congratulating me on my engagement, as we had been trying to get this interview lined up for a few days but our schedules weren’t cooperating. He was mature beyond his years, well-spoken, very level-headed, and seemed to understand the opportunity he has earned. He talked about how difficult it was going to be to choose just one school and I felt that indecision in his answers.

He is taking his time, weighing his options, and figuring out what the best situation is for himself. I believe Michigan will make his next cut since as the Wolverines they showed early interest, which Montae seems to value a lot. 



August 9th, 2013 at 11:41 AM ^

Really sounds like a great kid. Wish him the best.

He's definitely playing his cards close, and it really sounds like he doesn't know where he even wants to visit bc he likes all the places. I wouldn't be surprised if he went somewhere else but I'd love for him to be Blue.


August 9th, 2013 at 11:46 AM ^

Its interesting that the early love from UM is more important to some recruits than others. Wangler, for instance, gets a later offer and is ready to jump on it. I realize he hashistory, lineage, etc, but other high profile recruits don't seem to mind.

Space Coyote

August 9th, 2013 at 1:12 PM ^

Besides total spots, I would say it doesn't at all. Wangler is a LB all the way, and Nicholson could play safety (my preference and I believe Michigan's) or WR (other people like him there). With such limited real targets left, I really don't think we need to worry about running into the 85 limit to much extent, even though in a fantasy awesome world we would. What will likely happen is some of the remaining targets will come to Michigan and some won't, and at the end of the day it will work itself out.

Now if Westphal committed to Michigan, or JuJu Smith, that may have an affect on Nicholson. But all of Michigan's DB targets seem to be content in taking their time, which leads me to believe that will work itself out too.

I also am not aware of any real pre-existing relationship, if you were talking that type of thing. So Wangler coming to Michigan rather than Penn St probably wouldn't mean a whole lot either way.

Ron Utah

August 9th, 2013 at 11:51 AM ^

Great interview, Brandon.  I like that your questions were thoughtful without pressuring him to disclose whether or not he was going to come to Michigan.

As for Montae, WOW.  He seems incredibly mature and thoughtful, and definitely fits The Pattern.  Would love to have a young man of his character in Schembechler Hall.


August 9th, 2013 at 11:54 AM ^

..a good head on his shoulders. It's not surprising that a kid with his intellect would find it hard to cut his group from 12 to 5 or 6. He recognizes there's worth in each of these schools and programs and that realization makes it more difficult to make an elimination decision. Sounds like he's going to be very methodical about his process. Given the high level athletes that Michigan is targeting for its remaining secondary slots, he likely will be afforded the time he indicates he needs.

Wee-Bey Brice

August 9th, 2013 at 12:01 PM ^

Definitely seems like a high character kid that would fit right in. He's been to the BBQ and the Staee game so he's seen A2 at its best. We can only hope that's good enough at this point because he sounds wide open at the moment


August 9th, 2013 at 12:10 PM ^

Good interview.  It's really nice to have these kinds of interviews with recruits on the blog.  Montae sounds like a good kid, too.

Also, congrats on the engagement Brandon.


August 9th, 2013 at 12:12 PM ^

Do you send each kid you talk to a link to the interview here?


Definitely seems like a smart and thoughtful dude. Would love to see him on board.

Blue in Denver

August 9th, 2013 at 12:14 PM ^

He really seems like a great kid.  Intelligent, introspective, well spoken, plus a great player.  I love the the kids we're recruiting these days.  Really hope he commits here.


August 9th, 2013 at 12:19 PM ^

I used to hate all of these interviews with recruits; seemed like part of the symptom of the overall problem of them getting contacted by too many people.

But I actually think they serve an incredibly useful purpose; putting the actual face on a star rating, or a "recruiting strategy," or rival team trashtalk, etc.

In other words, I find myself incredibly impressed by these kids, given all the attention they're getting and having to process at a young age. Great interview, Brandon. Well done.

turd ferguson

August 9th, 2013 at 12:25 PM ^

Interesting point.  I remember this conversation coming up shortly after Michigan hired Hoke and Hoke started assembling his coaching staff.  There was an argument made, most publicly by Brian, that we'd struggle to recruit because our coaches were too white and old and not flashy and cool enough.  I think these interviews are helpful in exposing that view as misguided.  Sure, there are some kids who want everything flashy, but most of these kids - and certainly most of the ones we seem to be recruiting - are just good kids who want to go someplace where they feel embraced and whose families want to make sure that their kids are cared for now and in the future. 

turd ferguson

August 9th, 2013 at 12:19 PM ^

I really like this kid.

Brandon, congrats on the engagement.  One thought, after reading this interview and the Hand interview (both of which were great)...  I left both of them wondering if these kids have a leader in their heads right now.  Even if a kid has X finalists that haven't been ruled out, it'd be interested to hear whether they think they know where they'll be going.

I'm not sure there's a good way to ask that, and it might be a stupid question anyway, but it occurred to me after each of these interviews.


August 9th, 2013 at 12:32 PM ^

Just wanted to congradulate you on your addition to the staff. It was funny when your name first popped up here, a few people questioned your credentials, and the reliability of your information. Then Brian (and Ace?) mentioned some of your quotes in recruiting round ups and whatnot. I think people started warming up to ya. But now you're here, and the content you can bring is pretty awesome. Don't know how you get some of this info, the chances at one on one interviews & some seemingly candid stuff out of these kids, but it think that's going to bring a lot to this board.

Thanks in advance, and great job with what I've seen so far.

Space Coyote

August 9th, 2013 at 1:14 PM ^

I think, while his ranking is about right overall around the board, he is one of the highest floor players out there. I think he's very versatile, and a good player to boot. Potential to be a top 100 type recruit, but a floor higher than most in range.


August 9th, 2013 at 1:37 PM ^

Congratulations on your engagement & I wish the best for you & your fiancee.  

Great interview & I'm glad you respected his space in not making his decision yet & not trying to push him one way or the other.  


August 9th, 2013 at 2:46 PM ^


I teach little kids how to fence

Fencing is a fascinating sport.  It takes a lot of agility and a fair amount of physical endurance as well.  What a cool piece of information about this young man. 


eamus_caeruli (not verified)

August 9th, 2013 at 6:49 PM ^

Coach Brown,

Nice work here! Extremely well-written, and I appreciated the flow to the post; and not being afraid to move into what are obviously difficult questions for the recruit to answer. There was a nice balance of personal/overview/Michigan specific information, without the author pressuring or leading the recruit. I am looking forward to seeing the maturation process.

Well done! Thank you!