Gators players see action in all-star games
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Gateway senior Montae Nicholson donned the black and gold of the East team in Saturday's U.S. Army All-American Bowl, and despite coming out on the losing end of a 28-6 decision to the West, he was able to show his talents in front of an NBC national-television audience.
Nicholson made three tackles from his safety position.
He also got a chance to play with and against some of the top stars in the nation and got a first look at players he will face over the next several years.
Several players in Saturday's game from the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, Texas, announced their college decisions live on TV from the game.
Nicholson, however, was not among that group, as he made a verbal commitment to Michigan State at an event with family and friends Dec. 19 at Gateway High School.
Another player from the East team — 6-foot-1, 287-pound offensive lineman Brian Allen from Hinsdale, Ill. — also made a verbal commitment to play for the Spartans.
The players from both the East and West teams met at the start of the week for practices and other activities in and around San Antonio.
For Nicholson, part of the trip included watching his future team take on Stanford in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day.
It was a fun start to the new year for Nicholson, as the Big Ten champion Spartans scored a 24-20 victory over Pac 12 champion Stanford.
Nicholson is the fifth player from Gateway to be selected for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl since 2005.
He joins Justin King, Shayne Hale, Corey Brown and Dorian Bell on that short list.
In addition to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, Nicholson, along with a couple of his Gateway teammates, received news that they were named to the Pennsylvania Football News Quad-A All-State team.
Nicholson joined North Allegheny's Elijah Zeise as two of three first-team selections at wide receiver.
Senior Brenon Thrift, the state's sack leader with 16 this season, shared second-team defensive-line honors with four other players, including Penn-Trafford junior Trey Blandford and Woodland Hills senior James Eggleston.
Also on the second team defense from Gateway is senior defensive back Anthony Davis, while senior linebacker Zaihe Regus, who set a Gators record in 2013 for tackles in a single season, was named to the third-team defense.
Nicholson, Thrift and senior Joe Robak all came home winners from the fourth-annual Chesapeake Bowl all-star football game Dec. 28 in Virginia Beach, Va.
The Gateway trio helped the North team break out to a 31-0 lead in the first half and a 50-0 halftime advantage before finishing off a 59-21 win.
Nicholson made several catches and caught two touchdown passes from Blackhawk senior Chandler Kincade.
Thrift recorded seven tackles, including two sacks, and Robak found success on offense at guard, tackle and tight end.
“The South had some great players,” said Thrift, a Temple recruit.
“(The North squad players) all got a long really well. We jelled quickly.”
Thrift said it was fun to line up next to North teammate Courtel Jenkins, a 6-3, 305-pound senior defensive tackle from DePaul Catholic in New Jersey. Jenkins has verbally committed to play at Miami (Fla.).
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Some of the WPIAL’s top teams leaning toward two-back ground game
- New football uniforms can change perceptions, help establish identity
- Class AAAA breakdown: Wealth of talent places target on Central Catholic
- Class AAA breakdown: Armstrong merger shakes up Greater Allegheny Conference
- Class AA breakdown: Dynamic offense to again lead 2-time PIAA champion South Fayette
- Gorman: Don’t judge WPIAL by the cover
- Freeport football star Thimons might be even better off the field than on it
- Class A breakdown: Teams going Bear hunting again this season chasing Clairton
- McKeesport’s offensive motor and defensive stopper, Hudson is special
- Birdie says heat is on for another season of football picks
- Ringgold working on reversing trends