TribLIVE

| Sports


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Gorman: Nicholson already an All-American

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Top high school sports
Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
 

Terry Smith got the news earlier this week but waited until after Gateway's 42-0 victory over Penn-Trafford on Friday clinched the Quad East title.

Smith wanted to make a grand gesture in announcing that junior safety Montae Nicholson had been selected to play in the 2014 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

“The whole locker room erupted,” Smith said. “He couldn't stop smiling. The whole moment was electric and exciting. You could see he was just overwhelmed with it.”

With three national football all-star games — Semper Fidelis and Under Armour are the others — the competition to attract top talent is starting to mirror recruiting process. Game organizers are dangling All-America status the way schools offer scholarships — earlier and earlier.

“For the immature kid, it will take the incentive away; for a mature kid like Montae Nicholson, it just gives him more,” said Smith, who will be an assistant coach in the Semper Fidelis All-American Game in January. “He comes from a humble background, so it energizes him to do more. It's the nature of a competitive market.”

What's unique about Nicholson's selection is that he wasn't a starter until this fall. But his size (6-foot-3, 195 pounds), speed (40-yard dash in low 4.5s) and ball skills (32 yards per catch and five touchdowns) has attracted offers from Pitt, Penn State, West Virginia, Michigan, Ohio State, Rutgers, Texas Tech and Toledo.

“Montae is having a ridiculous season,” Smith said. “Every game, he's getting better. He has the skill set to be a big-time player.”

Smith sent Nicholson's game film to Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Mike Farrell, who has input on the selection of the U.S. Army All-American teams.

“Once I sent him the film, it was a no-brainer,” Smith said.

Nicholson could become the fifth Gateway player to participate in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, following Justin King, Shayne Hale, Dorian Bell and Corey Brown.

Gateway has three other juniors with scholarship offers: defensive back Anthony Davis (Texas Tech), wide receiver Ricky Rogers (Pitt, Rutgers) and defensive end Brennon Thrift (Pitt, West Virginia).

Who knows whether any of them will be invited to play in All-America games, but this much is clear: It might not be long before we find out.

 

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Rossi: Steelers rising fast in mediocre AFC
  2. Renowned strength coach set to visit Kittanning
  3. Steelers offense learning to slam door
  4. Steelers-Bengals game to start at 8:30 p.m.
  5. Pittsburgh police doubling up on duty after potential threats
  6. John Browne: Care act isn’t affordable for Americans, economy
  7. Steelers clinch trip to postseason with big victory over Chiefs
  8. Downie, Farnham bringing a much-needed edge to the Penguins
  9. Allegheny County district attorney prosecutors move on to state office
  10. Groom cited at Farmington wedding reception being filmed for reality TV show
  11. Georgia prosecutor Yates tapped for No. 2 post in Justice Department
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.