BIO: Junior college transfer who made an immediate impact upon arriving in 2003, posting 90/10/6. Totals included 72/3/2 last season as a senior.
POSITIVES: Stout, run-defending safety who can be an intimidating presence. Forceful up the field, takes good angles to the action and displays a closing burst of speed. Holds his ground against blocks, redirects to ballcarriers and wraps up tackling. Explosive hitter who packs a wallop at the point of attack. Adequately reads the quarterback or anticipates the play.
NEGATIVES: Late reactor in pass coverage and does not display top ball skills. Missed a lot of tackles as a senior and seemingly played back on his heels.
ANALYSIS: After a terrific junior campaign in which many predicted he was a top safety prospect, Nicholson took a major step back last season. Indecision and poor technique plagued him; as a result, he will slide out of the draft's first day. Best as a conventional strong safety or in a two-deep zone.