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Wildcats' Nicholson picks VMI

Warren County's Matt Nicholson, center, signs his letter of intent to play football next year at VMI. His father, Ronald, right, and mother, Susan, left, along with Warren County coach Tony Tallent look on. Tommy Keeler Jr./ Daily

Warren County coach Tony Tallent congratulates Matt Nicholson, right, after signing his letter of intent to play football at VMI next year. Tommy Keeler Jr./ Daily

By Tommy Keeler Jr.

FRONT ROYAL -- Matt Nicholson knew pretty quickly that Virginia Millitary Institute was going to be a great fit for him.

The Warren County senior went for a visit a few weeks ago, and within days decided that was where he wanted to be.

On Wednesday afternoon, Nicholson made it official as he signed his letter of intent to play football for the Keydets next season.

"They have a good school to get degree and education from," Nicholson said. "I feel like after football is over, getting a job will be easier since I went to VMI. I like that they told me I would probably be playing early, and I like the sound of that, so I went with them."

Nicholson said he was also looking at other Football Championship Subdivision schools such as James Madison University, University of Richmond and William and Mary.

Nicholson said he will play at wide receiver.

"They said they think I can come in early and get some playing time," Nicholson said. "I might not start, but he said I would definitely be in the rotation a lot.

"They said they like to pass the ball, so I'll definitely be getting a lot of touches so that will be good."

Nicholson said he was pleasantly surprised when he went for his visit, because he wasn't sure what to expect from a military school.

"I thought it looked better than what I thought it would be," Nicholson said. "It was a real nice campus."

Nicholson said he wanted to stay in the state, and try to stay closer to home.
The wide receiver/defensive back has made a big impact at Warren County during his high school career.

As a junior, Nicholson had 14 receptions for 295 yards and had five touchdowns.

Last year Nicholson caught 26 passes for 356 yards and had seven touchdowns.

Warren County coach Tony Tallent said he believes Nicholson will be very successful at the next level.

"Athletically, he's going to matchup real well," Tallent said. "He's strong. His size is going to give people some problems. He really has the ability to go after the ball. I think that's what they're looking for him to be able to do.

"It's a great opportunity for him."

The Keydets went 2-9 last year, including 1-5 in the Big South.

Nicholson is one of 15 players that signed to play for VMI on Wednesday. He said playing at the next level was something he always dreamed of.

"It feels real good to know that you put in all that hard work, all those hours over the summer in the weight room, and listening to coaches and doing what they say, and it all paid off for me," Nicholson said. "And I'm really happy about it."

Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com


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