July 30, 2008

Nuckols favors two

One of the top defensive tackle prospects Arizona State is targeting is four-star defensive tackle Edward Nuckols from San Marcos (Calif.) Mission Hills.

Rivals.com ranks Nuckols as the nation's 26th best prospect at the position in the class. The defensive tackle has been working on improving his academic standing this summer and said he recently passed both of his courses.

Nuckols said he currently holds scholarship offers from Arizona, Arizona State Colorado, Minnesota and San Diego State. Oregon and Washington are also said to be showing interest. At the moment two schools stand out.

"I don't have a top five but Colorado and Arizona State are actually my top two, they are the two that I am the most interested in right now," Nuckols said.

"I like the coaches at Colorado. I have not visited the school yet but I have set up an official visit. From talking with my coaches and other people who seen [the campus] they just say that they love it. A lot of local kids have been talking about Colorado and I just real excited to go see it all.

"From what I have been hearing ASU is pretty good and they are coming up," Nuckols said. "I caught a few of their games last year and they looked pretty good. I have spoken with my teammate Jamaar [Jarrett], he is headed there this fall. He said when he saw the campus for the first time that he just fell in love with it. He told me that he really likes the coaches, especially how he meshes with them and that it's just a good program."

The 6-foot-3 300 pounder totaled 34 tackles, including six for loss to earn all-county, first-team all-league and second-team all-state underclass honors last season. Mission Hills Coach Chris Hauser previously raved about Nuckols to Rivals.com

"He was our best lineman last year," Hauser said. "He's a great run stopper and took on double teams on every play. He's a high motor kid and really performed well for us. He was all-state as a sophomore and he has continued to get better every year."

Nuckols has pretty good strength with his 273-pound power clean, 300-pound bench and a 450-pound squat. At the NIKE Combine in March he clocked a 5.44 40-yard dash, 4.75 shuttle time, jumped 25 inches in vertical testing and threw the power ball 37'9" to earn a 76.71 SPARQ Rating.

Nuckols is similar to Sun Devils 2008 signee Otis Jones in that he is athletic enough to play fullback in goal line situations. He ended up rushing for 124 yards and scored seven touchdowns. Nuckols believes his athletic ability is what sets him apart.

"I think how I jump off the ball and also my quickness, a lot of offensive linemen tell me that I am pretty quick for my size," Nuckols said.

Now that summer school has ended Nuckols is turning his focus to the 2008 season and he is expecting big things for Mission Hills.

"We are looking pretty strong," he said. "We start practice Monday. We don't have a bunch of people returning but we have a lot of good underclassmen coming up who are going to have to fill rolls quickly. Our team goal is to return to Qualcomm (Stadium) for the CIF championship game and win it because last year we went and lost to Oceanside. My goal for myself is to be named CIF Defensive Player of the Year."

Nuckols is not in a rush to make a college choice and believes his visits will help him to make his final decision.

"I am probably going to wait until after the season and all of my visits," Nuckols said. "I want to talk to my family about it and decide on what is the best choice. When I make my visits I want to see the campus and area to make sure that it is an area that I would feel comfortable living in and get used to. I also want to get a look at the team and how the coaches coach up the players."

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