But another program has a strong lead in the race to him, according to the On3 Recruiting Prediction Machine (RPM). Florida State, which hosted Nichelson for an official visit in mid-June holds a 95.0 percent chance of securing his commitment, per the RPM. That includes a trio of recent expert predictions from On3 Director of Recruiting Chad Simmons, ScoopDuck.com insider Justin Hopkins, and Warchant’s Michael Langston.
The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Nichelson is the No. 206 overall prospect in the 2023 class, according to the On3 Consensus, a complete and equally weighted industry-generated average that utilizes all four major recruiting media companies. He ranks as the nation’s No. 18 linebacker and the No. 13 player in California.
On3 is slightly higher on him than other services though, as evidence in the Industry Comparison. In the most recent On300 rankings, he was tabbed as the country’s No. 184 prospect, No. 16 linebacker and No. 11 senior in the Golden State.
After visiting the Seminoles in June, Nichelson returned over the weekend for the Seminole Showcase, giving FSU one last shot to make an impression before his decision, which could come any day.
“I got to talk some with KJ Sampson, and also Lucas Simmons,” he told Warchant. “I got to see how they like Florida State. Like really what got them to commit here and kind of building those relationships, because they are really important to me. Because those are people if I were to go here that I would be playing with.”
Blake Nichelson Scouting Summary
“Athletic linebacker prospect who dominates high school competition as a two-way player. Measured at over 6-foot-2, 213 pounds prior to his senior season. A top athlete at the position who tests well in the combine setting. Ran an electronically-timed 4.64 second 40-yard dash prior to his senior season. A phenomenal high school football player as a running back and linebacker. Accounted for over 2,600 yards from scrimmage and 44 total touchdowns as a junior. Also tallied 49 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 7 sacks and one interception.
… Is almost always the top athlete on the field on Friday nights. Easily out-runs opposing defenses with the ball in his hands. Spends much of his time on defense as a standup pass rusher. Shows his speed on defense with the ability to hunt down ball carriers and make plays behind the line of scrimmage. Has neutral wing-span and shorter arms relative to other top linebackers. Will need to adjust to playing in space at the next level, but has more than enough speed and athleticism.”