East Rock’s Nickel among nation’s top recruits
HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - When the high school basketball season gets underway later this year, college coaches at high-profile NCAA Division I programs will have their attention focused on Elkton, Virginia.
East Rockingham High School junior forward Tyler Nickel is one of the top recruits in the nation in the Class of 2022. Nickel is ranked No. 83 in his class by Rivals, a recruiting service. Nickel has scored 1,464 points in just two seasons at East Rock, the most ever by a boys basketball player through their sophomore year in Virginia High School League history.
Programs at the highest level of college basketball are taking notice of Nickel’s talent. He already has scholarship offers from Virginia Tech, Iowa, Clemson, Penn State, JMU, Appalachian State, LSU, NC State, Old Dominion, Richmond, Wake Forest, and VCU. Nickel says a number of other big-time programs including UVA, North Carolina, West Virginia, Ohio State, Marquette, and Cincinnati are expressing interest and have been in contact with him.
“It’s definitely fun," said Nickel. "It’s definitely interesting. It’s just definitely something that I am getting a lot more used to. Being able to handle it and being respectful and choose how to handle certain situations is just making me mature a lot faster and I think that’s a good thing.”
Nickel says he receives texts or communication from about five or six programs every day.
“I think he’s been real even-keeled," said East Rockingham head coach Carey Keyes. "He hasn’t gotten too crazy ecstatic about anything but obviously he’s always hungry for more. He’s a competitive kid. He wants more offers. He wants more opportunities.”
Nickel and his East Rockingham teammates are currently taking part in offseason workouts as the Eagles prepare for a 14-game regular season during a modified 2020-2021 high school basketball season in Virginia.
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