PLAYER: Clayton Nicholas
HIGH SCHOOL: Cooper (Abilene, TX)
If you had to compare Nicholas to former Kingsbury quarterbacks, you could say that he is more Case Keenum, while Michael Brewer is more Johnny Manziel (those are both stretches and meant to be comparisons only). Nicholas was not offered by any other program, but that's because he committed early and this was Neal Brown's guy last year. Hand-picked. And if we're going off of Brown's judgment in picking quarterbacks, there's a lot of history left to be written, but he did pick Brewer, Nicholas and Webb. Just from a standpoint of how they look, I think I trust Brown's judgment in this category of picking "his guy". The only downside is that his senior numbers weren't that great. Only 227 yards a game, 26 touchdowns and 16 interceptions, but his junior numbers are significantly better in terms of interceptions with 230 yards a game, 30 touchdowns and only 7 interceptions. According to Nicholas’ Texas Tech profile he added about 10 pounds from high school.
When I write that Nicholas is more Keenum than Manziel, it's that he was very much asked to just pass the ball as a quarterback at Cooper. I'm assuming that they had their own running game separate (they were 11-2 and 9-4 his junior and senior years) from what they asked their quarterback to do. Just throw the ball and Nicholas did. And if you're thinking that Nicholas' stats aren't good enough, or probably aren't as good as what Davis Webb did for Prosper, well, last year he only had 229 yards a game, 23 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. I think this is pretty standard from very good high school quarterbacks who may be running from his life on every other play or may not have totally reliable receivers.