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Top 60 Countdown: No. 31, S Jojo Nicolas

As we move ahead in our countdown of the Top 60 players at UM, we wrap up the second half of our list by taking a look at No. 31: Safety Jojo Nicolas. The junior-to-be has been overshadowed of late by the arrival and return of other players at his position. But will Nicolas just get passed up on the depth chart or will he give new defensive coordinator John Lovett a reason to let him keep the lead role at a position he started at eight times last year?

Jojo Nicolas started eight games last season, but will he get passed up by Vaughn Telemaque, Randy Phillips and Ray Ray Armstrong? > What we heard about him on Signing Day '07: Nicolas didn't come to UM with a lot of hype even though he was a tremendous playmaker in high school. At Homestead High, he caught 32 passes for 400 yards and six touchdowns and had four forced fumbles and an interceptions as a safety. But Rivals and Scout both rated him a three-star recruit, rating him the nation's 30th best and 48th best safety respectively. He chose the Canes over Rutgers and basketball offers from FAU, Tulsa and UTEP.

> What he's done as a Cane: After making his first career interception in his first game against Marshall, Nicolas spent most of his freshman season playing on special teams. He played in 11 games and returned for his sophomore season hoping to compete for playing time at safety. He started eight games last year, played in 11 and recorded 31 tackles -- including seven against Georgia Tech. The 6-1, 197-pounder still hasn't had another interception since his first game (then again how many Canes did last year?).

> What Eye On The U expects from him in '09: With all the excitement over the return of Randy Phillips and Vaughn Telemaque and incoming freshman Ray Ray Armstrong, Nicolas has become sort of the forgotten man at safety. In case you missed it, he did start in eight games last year. Defensive backs coach Wesley McGriff told me last March Nicolas has tremendous instincts, but is a quiet leader. Whether he's loud or not, I still expect Nicolas to be in the rotation in the secondary and a contributor on special teams. He's too athletically gifted -- 4.49 in the 40, 38 1/2 inch vertical -- to not get on the field somehow and help.


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I am a die hard Cane fan and dont want to be seen as a hater, is it just me though or is Ray Ray a lil bit over hyped... Or a lot bit even. I have pulled up all the video that I could on you tube and I just dont see this SEAN TAYLOR type player that everyone is so excited about. Other than him being a big safety their games are not similar. I think he will end up on the DLine or at TE before its all said and done. As for this season, special teams is where he will make the most noise. He doesnt have the hips right now that it takes to cover at that level. I mean, I hope he is the next BIG thing but I just dont see it being at safety.

What do yall think. Like my coach said when I was a receiver in college, the film dont lie!

What do yall think. Like my coach said when I was a receiver in college, the film dont lie!

Posted by: Dallas Cane | July 27, 2009 at 10:47 PM

I can only tell you that at least one of the rating services said he was the best overall recruit, at any position. Let's see what he does after his sophomore season.

Dallas Cane...I can see what you're saying. I don't see him coming in right away and being a dominant force, and he might have to switch to LB in the future. But he will definitely be a play maker in the years to come. His competative drive matched with his physical skills are too much. I agree he might not be Sean Taylor but just give him a chance to make a name for himself.

Also, my family is moving to the Forth Worth Area, are you in Dallas right now?

Jojo Nicolas gets beat on toooooooooo many plays


Yes, I am in Dallas right now, I live on the north side of Dallas a block away from Addison. Ironically I moved here from Kentucky. I split time between Bowling Green and Hopkinsville. I have heard stories about Ray Ray's competitiveness, and that alone can make a good player great and hopefully in his case a great player a legend!

Jojo is a solid player, but his game doesn't remind anyone of Sean Taylor's or Ed Reed's, or even Brandon Meriweather's. Granted, it's not really fair to compare any player to the Sean Taylors and Ed Reeds of the world but this is the U! That's what's expected out of safeties who play for the U, straight balling skillz! I agree with Manny in that Jojo probably serves the team best as a backup who can rotate in and out, and make plays on special teams. Lord knows injuries happen throughout the year so it's nice to know the U has some depth in that Jojo has started 8 games, but I'd prefer to see Vaughn Telemaque and Randy Phillips shine in the defensive backfield. Maybe even get to see a little Ray Ray Armstrong before it's all said and done.

It's simple- look at our defense against the pass, the running eluisve qb, and how many break away runs were there last year? How did we do against,
NC state
Ga Tech?

enough said. He and the rest of the DBs got beat too many times last year. Hopefully Jo Jo learned from hismistakes, wors hard in the film room and comes out like a beast this season. We have had enough of the "quiet" types- Randy Shannon is more than enough.
We need some swag. Some fire.


Thanks Manny

Wow I'm from Hopkinsville, KY too Dallas..

I thought I was the only one who saw that Nicolas got beat wayyyyy to often. Lets take the wait and see approach with Ray Ray. We saw our expectations dashed in the first yr with Arthur Brown. Lets take notes from that and not set the bar so high, and by the way didnt see any defensive highlights that would leave me to believe he would come close to Sean Taylors accomplishments.

Ray Ray is a good prospect, but it's not fair to expect him to be Sean Taylor. Taylor was a physical freak and we haven't seen anyone like him since. Not even Kenny Phillips who is becoming a pretty good NFL safety compares with Taylor.

Armstrong has great size and speed, but we haven't even seen him play yet.

Nicholas might be the odd man out at safety.

It might be that a lot of players will starte from scratch with a new dc. Last yr. the D was so tentative and semi lost it was hard to say who had talent. Because the talent was lost in the over think. It might, be different, might, might, maybe, this yr. no telling who will shine. I actually think that it will be different this yr and players will use their speed and talent to make plays and not be so tentative.

Do you think Randy Shannon will get an extension if we don't win at least 2 of the first four games?

It's Way Way too early to anoint Ray Ray as the next big thing. The U has been burned repeatedly by massively hyped recruits who completely cratered at the college level. Weren't Brock Berlin & Kyle Wright both Gatorade National Players of the Year? Let's hope he's the real deal and can contribute immediately - we'll need it.

jojo hits hard thats about it....

i cant believe they left him out of ncaa 2010, dam you EA

jojo just needs to read things quicker. always seems a step slow in coverage or in run support as far as getting the proper angle. we know he has speed so has to be the instincts.

Here is the Video of Tavadis Glenn throwing up the U at florida's FNL

He throws it's up very close to the end.


and just read the Figs post...if he ends up playing RT he might have to be moved up the list. I've been high on the kid since his first spring with us since I saw how slow Bain moved around and then saw how much quicker this #61 was. plus he was even a little bigger. had me looking forward to seeing him play. I'm not sure why he started playing less toward the end of last year (injuries or maybe fatigue or missed assignments) but looked good when he was in there.

jojo is number 39 on the game

Randy Phillips suckssss...."excitement ova Randy Phillips r u kidding me

Can someone explain the system Manny is usinf for his top 60?

One week he is in the 30's then he will be on in the teens?

How is he counting? Please explain thanks.

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