From the moment he stepped on campus, Brian Nicholas knew deep down in his gut that the University of Michigan was the right place for him.
The Scarsdale junior made an official visit to Michigan from Sept. 8-9. He committed to the Division 1 school just a day later on Sept. 10.
“Just walking around campus with the team and watching them practice kind of solidified my gut feeling that this was the right spot for me,” Nicholas said.
The success of Michigan’s program helps, too.
“The one thing that put Michigan over the top for me and made me want to go there was the coaching staff and success of the team in the past, present and I believe future as well,” Nicholas said. “The campus there is spectacular and the school puts so much care into their athletes to the point where you’re treated like a pro there.”
Nicholas said he was considering other schools like Harvard, Boston University and Penn State, but it was the Wolverines, who compete in the Big Ten conference, that he would ultimately decide on.
The three-sport Scarsdale star is currently in the middle of football season, where he is the Raiders’ starting quarterback. Just days after making one of the biggest decisions of his young life, he was back under center at practice, preparing for the team’s next game against Arlington on Sept. 17.
Before Nicholas heads for Ann Arbor, he still has his senior year at Scarsdale to look forward to but there’s more than just that. He was drafted eighth overall by the Sioux City (Iowa) Muskeeters of the USHL back in May.
Another accolade to add to his lengthy list, which includes sectional championships in golf, was being selected to compete for the U.S. 17-and-under team in the Five Nations Tournament in Switzerland this past August. The team went unbeaten and won the tournament while Nicholas thrived, tallying two goals and two assists. The original player pool for the U.S. team started with about 40,000 players who tried out across the country.
Nicholas, a forward with speed and endless stick skills, tallied 12 goals and three assists for Scarsdale during a pandemic shortened Section 1 season last winter. The junior still knows there is much to improve on as he progresses up the ranks with the end goal being to play in the NHL.
“I would say that the one thing I can look to get better on with my game is my speed and strength,” Nicholas said. “I am going to continue just working with my skating coach. I’m getting quicker and faster and then I also believe I just have to get bigger and stronger, so I can play a tougher game when needed.”