Nelson Agholor never satisfied
ESPNU 150 ATH with countless offers wants to be the best ... at everything
BEAVERTON, Ore. -- To get an idea of what kind of athlete Nelson Agholor is, just go to YouTube.
There are plenty of highlight reels about his football prowess but there's one 20-second basketball clip that stands out.
"Whatever I do athletically I want to be the best at it," said Agholor, who is No. 41 in the ESPNU 150 and the No. 7 athlete. "As a recruit, I'm listed as an athlete and I take that to heart. I don't want to be limited to a position. When I practice I work on defensive back skills, wide receiver skills, running back skills, my return game. Any element of the game where I know I can help my team win."
It's become the definition of Agholor's game. He doesn't want to be great at any one position, or any one sport for that matter. He doesn't want to just be good, he wants to be the best ... at everything
"He's a freak," said Josh Grady, a former Armwood (Fla.) Seffner quarterback and good friend of Agholor's. "He can fly with the best of them. I think he's more of a wide receiver but he can do anything."
It's a common opinion by those who played against Agholor.
"He is an unbelievable talent and hasn't come close to his maximum potential," said Miami signee Anthony Chickillo, who played at Tampa (Fla.) Alonso.
Coming from a small, private school in the talent-rich Tampa Bay area, Agholor has had to work harder to gain the respect of the players around him. But going to Berkeley Prep isn't about what happens on the field for Agholor. It's much, much more.
"Berkeley Prep has given me the opportunity to become well-rounded in a number of areas both academically and athletically," Agholor said. "When I leave this school I'll be prepared for college and prepared for what life has to offer me down the road when my life in athletics ends.
"I moved here from Nigeria when I was 5. My dad basically took the family and brought us here on his own dime so we could have the opportunities he didn't have when he was younger."
Agholor, along with his three older siblings, have tried to take full advantage of it. He didn't get involved in athletics until he was in middle school.
"I followed after my brothers who are both great natural athletes and looked physically better than I did so I got a lot of experience through them," Agholor said.
There's little doubt that little brother is catching up to his older siblings and that's one of the reasons why nearly every top program in the nation is coming after Agholor.
Auburn, FSU, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Texas and USC are among the programs chasing after Agholor. While Agholor hasn't publicly announced a top group yet, he is making moves within his recruitment to narrow his choices.
"I am in the process of eliminating some schools. Personnel and the coaches' character were the most important things to me and I've met some great people," Agholor said. "Now I'm really trying to see what's best for my future, which is to hopefully play on Sundays one day, after playing on Saturdays of course.
"So mainly all these programs that produce the players that get to the next level are the ones I'm looking at. Big schools, small schools, it doesn't matter. Guys can go to the NFL from anywhere."
Agholor wouldn't talk about the schools he has eliminated but says it will be clear soon.
"It's mainly schools I haven't been in contact with as much," Agholor said. "They understand; they are trying to get the right guys for their program and I'm trying to find the right fit for me."
Agholor has visited Miami, Texas and USC recently as well as going to Florida with his AAU basketball team.
Although the Longhorns rarely recruit prospects outside of Texas, they have made Agholor a primary target, and the interest is mutual.
"Texas is a great university," he said. "I visited there on my dime so there's plenty of interest there on my part."
While Agholor says distance is not a factor, citing his move from Nigeria and constant travels with his AAU basketball team, he will be focused on what several of his top schools do in 2011.
"I think this year is big, that's why I'm uncommitted now," Agholor said. "I want to see how these teams perform, especially the teams with changes on their coaching staffs.
"Miami wants to bring their program back to the old days and that's great if they can because you know what Miami is capable of. Florida and their new staff, I hope they do well. Texas had a bad year but I don't think their year was that bad. Everyone has slip ups. If you didn't win a national championship, you could do a lot better than you did the year before."
Agholor says some programs just speak for themselves.
"USC is USC, just like Texas is Texas and Florida is Florida, no matter where you end up in those types of programs you can be a great player like Deion Sanders at Florida State or Reggie Bush at USC or Ricky Williams at Texas," Agholor said. "That's something you want to be a part of."
And while Agholor might be a top target for committed prospects while he's here at The Opening, he is targeting the commits and picking their brains.
"I've actually been bugging all those guys because you want to have a connection with the players you might play in college with," Agholor said. "We have a great group of Texas players here, great players going to Florida State, Florida, USC, TCU. ... All these schools and all these kids are great so I'm going to get to know them the best."
Corey Long has been covering high school football and recruiting in the Sunshine State since 1995. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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