The Prospector: Osceola LB Riley Nicholson struggles with decision between UCF, NC State

Riley Nicholson is faced with a big-time decision.

He's 17 years old and he, like all college football recruits, is about the make the biggest choice of his young life.

It's a choice that will determine the path to the rest of his life.

It's probably an unfair burden to place on the shoulders of a high school kid.

That's the price you pay for being one of the best linebackers in state of Florida.

The Kissimmee Osceola High standout will be deciding this week where he will attend college.

It's down to three schools: UCF, NC State and West Virginia, although the latter is not nearly as much in the hunt as the first two.

Nicholson, a 6-foot, 220-pound backer who is ranked No. 11 in the Sentinel's 2015 Central Florida Super60 and No. 62 in the Sentinel's 2015 Florida Top 100, has seen the recruiting process from all angles.

His mom used to drive him all over the Southeast each summer to attend college camps in order to help get him attention from recruiters.

His play on the field, however, is what finally started to spark interest that has resulted in 20 scholarship offers from NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision institutions.

He has gone from wondering why he wasn't getting recruited to basking in the glow of daily attention from coaches all over the Southeast to being overwhelmed by the sales pitches and the overall aggressive nature of those trying to sell him on their respective programs.

Now he's the No. 1 recruit, coaches tell him.

He's the player who will take their recruiting class to the next level, they say.

They also say the same thing to the other linebackers they are recruiting. That's how it works.

He hears so many positive things about himself that he's starting to wonder if it's even true.

It's kind of like shopping for a new car.

You want the car, you want to believe all the great things the salesman says about it, but after hearing so much of exactly what you want to hear, it eventually becomes difficult to believe.

It's been frustrating. He used to talk about his college recruiting all the time.

Now he doesn't want to talk about it at all. He's cut off his mother from discussing it. That subject is off limits for the time being.

That's how bothersome it's become.

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