Isaiah Nichols finds his place (story)

I covered Arkansas DL Isaiah Nichols during his junior and senior seasons at Springdale High. He’s easily one of the best kids I’ve covered, and I was honored to be able to tell his story. Big thanks to Clay and Matt.

He’s an extraordinary person and was absolutely dominant as a senior. All throughout his recruitment, the big story was that Isaiah had only played football for a couple of years. I talked with his mother, Susan, and found out why. I don’t believe that part of his story had been covered before. Isaiah also lost his best friend in 2016.

Here’s my in-depth look at his upbringing, his family and how he became a star in Springdale:

http://www.wholehogsports.com/news/2018 … -later-mo/

Great story Scottie. Sounds like Isaiah’s character has been forged by fire and he has a tremendous up side. Looking forward to watching him have a great career at Arkansas.

No question. Covering him for those two years, I knew of some great stories just about his humility and work ethic. His mother is his rock. I wasn’t able to fit in perhaps my favorite story.

By the time last spring rolled around, Isaiah was so dominant Zak Clark had to pull him out of practice so his offense could get its work in. Down a couple of offensive linemen, Isaiah would highjack practices at times so Zak sidelined him. He did this during the spring game last year, too.

Isaiah had family up from Little Rock to watch him play in the spring game, so when Zak pulled him out, Isaiah was pissed off and didn’t want to talk to him. Zak said it’s probably the only time he felt challenged by him. So when it’s over, Isaiah is in a bad mood walking to the fieldhouse and Zak knows he’s going to have to explain himself to the parents about why Isaiah wasn’t playing.

Zak sees Susan, Isaiah’s mother, approaching and before he can get a word out, she says, “‘No, no, no, what he did is not OK. I don’t know why he didn’t play, but it doesn’t matter. He’s not going to act like that.”

Five minutes later, Isaiah came out of the locker room and apologized.

Once we identified Isaiah Nichols as our cover, I had no doubt about who needed to write the cover story. Scottie did a great job with this.

[quote=“ScottieBordelon”]

No question. Covering him for those two years, I knew of some great stories just about his humility and work ethic. His mother is his rock. I wasn’t able to fit in perhaps my favorite story.

By the time last spring rolled around, Isaiah was so dominant Zak Clark had to pull him out of practice so his offense could get its work in. Down a couple of offensive linemen, Isaiah would highjack practices at times so Zak sidelined him. He did this during the spring game last year, too.

Isaiah had family up from Little Rock to watch him play in the spring game, so when Zak pulled him out, Isaiah was pissed off and didn’t want to talk to him. Zak said it’s probably the only time he felt challenged by him. So when it’s over, Isaiah is in a bad mood walking to the fieldhouse and Zak knows he’s going to have to explain himself to the parents about why Isaiah wasn’t playing.

Zak sees Susan, Isaiah’s mother, approaching and before he can get a word out, she says, “‘No, no, no, what he did is not OK. I don’t know why he didn’t play, but it doesn’t matter. He’s not going to act like that.”

Five minutes later, Isaiah came out of the locker room and apologized.

[/quote]Thank you for sharing, Isaiah sounds like a pretty special young man. but sounds like this apple did not fall far from a very strong tree. So refreshing in this day of self-promoting and me first attitude to see a parent who accepts the fact that the first role as a parent is neither an apologist or agent.

Great story about a great kid and soon to be a great Razorback. Thanks for sharing.

this kid is a stud! reminds me of Trey flowers long and strong! will be a difference maker sooner than later IMO.

I have always written the center spread for the recruiting magazine. For 26 years. I had a couple of good ideas, maybe one great idea and was prepared to roll when I told Matt who we had decided to put on the cover. He stopped me and asked if I would let Scottie do it because he had a wealth of information. I didn’t hesitate. Scottie is a very good writer and an even better interviewer.

I know you guys grew to like Jimmy Carter. Me, too. But we got a great one in Scottie. He’s enthusiastic, talented and loves to work. The only thing that would be better would be to have Scottie and Jimmy. Well, that might be dangerous. They might put me out to pasture.