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Milledgeville (Ga.) Baldwin takes to the field Friday night for its season opener against Warner Robbins, and lining up at wide receiver for Baldwin in his final season will be “Slick Nick.”
Baldwin is coming off a season where it barely missed the playoffs and four-star prospect Nick Kyles is expecting a lot to happen on the field this year for Baldwin.
“I think we have a pretty good team, and I expect us to go to the playoffs,” Kyles said. “Last year we didn’t get to go with a 7-3 record, and we let some games slip last year. But I think this year we are going to go about our business.”
Kyles, who is 6-2 and 180 pounds, heads into the season with offers from Georgia, Florida, Auburn, Georgia Tech, Clemson, Mississippi State, North Carolina, Louisville, Florida State and Maryland.
“I have narrowed down my list to Georgia, Florida, Florida State, Auburn and Clemson,” Kyles said. “I think this might be my final top five and it is really in no type of order.”
Kyles visited Georgia and UF this summer for camps, but he didn’t have to visit the other three schools for them to crack his top five:
Georgia: “I like Georgia because they are close to home. I like the atmosphere down there. I like the coaches. They have a good program and personally I like the SEC.”
Florida: “I like Florida because they pass a lot and that is the main reason I like them. I am a wide receiver, so I like that right there. They are also in the SEC, so I like that too. I really want to play in the SEC.”
Florida State: “I like Florida State because I like Bobby Bowden. I like him because of tradition and they win a lot of games and stay in the top tier. That is the main reason I would like to go there.”
Clemson: “My first cousin goes there – LeRoy Hill, a middle linebacker. They treat him good and he tells me a lot of stuff about Clemson, so I figured if I go there they will do me the same.”
Auburn: “They have been a team I have liked growing up. I would say Auburn was my favorite team growing up.”
Kyles plans to take his official visits after the season and could start setting up dates as soon as the recruiting dead period ends.
Kyles attended the second session of UF’s Rising Senior Camp in July, but came to the UF camp tired as he just spent the previous days attending a camp at UGA. At the camp, he ran a 4.6 40-yard dash (usually clocks in at 4.5), boasted a vertical jump of 33 inches and bench pressed 185 pounds 11 times.
“The Florida camp went all right,” Kyles said. “I think I did pretty good, but it is not like I did as well at the Georgia camp I went to. I was really winded when I got to Florida.”
While in Gainesville, Kyles talked briefly with UF head coach Ron Zook, but had a lengthy conversation with UF assistant coach Dwayne Dixon, who is recruiting Kyles.
“I really like coach Dixon, but I didn’t really get to talk with coach Zook,” Kyles said. “But when I did speak to him (Zook) he told me that he was glad I came down.”
Kyles said he would “probably” commit after the football season, but has already formulated the criteria a school must have for him to sign on the dotted line.
“I think that I would really have to be a true fit for that team, and really be a player that can come in and change their program and make their program a little better than they are,” he said. “The program really has to fit me. Also which players I get long with the best and if I bond with the coaches right away. The atmosphere has to be right too.”
At Baldwin, Kyles is teammates with his brother Jarvis Kyles, who is also a Class of 2005 recruit. Nick said that Georgia, Louisville, Maryland, North Carolina and Florida are the only schools that have offered both him and his brother, and playing alongside Jarvis is also a factor that Nick is going to take into consideration.
“Some schools that are recruiting him might not be recruiting him as hard, but mostly every school that is recruiting me is recruiting him too,” Nick said. “Playing with my brother is a big decision that I have to make. I want to play with my brother.”
As a junior, Kyles had 52 receptions for 1,054 yards and 10 touchdowns. He had two interceptions on defense as well as two punt returns for touchdowns. He was the MVP of the team and earned first-team All-State and All-Region honors.
While Kyles stars on the gridiron and is the No. 17th-ranked wide receiver in the country by Rivals.com, he is no slacker when it comes to the hardwood. Kyles starts at shooting guard for the Baldwin basketball team and as a junior averaged 16 points per game. Although he doesn’t know if it will happen when he gets to college, Kyles is toying with the idea of playing both football and basketball.
“I am good at basketball too, so I just have to see when I get to college,” Kyles said. “I have been playing basketball since I was little, and I really don’t want to have to give it up.”
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