SAN ANTONIO – Present Nigel Warrior with a challenge and the four-star safety out of Suwanee, Ga., eagerly lines up to face it.
Warrior chose the U.S. Army All-American Bowl because he wanted to test himself against the best. As tough as that could be, he will do so while playing out of position as a cornerback.
“Yesterday and today have been great practices, making plays,” Warrior said after practice Tuesday. “It’s just a great environment out here. You’re playing with the best.”
It’s an unflinching approach that has made the Peachtree Ridge High School senior the nation’s fourth-best safety and 64th overall prospect, according to 247Sports. Warrior is the son for former NFL All-Pro cornerback Dale Carter, who was a former Georgia prep star before playing 12 years in the NFL.
At 6 foot and 186 pounds, Warrior was recruited by a list of schools that reads like a Top 25 poll.
Warrior whittled the list down to Alabama, Georgia, LSU and Tennessee, where his father was an All-American.
He plans on revealing his decision Feb. 3 during National Signing Day.
“It’s really hard,” Warrior said of the recruiting process. “Everybody is coming at you the same and you’re hearing the same things. Basically, you just have to see what environment you would like to be in. It’s not just the coaches, because a coach can leave and it would be a new one the next day. So, you’ve just got to adapt.”
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For now, Warrior is getting a small glimpse of what it is like to play in college while participating in the national all-star game. The U.S. Army All-American Bowl is Saturday at the Alamodome.
Warrior had his choice of all-star games, but eagerly accepted the invitation from the All-American Bowl.
“I wanted to compete against some of my friends because they’re higher recruits,” Warrior said. “They’re No. 1s, top 20s. I want to compete against them. …
“I want to compete against the best. I think the best came here.”
As a member of the East, Warrior is practicing against top quarterback prospect Jacob Eason of Lake Stevens, Wash., and four-star receiver Binjimen Victor of Coconut Creek, Fla. On Saturday, he will take on top wide receiver prospect Tyler Vaughns of Bishop Amat (La Puente, Calif.), and second-ranked quarterback Shea Patterson of IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.).
He has been playing cornerback in practice per request, and he is embracing the challenge.
“The coaches said they want me to play corner,” Warrior said. “Getting the feel to go against the best receivers and getting a handle on them and staying in position is a great thing. Making plays on the ball. And those are the best quarterbacks, too, so they’re putting the ball in the best spot. It’s going to be high tempo when you go to college, but right now I’m looking great after even not playing about six weeks.”
And he won’t hesitate to tell the opposition just how well he is doing against them.
“It’s a great challenge, because we all have fun,” he said. “We talk, talk smack, but it’s just football. It’s all out of love for the game.”