Pelham linebacker commits to Florida State

Pelham High School senior Nigel Terrell committed to play football at Florida State at a press conference Thursday afternoon at the school.

Terrell, a 6-foot-1, 196-pound strongside linebacker, chose the Seminoles over Ole Miss. He also considered offers from Kentucky, Auburn, Arkansas, Colorado, West Virginia, UAB, Troy, Southern Miss and Western Kentucky.

Terrell said the relationships he developed with FSU coaches Chuck Amato and Jimbo Fisher and the desire to live in the state of Florida after graduation were the reasons he selected the Seminoles over Ole Miss.

“The (Florida State and Ole Miss) campuses were about equal,” Terrell said. “I have more of a relationship with the coaches at Florida State than Ole Miss.”

“I thought about where I wanted to live post-college,” Terrell said. “I want to live in Florida.”

Terrell also said he made a connection with legendary Florida State coach Bobby Bowden because they both lived in inner-city Birmingham at one point. Bowden is a Woodlawn native and Terrell lived in Ensley for a year before moving to Pelham. Terrell said he’s met Bowden twice on trips to Tallahassee.

Terrell said Florida State coaches want him to play outside linebacker. Terrell said he will likely play defensive end for the Panthers this season as Derek Slaughter steps in to replace him at linebacker.

Terrell said he decided to play at Florida State “about a week to a week and a half ago” before announcing his commitment Thursday. He said Pelham coach Brett Burnett and the Panthers’ coaching staff helped him attract interest from the Seminoles by sending out his game film.

“My coaches did a good job getting me exposure,” Terrell said.

Burnett said he is glad Terrell made the decision before his senior season begins. The Panthers open the regular season Friday night by hosting Class 6A, Region 6 opponent Oak Mountain.

“I think it’s big for him to make this decision,” Burnett said. “It’s got to be a big relief for him and he can go out and enjoy his senior season.”

Terrell said he has been told by Florida State coaches he will have a chance to play as a freshman.

“They said since they didn’t sign any linebackers last year that I have a chance to play real early,” Terrell said.

Terrell finished his junior season with 101 tackles, including 14 for a loss, and two sacks. He is listed on the ESPNU 150 Watch List. Terrell is ranked the No. 60 outside linebacker in the country and No. 18 player overall in Alabama by Rivals.com. He is rated as the No. 40 outside linebacker in the nation by Scout.com.