Prep football: Rochester's Nichols inks with powerhouse D-III program

May 3—ROCHESTER — For Jaden Nichols, the campus at Linfield University in McMinnville, Oregon felt a lot like the campus at Rochester High School.

And that was more than enough for the offensive lineman.

"First time I went there, I really felt like I was at home," Nichols said. "Like I belong there."

The starting left tackle for the Warriors last fall, Nichols put pen to paper on Friday afternoon in the Rochester cafeteria to continue his football career to the state south of Washington.

Linfield has the longest streak of consecutive winning seasons at 67, not going under .500 since 1955 when it went 3-6. Over the last handful of years, the Wildcats have lost one or two games a season.

"They seemed all-in at this level," Nichols said. "I want to be a part of that."

A state placewinner in wrestling and one of the best throwers in track and field, Nichols was an all-area honoree on the offensive line. He didn't miss a snap for Rochester and was a key cog in a rushing attack that accumulated 3,900 yards last fall.

Linfield recruited him as a tackle, but Nichols said he'd be willing to play any position on the offensive line.

"I already told the coaches if they need me at guard or tackle, I'll be available," he said.

Nichols will major in exercise science. He made sure to thank his coaches, family and teammates at the gathering to get him down the path he's on.

"That team brotherhood that everyone is pushing you to be better," Nichols said. "You feel like if you're not doing your best, you're letting someone down. That push and that drive kept going; I wanted to be the best I can be."