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Chuck Landon: MU recruit has sweetest nickname in country

Feb. 20, 2013 @ 12:05 AM

A nickname like "Chocolate" is bound to tantalize the sweet tooth of anyone's imagination.

Melts in your mind, not in your hand, right?

That's particularly true during February, which includes the chocolate holiday of the year -- Valentine's Day.

So, is it any wonder the editors of LostLettermen.com took notice?

It was love at first nickname when they discovered cornerback De'Andre Wilson, aka "Chocolate," had signed with Marshall University.

Wilson obviously was a natural for LostLettermen.com's annual list of the "Top 10 Names in the 2013 College Football Recruiting Class."

Was he ever.

In fact, Chocolate Wilson was No. 1.

"College football has seen its share of D'Andres (sic)," wrote LostLettermen.com, "but 'Chocolate' is rare (if not unheard of)."

That's why everyone is curious how Wilson got his unique nickname. So, SportsIllustrated.com writer Andy Staples found out.

"When I was born, I came out extra, extra dark," Wilson was quoted by Staples. "My dad said he was going to name me Chocolate. The name stuck. I have been called that my whole life. That is all I go by here (Myrtle Beach, S.C.).

"People don't know D'Andre (sic); they know Chocolate."

The only way this entire nickname situation could get more delicious is if Wilson had a different hometown.

Chocolate should be from Hershey, Pa.

OTHER TOP NAMES: The remaining nine names in the Top 10 were:

DeAsian Richardson, Louisville; Chongo Kondolo, Nebraska; Taco Charlton, Michigan; Dreamius Smith, running back, WVU; Altee Tenpenny, Alabama; Dee Liner, D-lineman, Alabama; Will Likely, Maryland; Ebenezer Ogundeko, Clemson; and a tie at No. 10 between Courtney Love, Nebraska; and De'Niro Laster, Minnesota.

What were some parents thinking?

PRICE CITED: Marshall defensive line coach J.C. Price has been named to Rivals.com's list of the "Top Recruiters from Non-Big Six Conferences."

"So what if they were prep school prospects?" reads Rivals.com's analysis. "Price's ability to land a trio of four-stars at Marshall has to be applauded.

"It wasn't the quantity of recruits he landed that earned him a spot on this list. It was the quality. Price knows that his school can benefit from giving talented players a second chance and he is as good at selling that talking point as any coach in America.

"Linebacker Stefan Houston, athlete Angelo Jean-Louis and (wide receiver) Deontay McManus are miles more talented than the average player Marshall lands from the high school ranks. The talent upgrade is thanks, in large part, to Price's creativity."

Take a bow, J.C.

WHAT'S IN A NAME?: Florida Atlantic announced it has sold the naming rights to its football stadium for $6 million over 12 years to GEO Group, Inc.

And what services does that corporation supply?

The GEO Group is the world's leading provider of correctional, detention and community re-entry services. It has 101 facilities in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and South Africa.

In short, it operates prisons.

That means GEO Group Stadium is going to have some dandy nicknames by the time Marshall plays there on Oct. 12. The list includes "The Slammer," "The Longest Yard" and since FAU's nickname is Owls, "Owlcatraz."

My choice is "The Yard."

Geez, won't those eight-digit jersey numbers sell lots of programs?

Chuck Landon is a sports columnist for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at 304-526-2827 or clandon@herald-dispatch.com.




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