Three-year starter at Cal who graduated and transferred to Illinois, where he earned Honorable Mention All-Big Ten honors. Led the Illini with 107 tackles (5.5 for loss) and added two sacks and two interceptions. Earned Honorable Mention All-Pac 12 honors in 2015 after finishing third in the conference with 112 tackles.
Tough, run defending linebacker best in the box. Instinctive, efficient and takes good angles to the action. Uses his hands to protect himself, keeps the play in front of him and wraps up tackling. Fires up the field filling gaps, aggressive and attacks assignments. Rarely caught out of position.
Lacks lateral speed, cannot cut off the corners and ineffective in coverage. Stiff pedaling in reverse and lacks a closing burst.
Nickerson comes with great bloodlines but average athleticism and is more of a two down defender best playing in the box.