Check out our series highlighting new 2021 player signings for the Houston Texans.
Get to know linebacker Hardy Nickerson, signed as an unrestricted free agent on March 22, 2021.
Name: Hardy Nickerson
Height, Weight: 6-0, 235
Hometown: Oakland, California
Get to know Hardy:
- In 2021, Nickerson will be reunited with Texans Associate Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator Lovie Smith. Nickerson played for Smith when he was the Head Coach at Illinois.
- Nickerson played one season (2016) at Illinois after transferring from the University of California – Berkeley where he played three years (2013-15). He earned an All-Big Ten Honorable mention selection after starting all 12 games and leading the team with 107 tackles (38 solo).
- His dad is four-time All-Pro NFL linebacker Hardy Nickerson Sr. who also played for Lovie Smith when he was his position coach at Tampa Bay. Nickerson Sr. also coached under Smith when he was the Linebackers Coach for the Chicago Bears and was the Defensive Coordinator at Illinois.
- Nickerson played his first football game at the age of eight at Lambeau Field as a member of a Green Bay Pop Warner team.
- Nickerson played three seasons in Cincinnati (2017-2019) before signing with the Minnesota Vikings as a free agent in 2020. In his four NFL seasons, Nickerson has tallied 80 tackles (56 solo), one tackle for loss, one interception, three passes defensed, one forced fumble on defense and two forced fumbles on special teams through 51 games with 11 starts.
- On Christmas Day last year, Nickerson recorded his first career interception when he picked off Saints quarterback Drew Brees. Then in Week 17 at Detroit, he forced his second fumble of the season on special teams.
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