By Devin Bender
Eric Nickel is the quarterback for KU’s football team. He is a current Business Administration graduate student with a B.S. in Sports Management from KU.
Nickel’s dream is to someday work in an NFL team’s front office. Nickel had an internship lined up with the Philadelphia 76ers; however, due to the pandemic, the internship was canceled.
The biggest highlight of Nickle’s years at KU proved to be the 2021 PSAC Championship game against Slippery Rock University. Nickel said, “With that said we still have some work to do in the NCAA playoffs.”
Nickel has wanted to be a quarterback from a young age. He and his dad spent time in the backyard practicing with pads every summer leading to the season at his school.
Every year when he showed up for tryouts, though, they told him he was “too big,” and he ended up playing tight end and defensive end.
In eighth grade, his coach knew him from the in-town baseball program, recognizing that he had a good throwing arm. They let him try out quarterback, and Nickel was successful in the position from that time onwards.
Nickel was a competitive football player even before his time at KU. During his senior year of high school, he and his team made it to the state championship game at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
Football was not Nickels favorite sport; in fact, it was not even his second favorite. Nickel said, “Baseball was probably my first love and basketball my second, but as I got older, football became the obvious choice for me, especially as I started to get recruited.”
Nickel also became interested in golf after the 2020 football season was canceled due to COVID-19. He tried to get out twice a week to play, depending on the weather.
Nickel said Coach Clements says, “Football is the ultimate team sport,” all the time. Nickel said that football has given him numerous memories and friendships that he will appreciate for a long time.
Both of his parents have had an impact on where Nickel has gotten to today. His dad, being a coach, taught him a lot, even up to this day. His mother has been an encouraging and motivating force throughout his life.