Hardy Nickerson named to Butkus award watch list

A transfer who hasn’t even played a snap yet is already making news for the Illini. The Butkus Award added senior linebacker Hardy Nickerson to its watch list.

The award goes to the best linebacker in college football. This is the second award Nickerson is nominated for. The other is the Nagurski Award, which goes to the best defensive player in college football.

Nickerson will be in his first season with the Illini after transferring from Cal. His father, Hardy Nickerson Sr., became the defensive coordinator under Lovie Smith. After which, Nickerson Jr. made the transfer.

Nickerson made 112 tackles for Cal last season.