The new coaching staff at the University of Washington clearly has its own vision of who is who and what the football landscape should look like.
Kalen DeBoer’s guys took a hard look at the roster he inherited and made half the players lose weight and everyone else improved their fitness dramatically.
They took one look at gigantic offensive guard Ulumoo Ale and decided he was a defensive tackle.
And, in Will Nixon’s case, they saw a productive running back as Nebraska insisted he was a wide receiver.
Because of this, the 5-foot-11, 192-pound Nixon left the Big Ten for the Pac-12, just as USC and UCLA did the opposite.
“I really wanted the opportunity to be a running back,” Nixon said. “They said to be ready to catch the ball from the backfield and maybe go to the slot a couple of times, and that’s what I’m looking for.”
He’s also the erudite son of Jeff Nixon, an NFL running backs coach for the Carolina Panthers and a former varsity runner for West Virginia and Penn State, and it only made sense for young Nixson to hold the position himself. job.
After rushing for 1,837 yards and 27 touchdowns as a senior for Midway High School in Waco, Texas, Nixon showed considerable ability in this readjusted college role.
“He’s got a very diverse skill set and that’s what we want in the running back position, and that’s where we really feel like we’re the best,” DeBoer said. “He’s just a guy who will find his way on the pitch, I think, because he’s so diverse in those areas.”
Nixon had a built-in connection with the Huskies because wide receiver coach JaMarcus Shephard tried to recruit him to Purdue, and they reopened that connection when Nixon entered the transfer portal.
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He spent two seasons at Nebraska, one injured, and the Cornhuskers weren’t committing to giving him a running back try, so he left.
Since Husky’s fall camp opened this month, Nixon has been shooting important shots right off the bat so trainers can see what he can do, and he’s impressed them.
“He’s a special athlete,” DeBoer said.
Nixon feels encouraged and confident with the ball still in his hands.
“Physically it wasn’t a problem – I run downhill,” he said. “I just have to be mentally ready all the time.”
That would fit Husky’s coaching staff, who work overtime in their thinking about all things football.
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