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NFL draft hopeful shines on the field

September 14, 2017 3:00 PM
Barri Bronston
Parry Nickerson, cornerback for the Green Wave, expects a stellar defensive season for Tulane football this year as he prepares for a career in the NFL. (Photo by Parker Waters)


Almost every year, Tulane sends a handful of players to the NFL, most recently Tanzel Smart to the Los Angeles Rams, Lorenzo Doss to the Denver Broncos and Ryan Grant to the Washington Redskins.

When the 2018 draft rolls around, cornerback Parry Nickerson hopes to hear his name. But such talk, says Nickerson, is premature, and the only thing on his mind is helping the Green Wave have a winning season.

“I want to see us grow,” Nickerson said. “Offensively, I think we’re headed in the right direction. Defensively, we want to be No. 1 in our conference.”

With Nickerson, a fifth-year senior, on the team, there is no reason to think that a winning season is a fantasy. His career statistics include 133 total tackles, three forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries (including one for a touchdown), one blocked field goal, 22 pass breakups and 10 interceptions (including one returned for a touchdown).

Earlier this year, he garnered first-team honors from Athlon Sports on its preseason All-American Athletic Conference teams, and he was a second-team selection by the conference’s coaches and the Louisiana Sportswriters Association.

Nickerson considered forgoing his senior year and trying his luck in the 2017 NFL Draft but thought he could improve his stock—and experience a winning season—by playing in college one more year.

“It’s basically putting yourself in the best position possible,” he said. “It’s about getting better physically, mentally and spiritually.”

Watch clips of Nickerson during last season’s game against Memphis.

Editor's note: This article first appeared in the September 2017 issue of Tulane magazine.