Nickson named Walter Camp National Player of the Week

Junior sets SBC and MT record with four interceptions

October 29, 2006 · MT Media Relations

New Haven, Conn. - The Walter Camp Football Foundation has announced its Division 1-A National Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week for games ending October 28 and Middle Tennessee's Damon Nickson and Texas quarterback Colt McCoy are this week's winners. Nickson is the first Blue Raider in the I-A era to earn National Player of the Week honors.

Nickson became the first player in school history and in the Sun Belt Conference to register four interceptions (one shy of NCAA record) in a game when he accomplished the rare feat in a 34-20 win against Louisiana-Lafayette Saturday night in Lafayette. The win improved the Blue Raiders' record to 5-3 overall and a perfect 4-0 in the Sun Belt Conference.

No Blue Raider has ever had as many as three in a game during the programs history. Nickson surpassed Don Griffin (vs. Akron, 11/16/1985) and Mike Matheny (vs. Pensacola Navy, 09/16/67) who were the only two players to record as many as three in a game at MT prior to Saturday night.

Nickson's first pick came off a tipped ball from teammate Alex Suber, then his second interception resulted in a touchdown when he stepped in front of a Jerry Babb pass and returned it 28 yards for a touchdown. It marked the first time the Blue Raiders had returned an interception for a score since Michael Woods brought one back 89 yards against New Mexico State in 2003.

Nickson's third interception was equally as crucial as it ended Louisiana-Lafayette's last-ditch effort after the Cajuns had recovered an onside kick in a 34-20 game with less than three minutes remaining. His fourth pick officially sealed the win during desperation time for the Ragin' Cajuns.

If that wasn't enough, the Milton, Fla., native registered a team-best six tackles, a forced fumble, averaged 29.5 yards on two kickoff returns, and had a 14-yard punt return. Nickson, who set a school record earlier this season with 187 kickoff return yards against No. 8 Louisville, now has five interceptions on the season to rank tied for seventh on the single-season list at Middle Tennessee.

The Blue Raiders will now prepare for Saturday's Homecoming game against conference foe Florida Atlantic. It will be Middle Tennessee's first home game in 51 days and kickoff is scheduled for 2:37 PM.

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