Nichols Ranked No. 47 In Big Sky History - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Nichols Ranked No. 47 In Big Sky History

Posted: Updated:
© EWU Athletics © EWU Athletics
CHENEY, Wash. -

Injuries are something new for the athlete who ranks 47th on the Big Sky's list of "50 Greatest Athletes''.
 
Matt Nichols never missed a practice or a game during a storied career at Eastern Washington, a tenure that saw him play in 47 contests, throw for a Big Sky record 12,616 career yards and 96 touchdowns.
 
Unfortunately, the injury bug has gripped Nichols over the past year as he worked to solidify himself as the Edmonton Eskimos starting quarterback in the Canadian Football League.
 
First, there was a gruesome ankle injury in the Eskimos' playoff loss last November. Healthy and recharged this summer, his 2013 season ended in June when he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during a preseason game.
 
"I've only had two injuries, but it seems like I've been injured forever,'' Nichols said. "It's the first time I've missed a season, or missed any time in my whole life. It's not too bad though. It's not a career-ending injury. You've seen people come back even stronger. I'm only 26 and I've had four years of pro experience. I'm a veteran guy at a relatively young age. I feel like I've got 10-plus years of football left in me.''
 
It's that kind of attitude that helped Nichols endure the ups-and-downs of his freshman campaign in 2006, when as a freshman he started all 11 games during a 3-8 season that saw him throw eight touchdowns and 17 interceptions.
 
Things got better in 2007, when as a sophomore he guided the Eagles to a 9-4 season, and a trip to the national quarterfinals. He threw for 3,744 yards and 34 touchdowns with just nine interceptions and earned the first of two Big Sky Offensive MVPs.
 
Another 3,000-plus yard season followed in 2008, and in 2009 as a senior, Nichols garnered Big Sky Offensive MVP honors again when he threw for 3,830 yards with 33 touchdowns and just six interceptions. The Eagles earned a playoff bid, and Nichols finished fourth in the voting for the Walter Payton Award.
 
"I enjoyed playing in the Big Sky,'' Nichols said. "It was a battle week after week. I think it's gotten even better from my time to now. It was exciting to be a part of.''
 
Nichols is the Big Sky's all-time leader in pass attempts in a game (76), pass attempts in a career (1,608), career passing yards (12,616), and total offense (13,308). His 96 career touchdown passes rank second in league history. Unlike some league quarterbacks who played in the 80s and 90s, Nichols' playoff stats counted toward his career numbers.
 
"It's pretty cool,'' Nichols said of being named to the "50 Greatest." "Obviously the conference has a lot of history and many extremely good players. I've been around a lot of them, and a lot of them continued their playing careers. To be on a list with good players throughout history is pretty cool.''
 
Nichols still keeps close ties to Eastern Washington. He and his wife Ali live in Spokane during the off-season.
 
"I go out there and throw, and talk to Coach Beau Baldwin,'' Nichols said. "I play in the EWU golf tournament and those types of things. Usually when our season gets over, I'll try to catch a game or two. I'm hoping to see a couple this year.''

Courtesy: Jon Kasper - Big Sky Conference

  • College

    • Press Pass Pullman: Week Seven

      On this week's episode of Press Pass Pullman, Mike Leach talks about what former Washington State A.D. Bill Moos meant to the University and what he hopes to see from the upcoming search to fill Moos' position. Leach also looks back on the many issues his team had against Cal, and looks ahead to a homecoming game against Colorado. In the Fan Question of the Week, he explains what he would name his boat (if he had one) and why.
    • Grizzly Sports Report, 10-16-17

      Wide Receiver Keenan Curran and Head Coach Bob Stitt join Shaun Rainey to talk about the big win over North Dakota and discuss the new Champions Center. 
    • Super 8 Plays of the Week 10/16

      Check out this week's top plays as we approach the end of the football regular season!

    • WSU names John Johnson interim director of athletics

      Johnson will assume the role of interim director effective Oct. 18 and will continue until a permanent director is named. He will not be a candidate for the permanent position.

    • Fan Fest kicks off 2017-18 season for Gonzaga

      Fans got their first look at the 2017-18 Zags with festivities on the court, including an intrasquad scrimmage. The Zags played a quartet of four-minute periods, with the second half running clock.

    • Whitworth escapes with a 17-14 win over Pacific Lutheran

      Whitworth overcame the absence of record-setting QB Ian Kolste with a total team effort to end a two-game losing streak.  The Pirates improved to 4-2 overall and 1-2 in the NWC.

    • Vandals come up short against Appalachian State 23-20

      The Vandals got up, 20-0, early in the third quarter after a Sedrick Thomas interception on the opening play of the half gave Idaho excellent field position. The Mountaineers stormed back, scoring 23 unanswered points.

    • Eagles continue Big Sky dominance with win over Montana State

      After nearly giving away the lead with fumbles on back-to-back possessions, the defense for No. 10/9 Eagles did the same moments later to help preserve a 31-19 EWU victory over Montana State.

    • Quick-striking Crusaders defeat MSUB men 3-1

      In the blink of an eye, Northwest Nazarene University had all the offense it needed to collect a 3-1 victory over Montana State University Billings on Saturday at the NNU Soccer Field.

    • Battlin’ Bears Run to 52-3 Win at Northern

      The Rocky Mountain College football team ran for 372 yards as they won at Montana State University-Northern, 52-3, on Saturday afternoon at Blue Pony Stadium.

    More
HD DOPPLER 6i
/