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 SportsCollegeMore>>

  • Former Coug Motum Signs With Jazz, Kent To Toss M's First Pitch

    Former Coug Motum Signs With Jazz, Kent To Toss M's First Pitch

    Former Washington State University men's basketball standout, Brock Motum, has signed with the Utah Jazz as a free agent, the organization announced Tuesday. Also, Cougar head basketball coach Ernie Kent will throw the ceremonial first pitch at the Mariners game later this week.More >>
    Former Washington State University men's basketball standout, Brock Motum, has signed with the Utah Jazz as a free agent, the organization announced Tuesday. Also, Cougar head basketball coach Ernie Kent will throw the ceremonial first pitch at the Mariners game later this week.
    More >>
  • Pippins OF Vince Fernandez Named West Coast League MVP

    Pippins OF Vince Fernandez Named West Coast League MVP

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 3:17 PM EDT2014-08-26 19:17:48 GMT
    After a record-setting summer with the Yakima Valley Pippins, Vince Fernandez was honored by the West Coast League Tuesday as the league’s most valuable player, the first player from an expansion team to garner this accolade in WCL history.More >>
    After a record-setting summer with the Yakima Valley Pippins, Vince Fernandez was honored by the West Coast League Tuesday as the league’s most valuable player, the first player from an expansion team to garner this accolade in WCL history.More >>
  • EWU Tops Bearkats To Open The College Football Season

    EWU Tops Bearkats To Open The College Football Season

    Eastern Washington earned the right to host the first college football game of the 2014 season as one of the premier power houses in the FCS. The ever-growing program capitalized with a big 56-35 win over long-time nemesis Sam Houston State on the Inferno at Roos Field on Saturday.More >>
    Eastern Washington earned the right to host the first college football game of the 2014 season as one of the premier power houses in the FCS. The ever-growing program capitalized with a big 56-35 win over long-time nemesis Sam Houston State on the Inferno at Roos Field on Saturday. More >>
  • Eastern WashingtonEWUMore>>

  • EWU Tops Bearkats To Open The College Football Season

    EWU Tops Bearkats To Open The College Football Season

    Eastern Washington earned the right to host the first college football game of the 2014 season as one of the premier power houses in the FCS. The ever-growing program capitalized with a big 56-35 win over long-time nemesis Sam Houston State on the Inferno at Roos Field on Saturday.More >>
    Eastern Washington earned the right to host the first college football game of the 2014 season as one of the premier power houses in the FCS. The ever-growing program capitalized with a big 56-35 win over long-time nemesis Sam Houston State on the Inferno at Roos Field on Saturday. More >>
  • EWU Set To Kick Off All Of College Football

    EWU Set To Kick Off All Of College Football

    Eastern Washington University is ready to kick off the earliest start to the season in Eagle football history when they host Sam Houston State on Saturday, Aug. 23, at 12:35 p.m. PT on ESPN. SWX-TV is all set to bring you unrivaled coverage of Eastern's historic game with a special hour long pregame show starting at 11:00 a.m. and a half-hour long behind-the-scenes look at EWU football, "Inside Eastern Washington Football," at 12:00 p.m. all leading up to the game...More >>
    Eastern Washington University is ready to kick off the earliest start to the season in Eagle football history when they host Sam Houston State on Saturday, Aug. 23, at 12:35 p.m. PT on ESPN. SWX-TV is all set to bring you unrivaled coverage of Eastern's historic game with a special hour long pregame show starting at 11:00 a.m. and a half-hour long behind-the-scenes look at EWU football, "Inside Eastern Washington Football," at 12:00 p.m. all leading up to the game...
    More >>
  • SWX Special Presentation - Inside Eastern Washington Football

    SWX Special Presentation - Inside Eastern Washington Football

    Don't miss this SWX special presentation on EWU football.Don't miss this SWX special presentation on EWU football.
    SWXRightNow.com -- Don't miss SWX's exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the 2014 Eastern Washington football team put together by Emmy award winning maestro's Jordan Caskey and Josh Godfrey! Enjoy the video below!More >>
    SWXRightNow.com -- Don't miss SWX's exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the 2014 Eastern Washington football team put together by Emmy award winning maestro's Jordan Caskey and Josh Godfrey! Enjoy the video below!More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KHQ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.