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UD Football BIO
Bilal Nichols
Player Profile:
Bilal Nichols 1871960
Position: Defensive Line (Captain)
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 290
Year: Senior
Hometown: Newark, Del.
High School: Hodgson Vo-Tech
Major: Sociology
Experience: 3 Letters

Delaware Driven: The Bilal Nichols Story (Part 1)

Served as team co-captain with Charles Bell, Brody Kern, Troy Reeder, Joe Walker, and Kyle Yocum • 2017 Third Team All-American  •  Three-time All-Colonial Athletic Association selection • Played in 44 career games with 21 starts and recorded 104 tackles (50 solo) • has 17.5 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks (38 yards), four forced fumbles, two interception, and 15 pass breakups • Despite fierceness on the field is one of the team's likeable and polite players • Shared team's Weight Room Champion honors with linebacker Troy Reeder for spring drills for outstanding work and improvement in the weight room.


Earned Third-Team All-American and First-team All-CAA accolades... Earned Invites to the East-West Shrine Game and the Reese's Senior Bowl... Became first Blue Hen since Nick Boyle in 2015 to earn a spot at the NFL Combine... Despite facing double teams most of the year, Nichols finished with 56 tackles (fourth-best on the team), 6.5 of those coming for a loss... His 5.5 sacks ranked in the top-10 in the CAA... He broke up nine passes at his DT spot, along with picking up an interception and a fumble recovery. 

Produced another outstanding season on the defensive line as a junior • earned second team All-CAA honors • played in 10 games and started nine at defensive tackle • missed Week 2 vs. Lafayette with an injury • recorded 25 tackles, including 18 solo stops • ranked second on the team with 7.5 tackles for loss (37 yards) and with five sacks (28 yards) • ranked No. 8 in the CAA in sacks • also forced a fumble, led the team with five pass breakups, and had a safety against Albany • had season-high six tackles vs. Maine, added four vs. William & Mary, and had three in each of the final three games of the season • forced a fumble vs. Richm

Earned third team All-CAA honors • continued to be a strong force on the defensive front from the tackle position as a sophomore • played in all 11 games and started one (vs. Albany) but saw significantly more playing time than starter Josh Plummer • productive player against both the pass and the run • had 29 tackles (12 solo), 1.5 sacks, two tackles for loss, one interception, and a pass breakup • had at least one tackle in all but one game and recorded a career-high eight in early season win over Lafayette • also made four stops vs. Jacksonville and James Madison and three against Albany • had sacks vs. Lafayette and William & Mary • forced fumbles vs. Lafayette and Willliam & Mary and intercepted first career pass against Towson • led a unit that ranked No. 5 in the CAA and 24th in the NCAA in total defense (329.2) and was No. 3 in both rushing defense (123.5/17th in NCAA) and scoring defense (20.5/22nd in NCAA)Blue Hen Touchdown Club Defensive Player of the Week vs. William & Mary • earned UD Team Sportsmanship Award • selected by coaching staff to carry out the Delaware state flag in game vs. Villanova • recorded two tackles in Blue-White Spring Game.

One of nine true freshmen to see action on defense for the Blue Hens and one of two defensive linemen • saw significant time in all 12 games as a backup defensive tackle • recorded 19 tackles on the season, including nine solo stops • had career-high four tackles vs. Elon and added three each in collegiate debut vs. Pitt and vs. Colgate • had two tackles for loss (vs. Delaware State and Villanova) • member of CAA Academic All-Conference team • selected by coaching staff to carry out the Delaware state flag in game vs. Towson.

All-State tight end and defensive end at nearby Hodgson Vo-Tech High School • played for head coach Frank Moffett, who played defensive back at Delaware in the 1980s • team captain • first team All-State at tight end and third team at defensive end in 2013 • All-Blue Hen Conference first team tight end and second team defensive end in 2013 and second team linebacker in 2012 • led team to a three-year record of 33-5, three conference titles, and a 2013 Delaware Division II state title • team went 12-2 in 2013 and defeated St. George's Vo-Tech 38-0 at Delaware Stadium for the title • team went 11-2 and was state runner-up in 2012 • caught 13 passes for 326 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior and recorded 57 tackles, including 11 sacks and 26 tackles for loss • honor roll student all four years • two-time Academic All-State selection.

Bilal (“bu-lahl”) Shakur Nichols • sociology major at Delaware with a minor in human services • born Sept. 14, 1996 • son of Adova and Dolores Bolton • has a younger sister, Neajah Nichols • hobbies include playing basketball, listening to music, and collecting sneakers • was featured by media outlets several times during 2015 season for his unique relationship with his grandparents who raised him.


Year G/S Tackles (Solo)
2017 11/11 56 (24) 5.5-21/6.5-54 1/0 1/9
2016 10/9 25 (18) 2.0-28/7.5-37 0/1 0/5
2015 11/1 29 (17) 2-10 / 1.5-9 0/2 1/1
2014 12/0 19 (9)
0-0 / 2-6
0/0 0/0
TOTALS 33/21 104 (50)
9.5-59 / 17.5-106

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