Vanderbilt's Nickson Talks About Alabama

Vanderbilt quarterback Chris Nickson, former Alabama Mr. Football, spent time with the media in a teleconference Wednesday afternoon to talk about the upcoming game against the Crimson Tide. Various questions were asked from the state media including thoughts on Alabama's new defense and his relationship with Tide tight end and cousin Nick Walker.

Chris Nickson threw for 284 yards in his opening day victory over Richmond. The mark moved him to No.10 all-time on the Vanderbilt total yards passing with 2,832 yards.

"We came out and we weren't moving the ball as well as we liked," Chris Nickson said. "I think we finally got in our comfort zone and had fun. I think we were trying to get to that point. Once we reached it we were able to click."

Nickson gives his thoughts on Alabama's new defensive schemes.

"I feel like their technique is different in way. It's hard to see exactly what is going on. They hide things a lot better. The defense is more effective in the scheme they are doing. The way they operate and do things their scheme is different."

Several family members and fans from Brundidge, (Ala.) are expected to make the trip to Nashville this weekend. Nickson is looking forward to it and playing against former teammate and cousin Nick Walker.

"It will make it more homey environment to have family and friends up," he said. "I'll be hyped about it. I know Nick will be as well. Nick and I still talk a lot. I spoke to him earlier this week."

"If anyone knows Nick Walker, he is the trash talker between the two of us. I get the rough end of the stick. He leads the group with that."

"He told me to go back to a specific play and watch it. I haven't talked to him since. I can't tell him how good he did or what mistakes he made. It's fun to see him have a good game. I am glad they are giving him the ball. He is a tremendous athlete."

The former Alabama prep star follows in Jay Cutler's footsteps. His second year as a starter Nickson feels like he has matured.

"I have improved a lot since then [last Alabama game]. You can't replace experience. It's going to help me throughout the entire year. The more experience I get the better I will be. I feel more comfortable going into the game operating plays. The experience boost helps me see things better," he said.

Vanderbilt has started to receive a lot of recognition for their on-the-field- performance. Top prospects who have been overlooked are on the field in Nashville with players like Nickson and All-SEC wide receiver Earl Bennett.

"When I was recruited by Vanderbilt the coaches were amazing. I was fortunate to have coach Fisher as my recruiting coordinator. He sold Vanderbilt to me without any pressure. They told me I could play where I wanted to play," Nickson said.

. "They told me there was a valuable opportunity for me. They told me they felt like I could play. They sold the academics. They stressed the academics. That's a wonderful thing about Vanderbilt."

"The guys like Jay Cutler were building this program. They put Vanderbilt on the map. We are getting a lot of attention. I was extremely fortunate to come in at this time. I feel like Earl came in at the right time. They made it easy for us and fun."

When asked about the emphasis on the Alabama game Nickson replied, "I feel like it's a big game in a sense they have a great coaching staff. They seem like they are fresh in the SEC. We are trying to take it a game at a time here in Nashville. Whoever is next is who we are going to prepare for."

The Commodores signed another Alabama Mr. Football in 2007 in Prattville's Larry Smith. Nickson sees a lot of potential in his possible successor.

"Larry Smith is a tremendous player and athlete. The sky is the limit for him. He is doing a great job. He is running the scout team, but he has the ability to do things that a lot people can't do," Nickson stated.

"I feel like he can be an asset to this team if he gets to understand everything and mature. It shows how this program continues to develop and flourish. To have two Mr. Footballs on the team from one of the toughest states. We are glad to have him."

Nickson talked of Pike County, his high school football team, who he helped lead to the Class 3A state championship.

"I still follow my team," he said. "I feel like the coaching staff they have right now can go far. They have beaten two really good teams. I think they can be great. I wish the best for them. You never know about Pike County."

Nickson does not have a prediction on the outcome of the game this weekend, but knows both teams will prepare well.

"No..I don't have a prediction. It's two tough teams playing each other. We are going to battle it out. I know they are going to give it their all because I am from 'Bama. I know how they play. I hope the crowd is watching because it's going to be a fun game," Nickson said.

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