Throughout his career Nickson has been very effective at times. After red shirting in his freshman year in 2004, Nickson saw limited action in 2005 while playing in the shadow of Jay Cutler. VU fans will probably best remember his appearance during the MTSU loss in which the Vandy staff installed him as quarterback with Cutler at wide receiver. The play failed and Vanderbilt went on to suffer a devastating loss to the Blue Raiders, a loss that would ultimately extend the Commodores bowl less streak three more years.
Last season Chris led Vanderbilt to early season wins over Richmond and Ole Miss but an injury sustained while diving into the end zone against the Rebels put Nickson's season into a tailspin. The week following the 31-17 win over Ole Miss, Nickson threw for 4 interceptions against Eastern Michigan. He played little in the season's remaining games except for the Miami (Ohio) game in which he rushed for 42 yards but didn't attempt a pass.
This season Nickson looked like his old self as he led the Commodores to early season wins over Miami, South Carolina and Rice. But then in another victory over Ole Miss he was replaced due to injury. The Alabama native later played some in the big Auburn win and struggled at Mississippi State in a frustrating loss. After a solid late game appearance against Florida Nickson started at Kentucky. Nickson then led the 'Dores to the historic victory over the Wildcats in Lexington but in the final two games of the season against Tennessee and at Wake, he fizzled.
Can a healthy Nickson lead Vanderbilt to another historic win? We've got a feeling he will. The rest and healing of the last few weeks will be good for Nickson and for Vanderbilt.
VandyMania salutes quarterback Chris Nickson and his Commodore teammates.
Chris Nickson has passed for almost 3,500 yards during his career at Vanderbilt. (VM/Stan Jones)