Mike Nixon To Receive Post-Graduate Scholarship
Jan. 19, 2010
TEMPE, Ariz. -
MikeNixon, a linebacker on the 2009 Arizona State University football team, is the2010 recipient of a postgraduate scholarship presented annually by the Valley ofthe Sun Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame,Chapter Executive Director Dan Manucci announced Tuesday.
Nixon, 40 other Scholar-Athletes, coaches, referees, chapter leaders and adistinguished Arizonan, will be honored at the Chapter's annual ScholarshipBanquet on Saturday, March 6, at 6:30 p.m. at the Scottsdale Plaza, 7200 NorthScottsdale Road. For more information regarding the banquet, contact DanManucci at 480-516-6002.
Nixon is one of the most decorated academic student-athletes in ASU history.
Nixon was a highly productive linebacker who began his ASU career in 2006 afterplaying minor league baseball for four years. He played in all 50 games overthe last four years, starting 31. Nixon totaled 253 tackles (169 solo), 25.0tackles for loss (minus 93 yards), 5.5 sacks (minus 33 yards), 16 passbreak-ups, eight interceptions, six forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries inhis career. He emerged as one of ASU's top defensive players over the last twoseasons, leading the team in tackles in both 2008 and 2009. His fiveinterceptions as a junior in 2008 tied for the most in the Pac-10 that season. Accomplished in the classroom, he was a three-time First Team AcademicAll-Pac-10 and First Team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VIII honoree. He was a Wuerffel Trophy Finalist and was a Lott Trophy Quarterfinalist.
In 2009, Nixon started all 12 games at weak side linebacker and led the SunDevils in tackles for the second straight year, totaling 73 tackles (52 solo) onthe season, and tied for the team lead in interceptions with three. He also hadsix tackles for loss (minus 21 yards), 0.5 sacks (minus six yards), four passbreak-ups and three forced fumbles on the season. Nixon was an HonorableMention All-Pac-10 selection, a First Team Academic All-Pac-10 and First TeamESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VIII selection for the third straightyear. He served as a team captain, along with defensive end Dexter Davis andoffensive lineman Shawn Lauvao. Nixon had four or more tackles in every game in2009 with six or more in nine of the team's 12 games. He collected threeinterceptions, including one he returned for a touchdown, and blocked a punt inASU's season-opening victory over Idaho State on Sept. 5. For that performancehe was named Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week and Lott Trophy IMPACT Playerof the Week. Nixon collected seven tackles (six solo) and forced a fumble thatled to an ASU touchdown at No. 21 Georgia on Sept. 26.
Nixon played in all 12 games in 2008, making 11 starts (10 at weak sidelinebacker and one at middle linebacker). He led the team and tied for thePac-10 lead with five interceptions, returning one for a touchdown. He also ledthe Sun Devils with 90 tackles (60 solo), which ranked sixth in the Pac-10, andhad 8.0 tackles for loss (minus 36 yards), one sack, five pass break-ups and oneforced fumble on the season. Following the campaign he was an Honorable MentionAll-Pac-10 selection, and earned First-Team all-conference honors fromPhilSteele.com. He was a Pac-10 All-Academic First-Team selection and an ESPNThe Magazine Academic All-District VIII honoree. Nixon had seven tackles (foursolo) and a 45-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter ofvictory over UCLA on Nov. 28. His interception for a score was one of an NCAArecord-tying four defensive touchdowns the Sun Devils scored in that game. Heshared the team's Most Valuable Defensive Player of the Year award with seniorsafety Troy Nolan and also was a co-winner of the Clyde B. Smith Award foracademic achievement, along with senior linebacker Anthony Reyes, at the team'syear-end banquet.
Nixon played in all 13 games in 2007, making four starts at middle linebackerand finished fourth on the team with 58 tackles (37 solo). He totaled threetackles for loss (minus 12 yards), including one sack (minus nine yards), andfour pass break-ups on the season with two fumble recoveries and one forcedfumble.
In 2006 Nixon played in all 13 games, starting four at strong side linebackerand totaled 32 tackles (20 solo), 8.0 tackles for loss (-24 yards), 3.0 sacks(-10 yards), three pass deflections and one forced fumble.
A 2002 graduate of Sunnyslope High School in Phoenix, Nixon was also anoutstanding baseball player (catcher) who signed with the Los Angeles Dodgersout of high school and played in their farm system until the end of 2005. Hisparents are Jim (CFO of Marco Crane) and Debbie (health care consultant) Nixonof Phoenix, Ariz.
ASU's National Football Foundation Hall of Fame Scholar-Athletes
2010 Mike Nixon
2009 Troy Nolan
2008 Michael Marquardt
2007 Jason Burke
2006 Chad Christensen
2005 Grayling Love
2004 Skyler Fulton
2003 Mike Barth
2002 Nick Murphy
2001 Mike Aguirre
1997 Damien Richardson
1996 Kirk Robertson
1995 Justin Dragoo
1993 Toby Mills
1992 Adam Brass
1990 Drew Metcalfe
1989 Mark Tingstad
1978 Chris Mott
1966 Ken Dyer