Data Scout Notes: 2013: 1stM...(+) 11-09-13 Knee INJ, Out for 2013...PWCamp/PLombardi/POutland/PNagurski/PBednarik/PMaxwell/TSX-PTW...2012: 1stM
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The Florida native comes from a tough background, but the 325-pounder has a bright football future if he stays dedicated to the game. Nix was highly recruited out of high school and chose Notre Dame over several in-state programs, including Florida, Florida State and Miami (Fla.).
After redshirting in 2010, he started 11 games as a first-year player at the nose guard position, anchoring the middle of the Irish's three-man front. Nix finished with 45 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and a half-sack.
After a breakthrough 2012, Nix was overweight to start the '13 season. Just as he started to round into shape, he missed two games with knee tendinitis that ultimately turned out to be a torn meniscus. When healthy, Nix displayed the unique blend of power and burst that has earned him first round buzz throughout much of his career.
He earned All-Independent first team honors from the media, and hired an agent in December to prepare for the 2014 NFL Draft despite ongoing rehab for his knee injury - which was due to require platelet-rich plasma therapy and surgery after the 2013 season, according to Irish coach Brian Kelly.
Nix has struggled with the pressure and expectations of playing for a high-profile program away from home, but he also flashes a rare skill-set for a player his size and strength.
Add the hustle, competitive drive and love of football and Nix presents an enticing prospect for NFL evaluators and he will receive attention by teams drafting in the top-10. The knee injury does create some concern, but few prospects have his combination of fluid athleticism, natural power and sheer size.
STRENGTHS: Built like a full-grown man with a large frame and strong muscle definition throughout his body. Nimble feet with the lateral quickness to explode in any direction and chase down the action in pursuit. Carries his weight so natural for a 340+ pounder, shifting his weight well with the agile footwork to quickly change directions.
Plays hard with a feisty motor. Applies quick pressure by splitting gaps, using a quick arm-over swim move and bull-rushing his opponent deep into the pocket. Has the hand strength and initial get-off momentum to bully blockers on their heels, showing leverage and active limbs. Keeps his eyes on the ball and shows the awareness to anticipate and track plays.
WEAKNESSES: Entered the 2013 season a bit overweight and struggled to dominate early in the year following a breakout 2012 campaign. Needs to develop counter moves after he's initially stonewalled at the point of attack and didn't have many answers for the consistent double-teams he saw in South Bend. Strong, but needs to consistently use his power at the point of attack to wreak havoc and dispose of blockers.
High character kid, but needs to control his emotions on the field and play consistently focused and level-headed for all four quarters. Medical check will be important with expected postseason knee surgery.
COMPARES TO: B.J. Raji, Packers -- While he flashes terrific talent, Nix wasn't able to consistently make the type of impact that many expected in 2013. Nix is light on his feet and carries his weight tremendously for a 340+ pounder with range to make plays up and down the line of scrimmage.
--Dane Brugler/Rob Rang (1/14/14)
Typical 3-4 nose guard prospect who spent his freshman season concentrating on strength and conditioning ... tutored by the departed Ian Williams ... enters fall practice looking to compete for a starting spot on the defensive line.
Impact player who helped anchor the defensive front ... started 11 of 13 games (did not start at Michigan State or vs. Pittsburgh) ... led all Notre Dame defensive linemen with 50 tackles and ranked fourth on the team with 7.5 tackles for loss and two sacks ... team-high five pass breakups ... total of 95 career tackles (32 unassisted) in his second full season in the trenches ... started strong with three tackles (1.5 for loss) against Navy (Sept. 1) ... had four more tackles, including a career-best 1.5 sacks, in the victory over Purdue (Sept. 8) ... registered five tackles at Michigan State (Sept. 15) ... had four tackles and forced first career fumble in the home win over Michigan (Sept. 22) ... two solo tackles against Miami (Oct. 6) at Soldier Field ... finished with four tackles and a quarterback hurry against Stanford (Oct. 13), and was instrumental in the goal-line stand in overtime that secured the victory for the Irish ... added four tackles in each of the next three games against BYU (Oct. 20), Oklahoma (Oct. 27) and Pittsburgh (Nov. 3) ... credited with 1.5 tackles for loss and half of a sack during that stretch ... career-high seven tackles in the home finale triumph over Wake Forest (Nov. 10) ... closed the regular season with three solo stops against USC (Nov. 24), including one for a loss ... recorded five tackles (all solo) in BCS National Championship Game vs. Alabama ... posted two tackles for loss vs. Crimson Tide.
Started 11 games at nose guard while playing in all 13 during the season ... did not start vs. USF or Navy ... collected 45 tackles, including four and a half for loss ... also recorded one pass breakup and one-half sack ... registered nine games with at least two tackles and six games of four or more ... had a pair of six-tackle games ... opened career with six tackles, including one-half tackle for loss against South Florida ... tied career high in tackles with six, including one-half tackle for loss and one-half sack in win against Navy ... had four tackles, including a career-high one and a half tackles for loss, against Stanford ... notched five tackles, including one tackle for loss and a pass breakup in win vs. Boston College ... registered three tackles in Champs Sports Bowl against Florida State.
Did not see game action during the 2010 season.
Named to Florida Super 75 and to Jacksonville Super 24 teams by Jacksonville Times-Union following his senior year in 2009 ... rated 59th nationally on Sporting News Top 100 list ... tabbed SuperPrep All-American and eighth-best defensive tackle nationally ... made 50 tackles and 10 sacks as senior in 2009 at Raines High School in Jacksonville, Fla. ... a 2009 all-First Coast pick as defensive lineman by Jacksonville Times-Union ... selected to play in Under Armour All-America Game in St. Petersburg, Fla. ... tallied 19 combined sacks as a sophomore and junior in 2007 and 2008 ... selected to Jacksonville Times-Union Super 11 squad prior to senior season and was labeled "most disruptive" player in First Coast.
Named to Super Southeast 120 team by Mobile Press-Register ... rated 64th best player nationally and sixth-best defensive tackle in ESPNU 150 ... listed as seventh-best defensive tackle nationally and 85th-best player by Rivals. com ... rated ninth-best defensive tackle in country and 102nd-best prospect nationally by Scout.com ... ranked 108th player nationally by SI.com/TAKKLE ...rated on Offense-Defense Top 250 list...rated 75th nationally by The Kickoff Top 120.
Tallied 60 tackles and 10 sacks as junior and named second-team all-First Coast by Jacksonville Times-Union ... helped Raines High School to 7-4 record and appearance in Florida state playoffs as sophomore in 2007 ... named to Jacksonville Times-Union second-team all-First Coast in 2007 ... also played basketball ... played for coach Deran Wiley at Raines.
Born July 31, 1991 ... son of Louis Nix and Stephanie Ancrum ... enrolled in the College of Arts and Letters.
Draft Scout Player News
04/17/14 - Five players who should be on the San Diego Chargers' draft radar: NG Louis Nix, Notre Dame (25, 3): While the secondary may be San Diego's greatest area of concern, the minimal depth at nose guard could make Nix a target in the first round, especially given the familiarity he may feel with former teammate Manti Te'o acclimating well out west. The loss of former starter Can Thomas to the Pittsburgh Steelers makes this literally the biggest hole in San Diego's roster, unless the team is confident in the development of Kwame Geathers, who recorded four tackles (one solo) after making the team as an undrafted free agent. At 6-foot-2, 331 pounds, Nix is remarkably light on his feet and offers some pass rush ability, which the 6-foot-6, 335-pound Geathers does not. Nix uses his natural leverage advantage, broad shoulders and leg drive to tie up blockers on the inside and free up teammates to make big plays. It isn't difficult to imagine him as the centerpiece of what could be the stoutest defensive line in the AFC West. - Rob Rang, The Sports Xchange
04/03/14 - 2014 Pro Days: Notre Dame's Nix, Martin take care of business...With all 32 NFL teams represented, including head coaches Gus Bradley (Jaguars) and Mike Tomlin (Steelers), NT Louis Nix, OL Zach Martin and 14 other former Irish players participated on Thursday at Notre Dame's pro day in South Bend. Working out shirtless to show off his decreased body weight, Nix, who said he was “down” to 331 pounds, performed positional drills for scouts, even lining up nose-to-nose with Tomlin on some drills. He showed why some around the league feel he belongs in the top-15 discussion of the first round, appearing quick, controlled and strong with whatever the coaches asked him to do. Nix's charismatic personality also stood out as it usually does. “I hope they liked my thighs and my footwork and my hips,” Nix said when asked what he wanted to show scouts. “Because I've been working on them and trying to get them flexible and be able to move around.” Nix measured in at 6-2 and 331 (same as his NFL Combine numbers) and ran a 5.36 40-yard dash in South Bend, besting his 5.42 and 5.43 results from Indianapolis. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
02/20/14 - 2014 NFL Draft Scout Pre-Combine Top 64 Prospects: 18. *Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame, 6-2, 345, 5.17, 1...Brick-strong body with nimble feet, Nix came off a solid 2012 season overweight entering 2013 and missed two games with knee tendinitis that should be monitored. He eventually played well enough to boost previous (2012) fourth-round draft projections up to first round. Plays with a high-rev motor that he needs to control to last four quarters, but is a highly coachable player and great teammate. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange
02/19/14 - 2014 NFL Combine: 10 prospects with the most to gain/lose: 6. Notre Dame DL: Louis Nix, Stephon Tuitt...Due to injury and inconsistency, Nix and Tuitt went from a terrorizing tandem destined to be high picks to a disappointing duo hoping to soon hear their names called in the first round. Tuitt is built well for the NFL with the impressive size and athletic tools, but played more like a third round draft choice on tape in 2013. He needs to test well during the on-field and agility drills to remind teams why he was so highly thought of entering the year. Nix had better in-game consistency than Tuitt and boasts a skill-set that is in high demand by 3-4 defenses, but his lingering knee issue is the elephant in the room. His medical results will likely cement Nix's top-20 status or drop him down draft boards. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
12/24/13 - 2013 FBS ALL-INDEPENDENT FIRST TEAM (MEDIA): DL Louis Nix III (Sr.) Notre Dame,...Has been selected to the 2013 FBS All-Independent First Team named by the nationwide media panel responsible for the FBS Independent Player of the Week awards. - Notre Dame football