Notre Dame starter at inside linebacker heading into '99 campaign . . . slated to be regular on strong side, joining Anthony Denman as projected starters inside . . . quality player when he's on the field who only needs to avoid injuries that have bothered him . . . hard hitter who has begun to show the durability required . . . ranks as most experienced of returnees at inside linebacker, with his experience a factor in leadership void left by graduation of Bobbie Howard, Jimmy Friday and Kory Minor from linebacking unit . . . started a couple of games as sophomore, so has proven he can play big-time role . . . former defensive back who brings physical presence to the lineup . . . once played both safety and fullback for Irish in rookie campaign . . . Irish coaches believe he can be consistent playmaker this time around.
AS A JUNIOR: Played in nine games in '98 as reserve at inside linebacker, including vs. Georgia Tech in '99 Gator Bowl . . . made 45 regular-season special team appearances, then two more in Gator Bowl . . . suffered sprained neck early in Michigan State contest and didn't play vs. Purdue, but returned for Stanford game and made two solo tackles . . . added three stops vs. Arizona State . . . sat out Army game with minor injury and missed Navy game as well.
AS A SOPHOMORE: Played in four games in '97 as inside linebacker before knee injury ended his season . . . made first career start at inside linebacker vs. Purdue with Bobbie Howard out with injury and made five tackles plus two quarterback hurries . . . forced two fumbles in fourth period vs. Michigan while also making eight tackles . . . did not play in Georgia Tech opener and sat out Stanford game with back problems . . . started again vs. Pittsburgh, but tore right knee cartilage in first period, had Oct. 15 arthroscopic surgery and missed rest of the season.
AS A FRESHMAN: Played in eight games as rookie in '96, missing only Washington, Air Force and Boston College games . . . made 58 appearances with Irish special teams . . . worked at inside linebacker, safety and fullback at different points during '96.
HIGH SCHOOL AND PERSONAL DATA: Selected as East Texas defensive player of the year as senior in '95 by Longview News-Journal . . . three-year starter, at strong safety as senior and at free safety before that . . . earned three letters in football at Kilgore High School in Kilgore, Texas . . . named District 17-4A MVP, second team all-state . . . helped team win '95 district title and advance to Region III playoffs . . . had 87 tackles and three interceptions as senior . . . scored eight touchdowns as running back in goal-line situations . . . had 90 solo tackles, six interceptions and three fumbles caused as junior in '94 . . . born 12-18-77 in Kilgore, Texas . . . full name is Ronnie Glenn Nicks . . . enrolled in College of Arts and Letters with major in sociology.
G-GS Time Solo Asst. Tot. TL-Yds. FC FR
1996 8-0 1:12 0 2 2 0 0 0
1997 4-2 32:43 11 6 17 1-1 2 1
1998 8-0 28:13 8 2 10 0-0 0 0
TOTAL 20-2 62:08 19 10 29 1-1 2 1
The Ronnie Nicks File
- The Irish offensive player who will surprise people this year is Raki Nelson
- The Irish defensive player who will surprise people this year is Anthony Denman
- The sports teams I followed when I was younger were The Dallas Cowboys and Oakland A's
- A word to describe me on the field is Intense
- A word to describe me off the field is Quiet
- Other than Notre Dame Stadium, my favorite college stadium in which to play football is Memorial Stadium (Austin, Texas)
- The area I would like to improve as a football player is My footwork
- If I could play another position on the other side of the ball it would be Tailback
- My greatest personal athletic moment was Against Michigan
- The most stimulating class I ever took at Notre Dame was Statistics
- The people who have helped me the most since I've been at Notre Dame are Dr. Holly Martin, Mary Ann Spence and Pat Holmes
- The top three teams in college football this year will be Notre Dame and that's all that matters