Sep 13, 2014; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies defensive end Dadi Nicolas (90) rushes the passer during the third quarter against the East Carolina Pirates at Lane Stadium. East Carolina defeated Virginia Tech 28-21. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Entering the 2014 season, many Hokie fans were confident that a defensive line with 3 new starters could get the job done and be a dominant force. So far, Hokie fans have been correct as the Virginia Tech defensive line is looking like one of the best in college football with no weak points and some star power.
Luther Maddy entered the season as the main star and was very productive in the first four games as a guy taking the attention of opposing teams. Even with Maddy out, the performance of the defensive line hasn’t and will continue to not suffer anything more than a minimal decline.
There has bee one player who has had a breakout season and is becoming a star. That man is defensive end Dadi Nicolas.
Nicolas was the third defensive end for the Hokies last season and he was solid with 32 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, and 4 sacks. This season, Nicolas has been a dominating force and has to be someone that is making a climb on most NFL Draft boards.
Dadi Nicolas currently leads the Hokies with 7 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, and 18 QB hurries which is 7 more than Corey Marshall who is second on the team at 11. Nicolas has 20 total tackles overall on the season and has been a very dynamic playmaker at the defensive end position.
Nicolas is one of the fastest defensive ends in all of college football and that has been on display as he has used his speed to plug up running lanes or get to the quarterback. Nicolas has also gotten stronger and has developed into a more complete defensive end.
Nicolas has to be someone that is also rising up draft boards as he has the potential to be a second or third round pick if he enters in the 2015 NFL Draft as of right now. However, Nicolas has the potential to rise to a point where he could be pushing the first round either in this draft or the next one depending on how he plays.
However, one thing that is certain to continue is Dadi Nicolas’s production. Nicolas will continue to be a star even with the Hokies not having Luther Maddy and the fact that Nicolas will receive more attention for the rest of the season even when Maddy comes back.
Slowly but steadily, Dadi Nicolas will become more well-known by national analysts and college football fans.