Tacoma, Wash. (Curtis/Dixie State College)
The Particulars -- Second-team NJCAA All-America ... First-team all-WSFL as a sophomore ... second-team all-WSFL as a freshman ... on Rivals' Junior College Top 25 list ... ranked number one juco tight end and 39th overall juco player by collegefootballnews.com ... SuperPrep Juco 100 ... team's co-leading receiver as a sophomore with 38 catches ... piled up 514 yards and two touchdowns ... team was 10-2 each of his two seasons, averaging 38 ppg in that span ... caught 35 passes for 477 yards and three scores as a freshman ... coached by Greg Croshaw. High School: Led team in receiving as a senior, with 21 receptions for 310 yards and two touchdowns ... returned a blocked punt for a touchdown ... was third on the team with 71 tackles, 10 for loss ... all-league tight end and defensive end ... caught five passes for 112 yards and a touchdown as a junior ... also made 47 tackles, including five sacks ... coached by Bob Lucy ... also lettered in basketball.
Seals' scouting report – Another example in this class where ISU signed the target it had wanted from the start. Nickel will be the perfect complement to incumbent tight end Ben Barkema. The JUCO transfer will be asked to make plays down the field and stretch the defense.
ISU tight ends coach Terry Allen on Nickel – "The real plus side of him is that he's so athletic he could play fullback, wide receiver, tight end, or in the slot. That makes him that much more multi-dimensional, and hopefully that will make us hard to defend. We do so much with two tight ends and needed another starter. Walter is a different player than Ben (Barkema), in that he is a little more athletic and a receiving type of tight end. Walter will stretch you vertically and can run. It's a good combination and good fit."
Short-term outlook -- The loss of three senior tight ends means that Nickel will play a prominent role in the Cyclone offense this fall. Taking part in winter workouts and spring ball will ensure Nickel of that. It's also become evident that coaches covet Nickel's versatility, and he could be used in a number of formations at different spots.