Cal Players to Watch against Washington

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Hardy Nickerson-Linebacker

Sep 28, 2013; Eugene, OR, USA; California Golden Bears linebacker Hardy Nickerson (47) and defensive back Damariay Drew (27) tackle Oregon Ducks running back Thomas Tyner (24) at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Hardy Nickerson has been one of the few bright spots to come out of the depth/injury issues that Cal has had this season. The true freshman has gone from someone who wasn’t really supposed to play this season to Cal’s leading tackler. He has 48 tackles (25 solo) with 3 tackles for a loss and a forced fumble this season, and his emergence tells me that there are some bright spots for Cal’s future defensively.

Nickerson may not be tasked with covering Bishop Sankey or Austin Seferian-Jenkins all night long, but he will probably match up with those two at various times on Saturday. In order to have a good night, Cal must control those two and Nickerson will be part of that.