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2015 NFL DRAFT
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Chad Nkang

Height: 6-0 | Weight: 220 | College: Missouri
 
Copyright NFLDraftScout.com, distributed by The Sports Xchange
Overview

With the National Football League searching for quality Cover-2 linebackers, Nkang's physical ability, quickness and field vision is an ideal fit. The former fullback ranked among the nation's leaders in tackles the past three seasons and has brought back memories of Derrick Brooks (Tampa Bay/Florida State), Sam Mills (ex-Carolina/Montclair State) and Dexter Coakley (ex-St. Louis/Appalachian State) during their collegiate days. Much like the aforementioned athletes, Nkang's explosion, strength and hard-hitting ability has made him a feared opponent for any offensive coordinator.

Nkang earned team Most Valuable Player honors as a senior at Northwestern High School, leading Prince George County's top-ranked defense as the team compiled a 7-2 record and shared the conference co-championship. He registered 15 tackles and three sacks in the Washington, D.C. All-Star Game, earning Defensive Player of the Game honors.

Nkang enrolled at Elon College in 2003, quickly earning a starting job at fullback. He finished second on the team with 68 carries for 307 yards (4.5 avg) and a touchdown, adding six yards on three receptions and 36 yards on three kickoff returns (12.0 avg).

Nkang shifted to linebacker in 2004. He was awarded the Sid Varney Scholarship as the team's best linebacker, adding All-Southern Conference first-team, All-Region second-team and SoCon Player of the Month for November accolades. He began the season at strong-side outside linebacker before shifting to right inside linebacker for the rest of the year.

He led the conference and ranked fourth in the nation with an average of 12.27 tackles per game. He paced the Phoenix with 135 tackles (56 solos) and had 14.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage. He recovered three fumbles, caused two others and intercepted one pass.

Nkang was a consensus All-American and finished fifth in the voting for the Buck Buchanan Award, given to the top defensive player in Division 1-AA in 2005. He earned All-Southern Conference first-team and Defensive Player of the Year honors, as he led the nation with an average of 13.82 tackles per game.

He collected a career-high 152 tackles (73 solos), ranking third nationally with an average of 6.64 solo tackles per game. He finished 10th nationally with an average of 1.68 stops for losses per game, totaling 18.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage with five sacks. He caused two fumbles, deflected a pass, blocked a kick and registered a safety.

Nkang was again named consensus All-American and All-Southern Conference first-team in 2006. He ranked fourth in the nation and led the team with 127 tackles (52 solos). He had three sacks and 16.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage. He returned an interception for a touchdown, deflected one pass and caused three fumbles.

Nkang started all 45 games he played in at Elon College, lining up in 12 contests at fullback and 33 more at linebacker. He recorded 414 tackles (181 solos) with 8.5 sacks for minus-41 yards and 49.5 stops for losses of 158 yards. He recovered three fumbles and caused seven others.

He returned two interceptions for 54 yards and a touchdown while also batting away three passes. Nkang also blocked a kick and registered a safety. He gained 307 yards with a touchdown on 68 carries (4.5 avg), gained six yards on three catches and returned three kickoffs for 36 yards (12.0 avg).

Analysis

Positives: Lacks ideal height for his position, but has a thick, muscular frame with a tight abdomen, broad shoulders, good arm muscle definition, thick thighs and calves … Has outstanding closing quickness and timed speed … Shows the range to make plays at the opposite end of the field and demonstrates good balance and body control taking on blockers at the point of attack … Explosive hitter who stays low in his pads and can slip and avoid blocks when redirecting inside … Seems more comfortable making reads from the traditional middle linebacker position than at right inside line-backer … Decent student with only an adequate Wonderlic score, but has no problems digesting plays to take them from the chalkboard to the playing field … Against the run, Nkang excels at recognizing the blocking schemes, playing off of them and shutting down the rush lanes … Does a good job of splitting double teams, despite a lack of ideal height … Reacts quickly to jump the play in run support (86.45 percent of his tackles came vs. the run) and takes good angles to the ball … Has a good feel for the ball carrier on the perimeter and is very effective at shutting down the cutback lanes … With his ability to take good angles and see the play develop, Nkang is quick to react to misdirection … Has excellent vision to locate the ball in a crowd … Might not have the size you look for in a traditional run stuffer, but with his low pad level and decent playing strength, he does a good job of slipping off and avoiding blocks in backside pursuit … Could shift to outside linebacker or safety in a Cover-2 defense due to his range and closing burst … Has the loose hips and change of direction agility to take the long road in pursuit and still make the play … Maintains balance on the move and never takes wasted steps in attempts to close … Solid wrap-up tackler who has an exceptional burst to attack perimeter ball carriers … Has the timed speed to cover the entire field and the range to chase from the backside with his sudden burst … Solid wrap-up tackler who stays low in his pads and has the plant-and-drive agility to redirect … Will never have the size needed to stuff offensive linemen, but is perfectly able to slip and avoid to make the play … Has a fluid flow to the ball along the perimeter and can redirect to neutralize the cutback lanes … Might get a little reckless and over-pursue at times, but his recovery burst puts him right back into the play … Can close on the ball in a hurry, but while some pro teams might view his size and speed as a better fit at strong safety, he will need more reps operating in zone coverage … Will contort his body to slip through tight gaps and has so much explosion coming off the edge, he will generally surprise a lethargic offensive tackle … Excels at avoiding blocks on the move, knowing he does not have the size to engage the bigger blockers … Shows good urgency in backside pursuit and stays in control rather than over-pursuing when closing on the pocket … Has the timing and awareness to pick a lane in attempts to penetrate and can easily knife through the backfield to apply pressure.

Negatives: Plays with good vision and recognition skills in run force, but needs to make quicker read decisions in route progression … High-energy type who might get a little reckless and over-pursue, but has the recovery speed to get back into the play … Plays well to the flow of the game, but needs to show more of a fiery passion that is expected from a middle linebacker … Still is developing the work ethic needed to put in the extra hours a self-starter needs to do in order to improve … Still a work in progress reading pass plays and has to develop a better feel for the receiver through route progressions … Has the speed to stay with any receiver in the deep zone, but due to a lack of reps, it is hard to evaluate his ability to handle switch-offs playing in zone coverage (made only 15 plays vs. the pass in 2006) … His size limitations become an issue when an offensive linemen latches on to him, as he does not have the bulk to separate … Won't be the type of ?backer who will be very stout to leverage at the point of attack or stack and control blocks, but he compensates with his avoidance skills and explosive closing burst … Has good weight room totals, but in closed quarters they don't always translate to the football field … Like most undersized linebackers, he does not have the hand usage needed to shed blocks, so he has to rely on quickness to slip them … Not asked to play vs. the pass much and must show better hand usage in attempts to jam and reroute tight ends and slot receivers to compete at the next level … Has good training room strength, but must utilize it better when attacking offensive linemen … Doesn't have the arm length to separate and must get off blocks quickly or he will get tied up … Does not show natural hands for the interception and even with his good leaping ability, he does not attack the ball well to deflect it at its highest point … Not as effective when working in-line, especially when the offensive lineman gets into his body to lift him at the pads … Because of that in-line inability, he might be a better fit for an outside linebacker spot … Attacks with his shoulders properly squared, but must develop better hand usage to shed when working in-line … Needs to stay lower in his pads through his backpedal, but he comes out of it with few wasted steps to mirror the receiver on deep patterns … Shows good awareness to locate and attack receivers working underneath, but still needs to get his head turned around and not eye the quarterback too long when playing in the deep area.

Compares To: D'QWELL JACKSON-Cleveland … Both linebackers lack ideal size or bulk and struggle to match up strength-wise to the bigger blockers, but have that sudden quickness to slip off blocks and make the plays. Some teams might look at Nkang as a safety prospect, but he has minimal reps in pass coverage and will need time to develop there. However, with his vision to locate the ball and closing speed, he would be a nice fit at weak-side linebacker in a Cover-2 scheme.

Career Notes

Nkang not only led the nation in tackles in 2005 with 152, but that total also set a school single-season record … In 33 games on defense, his average of 12.55 tackles per game rank second in NCAA Division 1-AA history behind Josh Cain of Chattanooga (450 tackles, 34 games, 13.24 avg, 2000-02) … His 2005 season average of 13.82 tackles per game was the 14th-best season total in Division 1-AA annals … His 152 total tackles in 2005 rank thirteenth on the NCAA Division 1-AA single-season record list and set a Southern Conference modern day record (since 2000) … His 25 tackles vs. Chattanooga in 2005 rank second on the Division 1-AA record chart (stats kept since 2000) behind Boomer Grigsby of Illinois State (26 vs. Youngstown State in 2002) and rank seventh overall in Southern Conference annals behind Josh Cain of Chattanooga (30 vs. The Citadel, 2001), Everett Spellman of Western Carolina (30 vs. Appalachian State, 1987), Milan Sterling of Furman (28 vs. Wofford, 1993), Dino Hackett of Appalachian State (27 vs. East Tennessee State, 1985), Lester Smith of The Citadel (26 vs. Army, 1991) and Roger Johnson of Marshall (26 vs. The Citadel, 1991) … Of Nkang's 287 career tackles, 86.45 percent of his plays (370) came in run support … He made 98 stops that resulted in no yardage by the opponent (8.5 sacks, 49.5 TFL, 40 for no gain) … 67 of his tackles resulted in third-down stops, with 15 more coming on fourth-down plays … His 414 tackles set a school career record and rank 10th all-time in NCAA Division 1-AA history.

2006 Season

Earned All-American first-team honors from The NFL Draft Report, The Sports Network and the Associated Press … All-Southern Conference first-team choice and was a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award, given to the top defensive player in the NCAA Division 1-AA ranks … Took over middle linebacker duties in the team's new 4-3 defensive alignment, serving as team captain … Led the conference and ranked fourth in the nation with 127 tackles (52 solos), including three sacks for minus 12 yards … Ranked 15th nationally and led the conference with 16.5 stops for losses of 56 yards … Caused three fumbles and had a 47-yard interception return for a touchdown … Made 113 plays vs. the run, with 21 third-down tackles and four more on fourth-down action … Added five tackles on special teams and stopped opposing ball carries thirteen times at the line of scrimmage.

2006 Game Analysis

Coastal Carolina … Nkang began the season with thirteen tackles (5 solos) and 2.5 stops for losses of 7 yards … He tackled Jamie Fordham for a 2-yard loss early in the second quarter and took down tailback Aundres Perkins for minus 4 yards on third-&-2 midway through the third quarter … Head to Head Competition-HB#1-Aundres Perkins-11 runs for 59 yards, three catches for 58 yards.

Towson … Posted nine tackles, including one that stopped Rashad McClaude for a 4-yard loss on a late third quarter run … Head to Head Competition-HB#34-Rashad McClaude-17 carries for 76 yards and a touchdown, two catches for 3 yards.

Presbyterian … Credited with ten tackles (3 solos) and a pair of sacks, taking down Grayson Mullins for a 5-yard loss at the PC 33 four minutes into the game and again for minus 4 yards on third-&-6 at the start of the second quarter … Head to Head Competition-HB#31-S.J. Worrell-Five carries for 22 yards.

Appalachian State … Registered fourteen tackles (4 solos) with a forced fumble and took down Armanti Edwards for a 2-yard loss on a first-&-goal run five minutes into the contest … Tackled T.J. Courman on a 4-yard run in the third quarter, causing a fumble that Elon's Daronce Daniels recovered, setting up Wes Pope's 43-yard scoring strike to Terrell Hudgins at the 9:02 mark of that quarter … Head to Head Competition-HB#28-Kevin Richardson-18 runs for 100 yards and two touchdowns, four catches for 30 yards and a score.

Western Carolina … Made nine tackles with a stop behind the line of scrimmage and stopped L.J. Davis for no gain on a third-&-1 run, forcing WCU to punt with 9:00 left in the first quarter … Head to Head Competition-HB#7-Darius Fudge-15 carries for 58 yards, a 6-yard catch.

Georgia Southern … Was in on twelve tackles (7 solos) and 1.5 stops for minus 3 yards …

Assisted in taking down Chris Covington for a 3-yard loss on a rushing attempt five minutes into the second quarter … Head to Head Competition-HB#28-Chris Covington-11 attempts for 8 yards, a 4-yard catch.

Wofford … Added thirteen tackles (4 solos) … Caused a fumble when he knocked the ball out of the hands of Michael Hobbs at the WOF 20 early in the fourth quarter and on Wofford's next drive, Nkang dragged down Josh Collier for a 4-yard loss at the Elon 30 … Head to Head Competition-HB#20-Kevious Johnson-10 carries for 50 yards, two catches for 29 yards.

Chattanooga … Posted thirteen tackles (7 solos) and assisted Chris Bland in stopping Erroll Wynn for no gain on a second-&-goal run on the game's first series … Head to Head Competition-HB#24-Eldra Buckley-28 carries for 187 yards and a touchdown.

Furman … Added sixteen tackles (6 solos) and 2.5 stops for minus 18 yards … Took down Renaldo Gray on a fourth-&-3 run that netted two yards on the game-opening drive … Tackled Cedrick Gipson after the Furman player recovered a fumble by Gray, who was sacked for a 10-yard loss on that play with 4:04 left in the third quarter … Head to Head Competition-HB#22-Cedrick Gipson-20 carries for 122 yards and a touchdown.

North Carolina A&T … Had eight tackles (4 solos) with a 4-yard sack, an interception and a forced fumble … Knocked the ball out of QB Wayne Campbell's hands at the NC 14, but Campbell recovered the ball midway through the second quarter … Intercepted a Campbell pass and returned it 47 yards for a touchdown … Sacked Campbell for a 4-yard loss on fourth-&-12 midway through the third quarter … Head to Head Competition-HB#14-Chaz Truesdale-Seven runs for 16 yards.

The Citadel … Closed out his career with nine tackles, assisting Travis Wetzel in taking down Montrell Lee for a 1-yard loss on a first-&-goal run midway through the second quarter … Head to Head Competition-HB#23-Tory Cooper-15 carries for 109 yards, a 14-yard catch.

2005 Season

First-team All-American selection by The NFL Draft Report, the Walter Camp Football Foundation, The Sports Network, College Sports Report and Football Gazette, adding second-team honors from the Associated Press … Named Football Gazette NCAA Division

I-AA Linebacker of the Year and Southeast Region Linebacker of the Year … Selected to the All-Southeast Region first-team by Football Gazette … Added All-Southern Conference first-team and Defensive Player of the Year honors … Named Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Month in September, October and November … Chosen Team MVP and was awarded the Sid Varney Scholarship as the team's top linebacker for the second-straight season … Finished fifth in the voting for the Buck Buchanan Award, given to the 1-AA's top defensive player … Started all year at right inside linebacker, leading the nation with a school single-season record 152 tackles (73 solos), an average of 10.27 per game … His average of 6.64 solo tackles per game ranked third nationally and his average of 1.68 tackles behind the line of scrimmage ranked tied for tenth … Registered five sacks for minus 27 yards and a career-high 18.5 stops for losses of 66 yards (school single-season record) … Had four quarterback pressures and caused two fumbles … Deflected a pass, blocked a kick and recorded one safety … 135 of his plays came vs. the run, making 23 third-down stops and six more on fourth-down action … Stopped opposing ball carriers three times at the goal line and ten times for no gain … Of the 191 first downs allowed by the Phoenix defense, only 25 came vs. the team's middle linebackers.

2005 Game Analysis

Coastal Carolina … Chad made sixteen tackles (6 solos) with a 3-yard sack, 1.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage and a quarterback pressure. He also caused as the defense allowed only 262 yards, but Coastal Carolina edged Elon in first downs (15-13), rushing yards (130-103), passing yards (132-130), total offensive plays (63-62), total net yards (262-233) and third-down conversions (7-5) en route to a 17-10 victory over the Phoenix … "A tough win, an ugly win, whatever you want to call it, is better than a beautiful loss," said Coastal Carolina coach David Bennett. "Of course, I don't really know of a beautiful loss. We knew Elon had a good defense. They held Furman to 10 points on this field last year." … Nkang made five tackles during the game's first six plays, including one that caused a fumble when Chad hit Jerome Simpson on a 7-yard pass from QB Tyler Thigpen, but Coastal Carolina recovered, only to have Nkang pressure Thigpen to throw an incomplete pass intended for Justin Landrum, forcing Carolina to settle for a 50-yard field goal try that fell short … Later in the first quarter, Chad took down tailback Patrick Hall for no gain on a rushing attempt and at the start of the second quarter, he held Mike Tolbert to a 1-yard gain on a first-&-goal run … Hall was then stopped for a 2-yard loss by Nkang with 9:17 left in the first half … Late in the third quarter, Chad sacked Thigpen for a 5-yard loss …

Nkang made twelve of his plays vs. the run, stopping opposing ball carriers twice for no gain and once at the goal line.

Savannah State … The defense allowed only 43 yards rushing and 269 total yards as Nkang posted six tackles (4 solos) with an 8-yard sack and a quarterback pressure in a 48-14 non-conference road win at T.A. Wright Stadium … Chad made the first tackle for the Phoenix defense when he took down tailback Myshun McAlpine after a 2-yard run near midfield. Midway through the second quarter, Nkang chased down McAlpine on an 11-yard run and then came out of his area to stop Akeeno Mitchell on a 14-yard scamper to the Elon 28 … He killed a drive with 2:35 left in the first half when Nkang pressured QB Clyde Tullis, who threw an incomplete fourth-&10 pass that was intended for Stanley Byron … Nkang only played through the first series of the third quarter, but before he left, he sacked QB Garrett Williams for an 8-yard loss on a third-&-4 play, forcing Savannah State to punt … This game marked the only time in 2005 that Chad did not record at least ten tackles, but he sat out most of the second half in this 48-14 blowout … Five of his tackles came in run support, with one coming on a third-down play and another on fourth-down.

Presbyterian … The Phoenix defense gave up only 34 yards on 27 rushing attempts as Chad produced twelve tackles with a 4-yard sack, 1.5 stops for minus 8 yards and a pressure in a 34-19 triumph … Chad stopped a potential touchdown when he tackled QB Zach Ellis at the Elon 7 on an 8-yard bootleg midway through the first quarter … Early in the second quarter, he leveled tailback James Mitchell behind the line of scrimmage on a fourth-&-2 play to kill a 9-play drive … Nkang pressured Ellis on Presbyterian's next drive, resulting in the quarterback throwing a pass that was intercepted by Elon's Jacobi Jones at the Elon 41 … Tailback Corey Fidler was stopped for a 1-yard loss by Chad on a rushing attempt at the start of the third quarter, followed by Nkang's 8-yard sack of Ellis on Presbyterian's next drive … Ten of Nkang's tackles came in run support, with one stop coming on a third-down play and another on fourth-down.

North Carolina A&T … Nkang was all over the field in a hard-fought 12-9 victory, leading a defense that limited A&T's offense to only 231 total yards. He registered a team-high fifteen tackles (4 solos), including a 1-yard sack, three stops for losses of 8 yards, a pressure and a pass deflection … Chad posted six tackles on the game's first twelve plays, taking down tailback Chaz Truesdale for a 3-yard loss on a rushing attempt, followed by a third-down stop of Quante Speight on a 3-yard run … Nkang sacked QB Marshall Glenn for a 1-yard loss midway through the second quarter … He brought down Speight for a 5-yard loss (along with Elon's Todd Lindgren) on a second-&-7 run at the start of the third quarter, stopping Speight later in the drive on a third-&-25 run that netted 2 yards, forcing A&T to punt … An illegal block on Chad after Nkang brought down Chaz Dawson on a 3-yard catch resulted in an 8-yard penalty vs. A&T midway through the first quarter, but Chad was not done on that drive. He batted away Marshall Glenn's pass attempt to Dawson on the next play and then killed the drive when he pressured Glenn on a third-&-7 pass that was picked off by Elon's Mark Jetton at the Elon 35 and returned 8 yards … With 6:06 remaining in the game, Nkang stopped Speight just short of a first down on a 9-yard catch of a third-&-11 pass from Glenn. A&T would convert the fourth-down play to keep the drive alive, but Nkang then tackled Speight on a third-&-2 run that netted one yard and on fourth-&-1, he ended the eight-play drive when Chad was helped by Zach McAlister in taking down James Newby for a 1-yard loss on a fourth-&-1 run … Fourteen of Chad's plays came in run support, with four of those hits being registered on third-downs and one more on fourth-down action.

Georgia Southern … The Eagles soared, gaining 503 yards vs. Elon, but Chad made thirteen tackles (5 solos), with every stop coming in run support … Nkang took down tailback Jayson Foster after a 2-yard run on a third-&-2 play at the start of the second quarter and later stopped Foster on that drive when the runner picked up 8 yards on a fourth-&-2 carry … Chad took down Jermaine Austin for no gain on a third-&-5 run, forcing GSU to punt midway through the third quarter … Three of Nkang's tackles were third-down stops, adding another in fourth-down action.

Wofford … Chad literally was a one-man wrecking crew vs. Wofford's passing attack that managed only 30 yards in a tough 14-9 Elon loss. He collected a team-high fifteen tackles (10 solos) with a stop behind the line of scrimmage … Nkang made his presence felt from the game's opening play, causing a fumble when he stopped tailback Michael Hobbs on a 17-yard run to midfield during Wofford's first drive, but Wofford recovered. They then attempted a 42-yard field goal, but Chad blocked Nick Robinson's kick to kill a 10-play, 61-yard drive … Following a Brandon Lane punt that was downed on the Wofford 1-yard line, Nkang tackled running back Gabriel Jackson in the end zone for a safety with 5:31 left in the first quarter … With 5:16 remaining in the first half, he took down Josh Collier for no gain on a second-&-5 run and with 5:37 left to play, Chad stuffed Michael Hobbs a yard short of a first down on a third-&-3 run that netted two yards … Nkang made sixteen plays vs. the run, with one third-down tackle.

Chattanooga … Elon lost the game, 10-7, but it was no fault of Nkang's, who set a school game-record with 25 tackles (14 solos), including three stops behind the line of scrimmage as the defense gave up 323 yards … As he had done in six of the team's first six games, Chad posted the team's first tackle from the line of scrimmage when he brought down Eldra Buckley for a 1-yard loss on a run off right tackle … Late in the first quarter, Nkang took down Buckley for no gain on a first-&-10 run … Buckley was stopped for a 3-yard loss on a rushing attempt with 10:41 left in the first half and on the next play, Chad stopped Antonio Miller for no gain on a third-&-8 run … He forced the Mocs to punt later in the second quarter when Nkang tackled T.T. Haper on a third-&-11 pass from Antonio Miller that netted one yard … With 3:44 left to play, Chad killed another drive when he upended Buckley on a third-&-3 run that gained 2 yards … On Chad's 25 tackles, he made 22 plays in run support, with six of those hits coming on third-down plays, including two that resulted in no gains and another that stopped the ball carrier at the goal line … Record Watch-Chad's 25 tackles rank second on the Division 1-AA record chart (stats kept since 2000) behind Boomer Grigsby of Illinois State (26 vs. Youngstown State in 2002) and rank seventh overall in Southern Conference annals behind Josh Cain of Chattanooga (30 vs. The Citadel, 2001), Everett Spellman of Western Carolina (30 vs. Appalachian State, 1987), Milan Sterling of Furman (28 vs. Wofford, 1993), Dino Hackett of Appalachian State (27 vs. East Tennessee State, 1985), Lester Smith of The Citadel (26 vs. Army, 1991) and Roger Johnson of Marshall (26 vs. The Citadel, 1991).

Furman … For only the second time in 2005 Chad did not lead the team in game tackles, but he still posted ten hits (9 solos) with an 11-yard sack and two stops for minus 13 yards in Furman's 45-6 Southern Conference homecoming victory … Nkang took down Cedrick Gipson for a 2-yard loss on a first-&-10 run late in the first quarter and then sacked QB Ingle Martin for an 11-yard loss at the start of the second quarter … He sniffed out a Martin second-&-23 screen pass at the start of the third quarter, tackling Daric Carter after a 4-yard catch … Carter then picked up 2 yards on a first-&-goal run before Chad stopped him on Furman's next drive … Nkang made nine tackles in run support, with two coming on third-down plays.

Western Carolina … Chad followed with twelve tackles (10 solos) and 2.5 stops for minus 6 yards as the defense allowed only 108 yards passing in a 31-26 loss … Nkang chased down Lamont Reid on an 11-yard run early in the second quarter on a third-&-13 play and then made four-straight tackles during WCU's next drive, including taking down J.C. Brown for no gain on a screen pass thrown by Justin Clark … He held John Bush to no gain on a run up the middle with 0:34 left in the first half and took down Nick Wichart for a 1-yard loss on a second-&-8 run with 6:51 remaining in the contest … With 2:38 left on the clock, Nkang made all three stops on that three-play drive that netted minus five yards, taking down Darius Fudge for a 1-yard loss on a first-&-10 run, stopping John Bush for no gain on a second-&-11 rushing attempt and then upending Fudge for a 4-yard loss on a third-&-11 play, forcing WCU to punt … Eleven of Chad's plays came in run support, including three third-down stops and three hits that resulted in no gain by the opposition.

The Citadel … The Citadel defense limited Elon to 230 total yards and snapped a five-game losing streak in shutting out the Phoenix, 21-0, but Chad delivered ten tackles (5 solos) with 2.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage for an Elon defense that gave up only 259 yards … As has been Chad's normal way of opening the gamke, he made the team's first tackle for the day when he stopped Nuru Goodrum for no gain on a rushing attempt … He then took Goodrum down for a 5-yard loss on a run off right tackle with 5:16 left in the first quarter … On The Citadel's final first quarter drive, Nkang sniffed out the screen pass thrown by Ben Carnell and stuffed receiver Joshua Haney for a 2-yard loss … Eight of Chad's tackles were on running plays.

Appalachian State … Appalachian State captured its first outright Southern Conference championship since 1995 in style, as sixth-ranked Appalachian hammered Elon, 52-14, but Chad registered eighteen tackles with an assisted stop behind the line of scrimmage … ASU scored on each of its first six possessions to take a resounding 38-0 lead. In fact, the ASU offense didn't stall until it came up short on a fourth-&-6 draw play from the Elon 21 yard line nearly 10 minutes into the third quarter, when Chad stopped tailback Kevin Richardson on a 5-yard run … Late in the first quarter, Chad helped bring down T.J. Courman for a 3-yard loss on a second-&-6 run, but another Elon defender was penalized for a face mask penalty, negating the play … Nkang then joined Danny Boback with 3:05 left in the third quarter in tackling Trey Hennessee for a 5-yard loss on a draw play … Nkang closed out the season with fifteen tackles vs. the run, including one third-down and one fourth-down stop.

2004 Season

All-Southern Conference first-team selection, earning SoCon Player of the Month honors for November … Named All-Southeast Region second-team … Awarded the Sid Varney Scholarship as the team's best linebacker … Shifted to defense, starting every game … Began the season opener at strong-side outside linebacker vs. Towson before shifting to right inside linebacker for the rest of the campaign … Led the conference and ranked tied with Cal Poly's Jordan Beck for fourth in the NCAA Division 1-AA ranks with an average of 12.27 tackles per game … Paced the Phoenix defense with 135 tackles (56 solos), an assisted sack for minus 2 yards and a team-high 14.5 stops for losses of 36 yards … Recovered three fumbles and caused two others … Returned an interception 7 yards and deflected one pass … Chad made 122 of his hits in run support, as he registered 23 third-down stops and five more on fourth-down … 17 of his tackles held the opposition to no gain, with eight coming on goal line stands … Also posted three tackles on special teams … Of the 215 first downs allowed by the Elon defense, only 22 came vs. the team's inside linebackers.

2004 Game Analysis

Towson … Chad started his first game on defense for the Phoenix at strong-side outside linebacker, producing seven tackles with a pass break-up and stopped tailback Josh Corle for a 4-yard loss.

Delaware State … In a 49-13 victory, Nkang had his first double-digit performance, coming up with thirteen tackles with an assisted stop behind the line of scrimmage and a forced fumble, leading a defense from his right inside linebacker's spot that held DSU to 32 yards on 39 rushing attempts … He stopped Rodney Roy for a 2-yard loss on the defense's game-opening play … On Delware State's next drive, Chad tackled Deon Rheubottom on a 3-yard punt return, causing a fumble that DSU recovered at their own 28-yard line … Rheubottom would gain 7 yards on the next punt return before Nkang tackled him … On a third quarter drive with 4:04 left in that frame, Chad made three-straight tackles, including one that stopped Andre Smith for a 3-yard gain on a third-down run … Twelve of Nkang's tackles came in run support, including two third-down stops.

North Carolina A&T … Chad made all of his ten tackles vs. the run, including one that took down Quante Speight for a 9-yard loss on a first-&-10 run with 9:27 left to play.

Georgia Southern … Recovered fumble by GSU QB Chaz Williams and was in on eleven tackles (6 solos), including two on third-down plays.

Wofford … The defense gave up only 91 yards passing in a 27-13 loss, but Chad led the unit with a season-high eighteen tackles (7 solos) and a pair of stops behind the line of scrimmage … On a mid-first quarter drive, Chad produced four consecutive tackles, including one that stopped Kevious Johnson on a third-down run that netted two yards and later took down Johnson for no gain on a first-&-10 rushing attempt … With 0:01 left in the first quarter, Nkang crashed into Johnson on a first-&-goal run that netted only one yard … At the start of the second quarter, he again brought down Johnson for no gain on a first-&-goal run and capped off that drive by breaking into the backfield to disrupt a 22-yard field goal try by Nick Robinson that was wide left … At the start of the second half, Chad leveled Johnson for a 1-yard loss on a second-&-8 run and later in that quarter, Johnson was brought down for no gain when Chad upended the runner on a second-&-1 play … Johnson would continue to be frustrated by Chad, as the linebacker took the tailback down for a 2-yard loss on a first-&-10 run with 6:53 left to play, followed by a third-&-9 stop of Jeff Sullivan on a run that produced 4 yards later in the drive, forcing Wofford to punt … With only 1:32 remaining, Sullivan was again brought down by Chad for no gain on a second-&-5 run at midfield … All eighteen of Nkang's plays came in run support, with four stops resulting on third-down plays.

Chattanooga … Chad followed with twelve tackles (7 solos), 1.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage, a forced fumble and an interception in a 35-26 win. Nkang led a defense that allowed only 77 yards on 37 carries … In what would become a normal occurrence, Chad made the first tackle of the game for the Phoenix, causing a fumble when he stripped the ball from Lironnie Davis on a 4-yard run and Elon's Calvin Sutton recovered the ball at the UTC 30, setting up a 12-yard touchdown run by Phoenix tailback John Taylor … UTC runner Eugene Cousart was stopped for a 2-yard loss on a second-&-6 scamper on UTC's next drive … At the start of the fourth quarter, QB Cedric Stevens was brought down for no gain on a first-&-10 run by Chad, who then tackled Laronnie Davis for a 1-yard loss on the next play … Nkang then picked off a Cedric Stevens second-&-9 pass at the UTC 13 for a 7-yard return with 6:41 remaining in the game, setting up John Taylor's 6-yard scoring run that sealed Elon's 35-26 win … Nkang registered thirteen tackles vs. the run and set up two Elon touchdown drives for the day.

Furman … Elon lost a defensive struggle that resulted in a 10-0 score, but Chad matched his season-high with eighteen tackles (9 solos) and a fumble recovery as the Phoenix defense gave up 127 yards on the ground … He stopped QB Ingle Martin on a third-&-3 bootleg that netted 2 yards and then took down Martin on the next play (fourth-&-1) after Martin again ran for 2 yards … At the start of the second quarter, Martin's third-&-8 pass to Will Sudderth managed only 3 yards because of Chad's tackle on the play … In the third quarter, Nkang made three-straight goal line tackles, stopping Brian Bratton for no gain on a second-&-goal pass from Martin, then, leveling Cedrick Gipson for no gain on the next goal line play, followed by tackling Al Means at the Elon 3 after a 2-yard run … With 0:52 left on the game clock, Nkang recovered a fumble by Means after a 4-yard rushing attempt …

Chad registered fifteen tackles vs. the run, including three third-down stops and three goal-line hits.

Western Carolina … The Phoenix's Chad Nkang, the Southern Conference's leading tackler, amassed a game-high 14 total stops, including two for loss, to pace all defenders in a 28-7 loss that saw Elon allow only 62 yards rushing … Tailback Nick Wishart was stopped for no gain by Chad on a second quarter run and Nkang leveled Darius Fudge for a 1-yard loss on a third quarter rushing attempt … In the fourth quarter, Nkang took down Lamont Reid for no gain on a third-&-8 run, forcing WCU to punt … With 1:35 left in the game, Chad took down Reid for a 1-yard loss on a first-&-10 run … Nkang registered twelve tackles vs. the run, including two stops that held WCU runners to no gain.

Appalachian State … ASU exploded for 628 yards in total offense as Chad collected eight tackles (4 solos), including one that stopped tailback Alan Atwater for a 1-yard loss on a third-&-2 run midway through the second quarter, causing ASU to punt … Earlier in the game, Nkang leveled Atwater for no gain on a draw play, but it was nullified by an ASU holding penalty … Trey Elder was held to no gain by Chad on a first-&-goal run at the start of the fourth quarter … Nkang delivered six tackles vs. the run for the day.

The Citadel … Chad followed with nine tackles (7 solos), two stops for minus 4 yards and a fumble recovery in a 24-7 win, leading a defense that gave up only 224 yards, including 108 yards passing … As usual, he registered the first tackle of the game when he took down QB Duran Lawson for a 1-yard loss at The Citadel 35-yard line … Justin Woodberry ran into Nkang after catching a pass from Lawson and the result was no gain on the play with 2:58 left in the first half … At the 6:09 mark of the third quarter, Lawson was brought down for a 3-yard loss by Nkang on a bootleg and the Elon linebacker then recovered a fumble by tailback Nehemiah Broughton on a third-&-14 run, setting up a Phoenix scoring drive that was capped by a 37-yard field goal from William Rawls … Early in the fourth quarter, Nkang killed another drive when he upended Lawson on a third-&-7 run that netted 2 yards … Chad then stopped a potential touchdown when he chased down Rontreal Taylor on a 21-yard catch of Dawson's fourth-&-8 pass and later in that drive, he sealed the victory when he tackled Lawson for no gain on a fourth-&-1 draw play … For the day, Chad made eight tackles vs. the run, with three third-down stops, three fourth-down hits and three other tackles that resulted in no gain by The Citadel.

Liberty … Nkang assisted in sacking QB Brock Farrel for minus 4 yards and delivered fifteen tackles (6 solos) in the season finale … Three of those hits resulted in third-down stops, as Chad posted thirteen tackles in run support, including one on a fourth-down play.

2003 Season

Chad moved into the starting lineup at fullback as a true freshman, ranking second on the team with 307 yards on 68 carries (4.5 avg) with one touchdown … He caught three passes for 6 yards and returned three kickoffs for 36 yards (13.0 avg) … Held to negative yardage on only two rushing attempts, totaling seven yards.

2003 Game Analysis

Furman … Chad started his first collegiate game, collecting 57 yards with a touchdown on only five carries, adding a 2-yard catch and a 13-yard kickoff return … Scored his only touchdown rushing during his career, breaking free for a 32-yarder with 10:17 left in the first half to cap a 10-play, 76-yard drive.

Tusculum … Nkang managed only four yards on three rushing attempts.

Hofstra … Chad leveled defensive end Edward Greene to spring tailback Rashaud Palmer for a 6-yard scoring run in the first quarter and totaled 13 yards on five runs.

East Tennessee State … He followed with ten rushes for 54 yards and cleared a rush lane used by Anthony Crews for a 1-yard touchdown run with 6:48 remaining in the second quarter of a 14-0 victory.

North Carolina A&T … Collected a season-high 63 yards on five carries and leveled linebacker Herbert Dixon on a 1-yard touchdown plunge by Marcus Johnson for the team's first score in a 29-14 loss.

The Citadel … Chad added 46 yards on nine attempts and cleared a path used by Marcus Johnson for a 5-yard scoring burst with 2:32 left to play.

Wofford … Carried seven times for 27 yards.

Chattanooga … Nkang was held to 10 yards on six runs, but helped cap a 65-yard, 8-play drive in the second quarter when Chad upended defensive tackle Troy Blackwell on a 1-yard scoring run by Rashaud Palmer.

Towson … Returned one kickoff 8 yards and picked up 19 yards on seven runs.

Western Carolina … Chad was limited to one yard on three carries and had a 1-yard reception.

Appalachian State … Gained 15 yards on a kickoff return and 7 yards on five rushes.

Georgia Southern … Nkang closed out the season with three rushes for 6 yards and caught a 3-yard pass … Made a key block that leveled linebacker Eric White up field to clear away the final obstacle on Rashaud Palmer's 55-yard touchdown jaunt.

Injury Report

2002: Underwent microscopic left knee surgery in January.

Agility Tests

Campus: 4.44 in the 40-yard dash (wind-aided) … 4.46 in the 40-yard dash (against the wind) … 355-pound bench press … 540-pound squat … 340-pound power clean … 36-inch vertical jump … 10'1" broad jump … 31 7/8-inch arm length … 10 1/8-inch hands … Right-handed … 12/22 Wonderlic score.

Agility Tests

Combine: 4.55 in the 40-yard dash … 1.62 10-yard dash … 2.67 20-yard dash … 36.5-inch vertical jump … 9'10" broad jump … 4.34 20-yard shuttle … 11.82 60-yard shuttle … 7.1 three-cone drill … Bench pressed 225 pounds 23 times.

High School

Attended Northwestern (Hyattsville, Md.) High School, playing football for head coach Ed Shields … Earned team Most Valuable Player honors as a senior, leading Prince George County's top-ranked defense as the team compiled a 7-2 record and shared the conference co-championship … Registered 15 tackles and three sacks in the Washington, D.C. All-Star Game, earning Defensive Player of the Game honors.

Personal

Art/Digital Animation major … Son of Glenna Nkang … Born 7/01/85 … Resides in Hyattsville, Maryland.

 
 

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