Made the transition from outside linebacker to tight end during 2012 spring practice ... started seven of the team's 13 games at tight end (started first four games and also vs. Oklahoma, Boston College and Alabama) ... one of five Irish receivers to log multiple catches of 25 yards or more ... recorded his first career reception for 29 yards in the win over Navy (Sept. 1) ... added one catch for a season-long 30 yards against Purdue (Sept. 8) ... had one reception for seven yards against Miami (Oct. 6) in the decisive 41-3 rout ... scored his first career touchdown on a seven-yard reception at Boston College (Nov. 10) ... became the 10th Notre Dame player, and second tight end, to find the end zone in 2012 with the score against the Eagles.
Played in 12 games for the Irish as an outside linebacker, starting the game against Michigan State ... tallied career-high four tackles and one-half tackle for loss in win vs. Boston College ... recorded two tackles and first career fumble recovery in a win vs. Navy ... registered three tackles in start against the Spartans.
Los Angeles Times lineman of the year as senior in 2010 ... two-way standout as both offensive and defensive lineman at Servite High School in Anaheim, Calif., where he played offensive guard and defensive tackle in 2010 ... helped Servite to 14-1 record in 2010, a second straight CIF Southern Section Pac-5 Division title and runner-up in state playoffs ... named co-lineman of the year as senior in Trinity League by Orange County Register ... an offensive lineman on Los Angeles Times high school all-star football team for 2010 ... first-team all-state offensive lineman by CalHiSports ... rated 215th among all prospects nationally on Rivals.com 250 list.Rated 11th by SuperPrep among all prospects in California, Nevada and Hawaii ... all-CIF Southern Section Pac-5 as defensive lineman as senior by Orange County Register ... first-team defensive lineman on Orange County Register all-county team for 2010 ... two-time first-team all-Trinity League selection ... played tight end on offense until switch to guard as senior in 2010 ... made 14 tackles as senior in 48-8 CIF State Open Division title game loss to De La Salle ... helped Servite to 2009 California state title (33-20 victory over Rocklin in Division II championship), in addition to Pac-5 and Trinity League crowns ... caught 16 passes as tight end for 128 yards and three TDs in 2009 ... also helped Servite to Trinity League title as sophomore in 2008.
Brother, Austin, was senior linebacker at Air Force in 2012, making 128 tackles to lead team and earning honorable mention all-Mountain West Conference honors ... uncle, Bruce Matthews, played at USC, was ninth overall pick in 1983 NFL Draft, earned Pro Bowl honors 14 times while playing with NFL Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans from 1983-2001 and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007 ... from same high school as former Irish quarterback standout, NFL veteran and current CBS Sports analyst Steve Beuerlein ... played for coach Troy Thomas at Servite ... son of Don and Kim Niklas ...enrolled in Mendoza College of Business, majoring in management entrepreneurship.
05/12/2014 - A closer look at the Cardinals' picks: Round 2/52 - Troy Niklas, TE, 6-6, 270, Notre Dame...Niklas left after his junior year and played tight end for only two seasons. The Cardinals think he is just scratching the surface of his abilities. They believe he already is a solid blocker and will give them play-action options. - The Sports Xchange