Montae Nicholson

Montae Nicholson (born December 4, 1995) is an American football free safety. He played college football at Michigan State and was drafted by the Redskins in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft.

Montae Nicholson
refer to caption
Nicholson in 2019
Free agent
Position:Free safety
Personal information
Born: (1995-12-04) December 4, 1995 (age 24)
Columbus, Ohio
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:212 lb (96 kg)
Career information
High school:Monroeville (PA) Gateway
College:Michigan State
NFL Draft:2017 / Round: 4 / Pick: 123
Career history
Career NFL statistics as of 2019
Total tackles:127
Forced fumbles:0
Fumble recoveries:2
Pass deflections:7
Player stats at

High school careerEdit

Nicholson attended Gateway High School in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, where he starred in football, basketball and track and field. His senior year, Nicholson won PIAA gold medals in the 110 hurdles and 400-meter relay along with the state's 60-meter indoor hurdles title. He was named the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Male Athlete of the Year.[1]

Regarded as a four-star recruit by, Nicholson was ranked as the No. 13 safety prospect in the class of 2014.[2] He chose Michigan State over offers from Florida State, Oregon, Pittsburgh, and Virginia Tech.[3]

College careerEdit

Nicholson attended Michigan State University.

Professional careerEdit

External video
  Redskins select Nicholson 123rd overall
Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump
6 ft 2 38 in
(1.89 m)
212 lb
(96 kg)
33 38 in
(0.85 m)
9 12 in
(0.24 m)
4.42 s 35.0 in
(0.89 m)
10 ft 5 in
(3.18 m)
All values from NFL Combine[4]


The Washington Redskins selected Nicholson in the fourth round (123rd overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft.[5][6] On May 11, 2017, Nicholson signed a four-year, US$3 million contract.[7]

Throughout training camp, he competed for the job as a backup safety against Will Blackmon, Deshazor Everett, Earl Wolff, Josh Evans, Stefan McClure, and Fish Smithson.[8][9] Head coach Jay Gruden named him the backup strong safety, behind Deshazor Everett, to begin the regular season after the original starting strong safety, Su'a Cravens, announced his decision to retire a week before their season-opener.[10]

Nicholson intercepts a pass meant for Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper in 2017.

He made his professional regular season debut in the Washington Redskins' season-opening 30–17 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. On September 17, 2017, Nicholson earned his first career start and made two solo tackles in the Redskins' 27–20 victory at the Los Angeles Rams in Week 2. Defensive coordinator Greg Manusky opted to use Nicholson in nickel packages and Everett in base formations.[11] In Week 3, Nicholson recorded a solo tackle, a pass deflection, and made his first career interception off a pass by Derek Carr during a 27–10 victory against the Oakland Raiders.[12] On October 15, 2017, he recorded a season-high six combined tackles and broke up a pass, but left in the second quarter of the Redskins' 26–24 win against the San Francisco 49er after sustaining a concussion. His concussion occurred in the last 45 seconds of the half after Nicholson attempted to tackle wide receiver Pierre Garcon, but lowered shoulder and took a blow directly to his head that knocked off his helmet and rendered him unconscious.[13] His concussion sidelined him for the next two games (Weeks 9–10). On November 18, 2017, he made four solo tackles before leaving in the third quarter of the Redskins' 20–10 victory against the New York Giants after receiving another concussion.[14] On December 19, 2017, Nicholson was placed on injured reserve.[15][16][17] He finished his rookie season with 24 combined tackles (18 solo), two pass deflections, and an interception in eight games and six starts.[18]


Nicholson (#35) playing against the Panthers in 2018.

Nicholson entered the 2018 season as the Redskins starting free safety alongside strong safety D. J. Swearinger. He started the first seven games before losing the starting job in Week 9 after the Redskins traded for Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix. He was placed on the reserve/NFI list on December 19, 2018 following an assault and battery arrest.[19]


In week 2 against the Dallas Cowboys, Nicholson recorded his first interception of the season off Dak Prescott and returned it 23 yards as the Redskins lost 31–21.[20] In week 5 against the New England Patriots, Nicholson intercepted Tom Brady once in the 33–7 loss.[21] He was placed on injured reserve on December 27, 2019.[22] He finished the season with 62 tackles, four passes defensed, and two interceptions through 13 starts. He was waived on March 23, 2020, with a failed physical designation.[23]

Personal lifeEdit

On December 18, 2018, Nicholson was arrested and charged with public swearing, intoxication, and misdemeanor assault in Ashburn, Virginia.[24] The charges were dropped in May 2019.[25] On November 14, 2019, it was reported that the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office was investigating Nicholson regarding the death of 21 year-old Julia Crabbe.[26] On the night of Crabbe's death, Nicholson and another man were identified as the ones who drove Crabbe to a hospital. Crabbe's cause of death was linked to drug overdose, with Nicholson not being officially charged.[27]


  1. ^ Harlan, Chris."Gateway's Nicholson, Shaler's Schwartz named Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Athletes of the Year", Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 28, 2014, retrieved February 7, 2018.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Montae Nicholson Combine Profile". Retrieved March 26, 2020.
  5. ^ "Redskins' Montae Nicholson: Picked by Washington". Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  6. ^ "Notes on Redskins Fourth-Round Pick Montae Nicholson". April 29, 2017. Retrieved May 7, 2017.
  7. ^ " Montae Nicholson contract". Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  8. ^ "Redskins Training Camp Expectations: Safety". July 24, 2017. Retrieved April 7, 2018.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ Tandler, Rich (May 16, 2017). "Redskins 2017 roster battles: Depth at safety will be critical as Cravens, Swearinger adapt". Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  10. ^ Cheaebrough, Diane (September 5, 2017). "Redskins Depth Chart: Week 1 vs. Philadelphia Eagles". Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  11. ^ "Redskins RB Rob Kelley suffered rib cartilage injury, remains day-to-day". September 18, 2017. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
  12. ^ Hill, Brandon. "Kendall Fuller, Montae Nicholson Named To Pro Football Focus' Week 3 Team Of The Week". Archived from the original on November 10, 2017. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
  13. ^ Joseph, Andrew (October 15, 2017). "Redskins player was 'cleared' to return after a terrifying blow to the head". Retrieved April 8, 2018.
  14. ^ Keim, John (December 19, 2017). "Redskins place Montae Nicholson on injured reserve". Retrieved April 8, 2018.
  15. ^ Czarda, Stephen (December 19, 2017). "Redskins Place Montae Nicholson On Injured Reserve, Sign Fish Smithson". Archived from the original on December 22, 2017.
  16. ^ Keim, John (September 19, 2017). "With Su'a Cravens out, Montae Nicholson could be Redskins' answer at safety". Retrieved January 1, 2018. Cite has empty unknown parameter: |1= (help)
  17. ^ Princiotti, Nora (September 19, 2017). "Montae Nicholson taking advantage of opening at safety". Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  18. ^ "NFL Player stats: Montae Nicholson (career)". Retrieved April 8, 2018.
  19. ^ "Redskins put Montae Nicholson on NFI list after arrest". December 19, 2018.
  20. ^ "Dak double: Cowboys' Prescott beats Redskins with legs, arm". September 15, 2019. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  21. ^ "Brady carries unbeaten Patriots past winless Redskins 33-7". October 6, 2019. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  22. ^ "Redskins Place CB Fabian Moreau, S Montae Nicholson On Injured Reserve; Sign S Kenny Ladler, WR Jester Weah". December 27, 2019.
  23. ^ "Redskins Release Several Players". Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  24. ^ "Redskins safety Nicholson arrested on assault charge". December 18, 2018.
  25. ^ Keim, John. "Charges against Redskins' Nicholson dropped". ESPN. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  26. ^ Augenstein, Neal (November 15, 2019). "Loudoun Co. officials investigate death of woman taken to hospital by Redskins player".
  27. ^ Zielonka, Adam (November 27, 2019). "Family of woman in drug death protest Nicholson, Redskins". Retrieved December 24, 2019.

External linksEdit