Sep 7, 2013; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines running back Fitzgerald Toussaint (28) carries the ball as Notre Dame Fighting Irish nose tackle Louis Nix (1) and linebacker Jarrett Grace (59) defend in the third quarter at Michigan Stadium. Michigan won 41-30. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Texans: Tackling Down Louis Nix III


As the Texans gear up for the upcoming season with mini-camps and OTA’s underway, let’s take a look at one of their draft picks that will make an impact on the Texans’ new offensive scheme.

That pick would be:

Louis Nix III (NT), Notre Dame, Round 3, Pick 83

Louis Nix III, the behemoth of a 6’2,” 331-pound pick that the Houston Texans traded up to get their hands on is a part of something great that is coming together.

Dubbed “Irish Chocolate” by himself, Nix is known for his lightheartedness and his pronounced sense of humor.  Those intangibles along with his athletic ability can go a long way in a locker room where the tensions were once at its highest during an eventual 2-14 season.

I like this pick because he offers plenty of upside to a position that does need to be filled and doesn’t have a lock-down starter just yet. That decision still has to be made.

Shaun Cody was the last full-time nose tackle, so this is Nix’s opportunity to shine.

Nix, a native of the Sunshine State, was formidable force at Raines High School in Jacksonville, Fla. where he collected many national, state and local honors. He was top-10 defensive tackle in just about any national ranking you could think of. He helped lead the Vikings to a playoff appearance in 2007, his sophomore year.

In 2009, his senior year, he amassed 50 tackles and 10 sacks warranting the looks from a multitude of football programs. He also notably lettered in basketball as well.

At one point, Notre Dame, Miami (FL), Florida State and Florida were knocking on his door. He committed to Miami (FL), but he eventually decided on Notre Dame because he said it was the only visit where he felt at home. He had a wonderful sophomore and junior year before declaring for the NFL Draft — he did not see any action his freshman year as he was transitioning to the college game.

He ended up finishing his college career with 95 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and 12 tackles-for-loss. Tackling-for-loss requires amazing skill and it’s apparent he possess such a special skill that not all defensive players have.

Sep 14, 2013; West Lafayette, IN, USA; Purdue Boilermakers running back Akeem Hunt (1) is tackled by Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Dan Fox (48) and nose tackle Louis Nix (1) in the third quarter at Ross-Ade Stadium. Notre Dame won 31-24. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

He will be solid addition to J.J. Watt because that’s what he does best. Being able to defend someone so well where they actually lose yardage is definitely a weapon that Bill O’Brien will appreciate having.

Nix also has the innate ability to pass rush as well — he lead the Fighting Irish with five pass breakups his senior year.

NFL.com’s Mike Mayock on the Texans drafting Nix:

“Houston is looking for big, strong, physical playmakers. Nix is a prototypical 3-4 nose tackle. At 350 pounds, he’s extremely stout. He should probably play at 330, because he can get tired and when he gets tired he loses the leverage battle.”

It has been said that his biggest assets are his size for the position and the strength to command double teams.

His weaknesses include not being able to dominate with single blocking and that his conditioning and stamina are suspect.

There were times that he did take off on reps which raises the brow of any scout.

What Deran Wiley, his high school coach, said of his ascendance from Raines to Notre Dame:

“I don’t think when [Nix] came to high school that he had a clue of what he could be,” Wiley told the Florida Times-Union last January. “At the end of his 10th grade year, that’s about when the light came on. He realized, ‘Hey, I can do something special.’ It’s nothing but the grace of God that it’s turned out this way for him. I don’t take any credit for it.

“To see Louis playing in the national championship game for Notre Dame, it’s a remarkable story, no matter how you dress it up.”

It’s clearly obvious that O’Brien is trying to transform this Texans’ roster into New England Patriots South.

Why? Louis Nix IS Vince Wilfork all over again, just look at his characteristics!

It’s ironic because Nix has been quoted that Wilfork is his favorite NFL player and one that he tries to emulate.

And you know what? That doesn’t matter to me — as long as it translates to success on the football field, I’m all for it!

Welcome to Houston Irish Chocolate, can’t wait to see what you can do on the line!

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