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Former McPherson High & College Football Star Signs with NFL’s Washington Commanders


McPHERSON, Kan. – Former McPherson High School & McPherson College football star Ben Nikkel is heading to the NFL after signing with the Washington Commanders as an undrafted free agent.

Nikkel graduated from McPherson High School in 2018, but did not attract many offers to play collegiate football despite earning all-league honors. As a Bullpup, Nikkel played as both a wide receiver and defensive back. As a senior in high school, he caught 16 passes for 153 yards and five touchdowns, while also recording 31 tackles and three tackles-for-loss defensively.

He then enrolled to McPherson College where he would play as a wide receiver from 2018-20. While at McPherson College, Nikkel earned All-KCAC honors after catching 107 passes, receiving for 1,570 yards and scoring 14 touchdowns over three seasons.

After the 2020-21 year, Nikkel decided to transfer to Iowa State and join the football team as a walk-on, but would redshirt for the 2021 season. He would return to the Cyclones in 2022 where he would primarily play in Special Teams, recording just three tackles.

In 2023, Nikkel was granted a scholarship at Iowa State and was named as a co-captain, returning to Special Teams but also adding him as a starting defensive back. Nikkel would finish the 2023 season with 40 tackles and three pass breakups.

Following the 2023 season, Nikkel participated in ISU’s Pro Day, impressing scouts with numbers such as a 4.46 seconds 40-yard dash, 4.10 seconds 20-yard shuffle, a 6.82 seconds 3-cone drill, a 39.5-inch vertical jump, an 11′ 4″ broad jump and 15 bench press reps.