WVU’s Jake Abbott Named Tommy Nickolich Award Winner

Jake Abbott
West Virginia linebacker Jake Abbott

WVU’s Jake Abbott Named Tommy Nickolich Award Winner

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–Since 1991, the Blue & Gold News has sponsored the Tommy Nickolich Memorial Award. The winner, selected each spring by the Mountaineer coaching staff, is given to a walk-on member of the football team who distinguishes himself with his attitude and work ethic. The award is presented in memory of Tommy Nickolich, a Fairmont, West Virginia native and former WVU football walk-on (1979-82) who passed away as the result of cancer in 1983.

Jake Abbott

This year’s winner, the 29th in the history of the award, is another Fairmont native, Jake Abbott.

A two-time Class AA all-state selection at Fairmont Senior High School, Abbott capped his prep career by winning the 2016 Chuck Howley Award, which is presented to the best prep linebacker in the state of West Virginia. He was also the USA Today state defensive player of the year. He played quarterback and linebacker for the Polar Bears before walking on to West Virginia’s program as a linebacker in 2017.

Off the field, Abbott has excelled in the classroom as a business major while working toward playing time. He is a member of West Virginia’s Garrett Ford Academic Honor Roll and the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll.

Not only was Nickolich a Fairmont native, but like Abbott he was also a Fairmont Senior High School alum. Abbott is the first fellow Polar Bear to win the award that honors Tommy’s memory.

Also honored in the pregame ceremonies were the Iron Mountaineers, which included Colton McKivitz, Reese Donahue, Alec Sinkfield and Josh Chandler.

1991Keith TaparauskyRB
1992Brett PariseWR
1993Matt McCultyWR
1994Randy FulmoreDB
1995Rob KeysDB
1996Matt CeresaOL
1997David LightcapDB
1998Mark CormanTE
1999Bryan LorenzLB
2000Ben CollinsLB
2001Jeremy KnappTE
2002Moe FofanaFB
2003John PenningtonWR
2004Jeff NoechelLB
2005George ShehlDB
2006Tim LindseyLS
2007Andy EmeryLB
2008Adam HughesLS
2009Josh TaylorDL
2010Matt LindamoodFB
2011Ryan NehlenWR
2012Tyler AndersonLB
2013Connor ArliaWR
2014Michael CalicchioOL
2015Justin ArndtLB
2016Jon LewisDL
2017Nick MeadowsLS
2018Evan StaleyK
2019Jake AbbottLB
2020Osman KamaraS
2021Graeson MalashevichWR